In reality travelling can get pretty expensive, so being a backpacker, having a budget is fundamental requirement. Finding out how to save money by couch surfing might just help you get to your next travel adventure sooner.
Founded in 2004 by Casey Fenton, Daniel Hoffer, Leonardo Bassani da Silveira and Sebastian Le Tuan, a group of Icelandic students who created this idea from email conversations. Their dream was for people around the world to share their homes with people they have never met before. It’s safe to say, this idea was brilliant and now couch surfing is available in over 100,000 cities around the world with 6million participants who come from different walks of life.
It may sound scary; sleeping on a stranger’s couch, in their house and in a country that is not your own, but it is a great money-saver and will help you make friends along the way. Your best way to get started is to head to the internet. There is a significant amount of information that will become handy when it comes to couch-surfing.
How to save money by couch surfing
Logging on to a community website like Couchsurfing will help you connect to those in the backpacking community. After making a profile you will be able to communicate with others. As well as looking for vacant couches you can also list yourself as a host on the website and connect to future couch surfers.
So what are the benefits of couch surfing, other than the money factor?
First and foremost, drumroll please…you will make new friends! These connections can help you on the way, just like the scarecrow, tinman and lion. You can also discover the yellow brick road with the help of your new friends. A road you might not have discovered if you didn’t go couch surfing. You will be become immersed in their culture and lifestyle.
As a guest, it is best to be on your best behaviour. Respect the place you’re staying at and respect your hosts. Cleanliness is an important factor, so have a shower; the last thing you want is your host kicking you out because you smell like a drunk.
Stay safe and say your thanks
Gifts are acceptable, it is a way to say thank you to your hosts. But don’t waste your time on cheap gifts. Thank you gifts, such as a fruit or bread basket is a great way to show your appreciation.
And to keep safe, follow the tips such as trusting your instincts and report any negative experiences to relevant web sites as these will help build up a safe couch-surfing environment.