Couchsurfing is a great way to meet locals and sleep for free.
There is an app and website where you can contact locals that offer a sleeping place at their home.
Sometimes this will be a couch, sometimes you get an air mattress and if you are lucky you get a real bed.
How does Couchsurfing work?
You sign up, make an account and write something down about you and add some pictures, so people know a bit about you already.
In your profile, there is a setting where you can choose if you are accepting people, maybe accept people, not accept people or wants to meet up. So the profiles are the same from the people that offer a place and from the people that are looking for a place. You can change this setting really easily whenever you want.
If you have the ability to host people in your house it is nice to you write down something about the sleep arrangements you offer, whether or not you smoke in your house and maybe you can add some pictures of the room where people can sleep.
At my profile, for example, I choose the setting ‘wants to meet up’ because I don’t have a house at the moment so no place where I can invite people.
How do I get a place to sleep?
There are two ways to get a place.
You can add a public trip, where you write a bit about you and the travel. Add the dates and the number of people that look for a place. This way people offering a place can read about you and send you the message that you can stay with them.
You can also send people (hosts), a message with a request to stay at their place. If you are looking for a host at their profiles you can read about that person, see pictures and also read about their house and what the facilities are what they offer. Like if you sleep in a shared room or a private room, or on the couch ;-).
Read reviews about a person! Some people are on Couchsurfing while it should be better for them if they were on tinder. Some people have other expectations from Couchsurfing than you. So it’s good to read some experiences.
There and then? Expectations
Some people like to get involved in your travels as well and like to show you around in the city, some people are fine with that you sleep there but don’t feel like hanging out together.
It is good to share your expectations back and forth and to check with your host what he/she likes and doesn’t like. Most of the time they don’t especially ask for something in return. Sometimes they do, like someone, I stayed at he asked to bring an alcoholic beverage typically for my own country. Even if they don’t ask for anything especially it is nice to do something in return, cook, bring a small present (everyone loves chocolate).
Pros and cons
+ Meet locals
+ Sleep for free
+ More private than a hostel
– You don’t know what you get, where you are staying
– Some people have totally different expectations and should be on tinder
Verified account Couchsurfing?
You can use Couchsurfing for free but it is a little limited then. You can send only ten sleeping requests in a week, looks like a lot but sometimes you have to send a lot of messages to find a spot.
You can verify your account for €52 (or equivalent) for life. With this, they check your account and confirm your account so it is more trusted for other people.
With a verified account you can also send unlimited messages.
So it isn’t that much different but some host will only give a place to sleep to verified members because that is more trusted.
Note that sometimes it’s hard to find a spot so it’s always good to have another option, like a hostel, in mind.