If you’re into budget holidays, one of the main things that you may be concerned about is accommodation. Even staying at hostels, which are a lot cheaper compared to staying at hotels, can be expensive if you’re on a week-long vacation. It would be great if you can stay somewhere free of charge, right? That may be the answer to travelers especially those who go for cheap holidays. Well, you can actually sleep at a stranger’s house for free while on vacation. It’s called couchsurfing. There’s a hospitality and social networking site that serves as a portal for people to stay at another person’s home and/or offer their home for travelers for free.
Great insights from the local!
Your host is a local in the area, he/she can give you a lot of tips on where and what to eat on a budget, how to commute, where to go, what you must see, and what to avoid.
As with every type of accommodation, couchsurfing comes with its own share of pros and cons. To help you decide if it meets your travelling needs, here are the advantages and drawbacks of couchsurfing:
- One of the obvious advantages is that it’s free! Just imagine how much your savings would be if you opt for a couch while travelling. As for the host, it’s a good opportunity to help other people who want to visit their country or area.
- People on budget holidays can further increase their savings when they get helpful insights from locals. Since your host is a local in the area, he/she can give you a lot of tips on where and what to eat on a budget, how to commute, where to go, what you must see, and what to avoid.
- Couchsurfing is a community of like-minded people. This is perfect for those who love to travel and meet other people, and immerse themselves in different cultures. If you’re that type of traveler then you may want to consider this accommodation.
- Safety can be an issue. Staying at a stranger’s house does sound like a dangerous thing to do, especially if you’re traveling to a new area. And it’s not just an issue for travelers. Even hosts can be at risk by letting strangers stay in their homes. However, the couchsurfing website has a verification process in place. For additional peace of mind, travelers and hosts can leave references about their couchsurfing experiences.
- Privacy is another consideration. If you’re staying at someone else’s house, chances are, you will not have the same privacy as when you’re staying at a hotel, for instance. This may be an issue for other travelers.
Do you have other cheap holiday tips? Share your ideas for budget holidays in the comments section.