CouchSurfing.com is a website that caters to the traveling community, bringing together people from all across the world. Essentially, couchsurfing participants act as both hosts and visitors. If you’re traveling, you get to stay with folks when they’re home. If you’re home, you might consider letting other travelers stay on your couch. It’s an amazing way to travel, and everyone should seriously try it at some point in their lives. Here are 10 reasons why you should be couchsurfing.
This is one of the biggest pluses of couchsurfing – the local scoop. You’ll find out where the best underground bars are, when the local ukulele jam session is on, what sandwich shop is going to change you’re life, and much more. Hosts are often keen to show off their hometown, meaning you’ve got the best guide you could ask for!
Traveling is a unique opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, and couchsurfing gives you the chance to have deeper conversations with others than you might otherwise. When you’re staying in someone’s home, you’ll have the chance to learn about who they are and what they’ve done, and maybe even get some inspiration for your future travels and endeavors.
Whether your host decides to cook for you or the other way around, you most definitely eat better when you’re couchsurfing than when you’re camping or staying at hostels. You’ll most likely have the benefit of using an actual kitchen with real cooking equipment (that probably doesn’t carry diseases, like many hostel kitchens…), and the chance to sit down for a proper meal.
Most people don’t live smack in the middle of the tourist zone where the bulk of hotels and hostels are. You’ll get the chance to explore a new part of the city you’re in by traveling through residential neighborhoods, and will see things that other tourists may not see.
Living in somebody’s home gives you the chance to observe day-to-day life in the place you’re visiting, and what an average person’s life is like there. It gives you a much deeper sense of the place you’re at, rather than living with a bunch of other travelers.
If you’re backpacking, the excitement of finally getting to do your laundry cannot be overstated. While hostels have laundry machines, they usually cost money, while you can probably get your washing done for free in someone’s home, and not worry about other backpackers mixing up your things. It’s also nice to get out of the bunk bed-filled world of hostels for a change.
If you’re a couchsurfing host, the people who stay with you will be more than happy to repay the favor if you make it over to their home countries, meaning that you’ve already got accommodation sorted out before you even leave home. But even if you’re just surfing, chances are you’ll meet other travelers doing the same, and the instant connection means that you’ll probably meet up somewhere, somehow.
On the website, CouchSurfing.com allows people to fill out a profile, link it to their Facebook account and upload pictures. But the most important part is the traveler reviews and friends. People write about their experiences staying with or hosting others on the site, so you know that they’ve been vouched for. You can get a pretty good idea of what somebody is like from the reviews, helping to ease your mind before you wind up in a random stranger’s home.
As fun as it is to travel with friends or family, it can quickly become tiring to be with the same people 24/7. Couchsurfing inserts a new person into the mix to change up the conversation, and give you a break from one another.
If you’re backpacking on a budget, saving pennies wherever you can is key. Couchsurfing is an awesome time and will save you loads on accommodation. Why haven’t you signed up yet?
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