Couch-surfing, if you aren’t aware, is basically meeting up with a host person and often staying in their home, as a cheap accommodation for you. Obviously this has pros and cons, and is basically aimed towards those travelling solo.
If you’re considering a spot of couch-surfing yourself, look at the pros and cons and weigh it up first.
You get to see the country as a local
Staying with a host family means you are immersed in the culture and way of life from the get-go, and you’re not seeing things from the tourist point of view. This is real travelling, so you could argue that the biggest pro is the fact you get authenticity from couch-surfing.
Money saved by not having to pay for hotels and even hostels means you can travel further.
You might not think so, but couch-surfing is very well vetted, making it safe and one of the cheapest, most authentic ways to travel. Obviously be careful what you agree to and with who, and listen to your instincts, but generally, it’s very safe.
You get to meet potential life-long friends
Obviously the possibility that you could meet someone who you click with and remain friends with forever is quite high.
Not a lot of privacy
If you’re staying in someone else’s house then you obviously don’t have much in the way of privacy, not like you would have in a hotel or a hostel. Your space is very limited, but if you get on with your host well then this isn’t a problem.
You might not get along well
Online chatting occasionally doesn’t translate so well to real life, and in that case you’re in a sticky situation, especially if you’re staying for a few days.
Comfort might not be at its best
You might not literally be sleeping on a sofa, but you are likely to be sleeping on a pull out bed at best – traditional beds aren’t that common.
You have to fit in with the host
It’s good manners basically, but you have to fit in with your host, not just do as you please. This limits your freedom somewhat and finding a happy medium could be a bit of a challenge.
As you can see, couch-surfing has its pros and it has its cons, but if you’re looking for a cheap way to travel in an authentic way, then this could certainly be the method for you.