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Different sides of CouchSurfing

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I mentioned Couchsurfing in many of my previous posts. So in case you were wondering what it really was, let me give you a proper introduction.

Most people think it’s only a site to save money on accommodation, by staying in strangers’ houses instead of going to a hotel. But CouchSurfing is so much more than that.

In the beginning, the free lodging motivated me to check out this community for. But as I browsed the site I realized it has so many other sides as well.

Free lodging: This is what CouchSurfing is well known for. You get to skip paying for hotels and crash at other member’s couch/bed. Sometimes you get a whole room and bathroom, sometimes you have to share with the hosts or other guests. You should ready at each member’s profile the type of accommodation they offer.

Meet new people: When you are travelling solo, you might want to meet other people to make your day more interesting and fun. Local people can be your guide, or you can find other travellers in the area and explore together. You can directly approach people by sending them a message, or you can post in a group saying that you are looking for people to hang out with.

Immerse in the culture: By living with local people you really get to see how they live in that country. Your host can give you information about hidden gems, off the beaten path locations that only locals know. Hey, I would have never tasted the best pancakes in the world, if it weren’t for my CS host in Singapore!

Get advice: There are hundreds of different groups on the website. You can ask advice about places to visit, what to pack, how’s the weather like, interesting things to do, events to visit and the list is endless. It’s a nice community, someone will help you for sure!

Find a job: You can actually find different kind of jobs if you look in the right group.Teaching English abroad, fruit picking and being an au pair are the most common one.

Student exchange: Parents pay thousands of dollars to give their child an exchange student experience, which will hopefully broaden their mind and improve their language skills. But why pay all that money, when you can do it for free? There are a few groups that are for families to arrange exchange programs for their children.

Experience new things: I was really lucky with some of my CS hosts. I experienced things I probably never would have otherwise. My host in Sydney took me to a rugby game. I loved the whole stadium atmosphere and will forever cherish this memory.

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In Kuala Lumpur I had the most amazing view from my host’s roof top pool. I mean I had to pay hundreds of dollars for a similar view in Singapore.

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Our host in Monterey, CA took us on a kayak trip with some school children. What a great way to see the ocean wildlife.

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And of course all my hosts were amazing, by showing me around or sharing some vital information about the area. :D

Find a travel partner: You can find a travel partner and share your expenses. I wanted to go to Marina Bay Sands Hotel really bad, but they only have rooms for 2 people. I decided to look for someone who could share the room with me, and cut my expenses half. I ended up finding a great Indian guy and the whole situation worked our really well. He was good at photography, so I ended up with some great pictures of my stay there. Yay. :D

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About Enikő

Hey, I'm Enikő! I'm currently an au pair and I want to share my experiences with you. I've travelled a lot in the past years. I'm gonna teach you how to settle in to a new country and get free accommodation anywhere in the world. Circle Enikő on Google+!

17 comments

  1. I’ve had mixed experiences with couch surfing – both as the surfer and couch provider! I’ve also had some great experiences meeting wonderful people, but I would recommend being cautious and communicating boundaries to have the best experiences! There is nothing like have a local show you around!
    Katie
    http://whatskatiedoing.blogspot.co.uk

  2. You are very brave to couchsurf! I’ve had some very good experiences renting a room from a local woman in several countries (Brazil, Italy, Russia) but I don’t think I could share a room with a stranger.

  3. Love your spirit. Not sure couch surfing is for me but it sure it a great way to meet people and save on lodging. Good for you for getting out there and experiencing the world. Loved your post.

  4. Great post! I have used airbnb and hostels — but never couchsurfing. I just feel weird about it — staying with a stranger for free. I think your post will help people who are considering this because there are many benefits!

  5. I’m a bit tentative about couchsurfing but so glad you had a great experience with it! The more I read about positive experiences the more encouraged I am to go for it!

  6. Great perspective about couchsurfing. I’ve had wonderful experiences with airbnb and been able to connect with locals on my travels. I’m iffy about couch surfing though this post gives me new reasons to reconsider it.

  7. I’ve never tried couchsurfing before but it would be an experience! But of course, we need to look out for our safety, too.

  8. I didn’t think about using it to find a job – super creative!

  9. I had no idea about couch surfing until reading this post – sounds like a great way to meet people. You have had some really positive experiences!

  10. I love Couchsurfing! I’ve done it in a few countries and loved it. I didn’t know much about the other sides of it, so thanks for the tips!! I’ve met new people by staying with them, hosting and also I had a spare ticket for a ballet at the Vienna State Opera and ended up finding someone on couchsurfing who fancied going!

  11. Will, I think it less a matter of the pronouns than of the dismissive nature of his comments about others, as well as his apparent inability to speak on any subject without boosting himself.

  12. Good to see a talent at work. I can’t match that.

  13. That’s cleared my thoughts. Thanks for contributing.

  14. Dave,I hope I didn’t communicate that we should only write about topics no one else has ever dealt with yet. We would all be up a creek without a paddle, if that were the case. Your perspective on this question is valuable, and, as are all of our perspectives, unique in this or that. And, as I said, I am glad you are keeping this on the discussion table. There are many topics that are worth bringing out and examining afresh over and over again.

  15. What a fascinating barn you feature this week; I am intrigued by the "skin" peeling away to reveal the chevron construction beneath.Great deconstruction!Love this blog party — thanks!Cass

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