At a certain point in our lives, we just want to get lost and dissociate ourselves from what we are used to through traveling. It might seem like something unimaginable for individuals who have been building a name for themselves in their careers, but traveling and backpacking can be a liberating process. Not only will you be able to gain all kinds of experiences, but you get to meet people from all walks of life.
In the year 2019, around 62.9% of the word’s population can easily connect to the Internet since they have mobile phones. With easy access to a steady stream of information, most youths and traveling enthusiasts can easily navigate through streets and maps without getting lost. It is with the advent of mobile internet usage and GPS tracking that caused the steady rise of backpacking.
Back in the early and mid-2010s, CouchSurfing used to be a popular trend where most people could find homes to stay through an app. In some cases, people would use the app to date and find a reason to stay in another person’s place when traveling. Surprisingly, people who would be using the app would be saving more money than having to stay in cheap accommodations.
Don’t worry; we’re not talking about the app. But what makes couch surfing such a suitable way of saving money? You’d be surprised by the power of friendship!
Why Couch Surf?
Most travelers know this: the biggest expense when you’re traveling is looking for a place to stay for the night. While most people don’t mind sleeping in their cars or the great outdoors, some individuals would appreciate a cozy bed placed in the middle of a warm bedroom. Sure, it might cost you, but it’s better than having to fend for yourself while sleeping outdoors. But when you’re couch surfing, you won’t have to spend money on accommodations while you’re all snugged-up in a secure place, so it’s a win-win situation.
But other than giving you an excellent place to stay, what else does it offer?
- You get a good peek on the natural sceneries in the area. While staying in a resort or accommodation might be a more comfortable choice, being able to interact with locals will help you get a good understanding of the area.
- Since you’re with locals rather than being clumped up with other tourists, you will be well-versed on what type of scams that you should avoid. Most scammers target unsuspecting tourists who are not with locals.
- Motels and other accommodations don’t necessarily come with kitchens. When you’re couch surfing, you will have access to a kitchen, and you can cook your own food. That means that you will be able to save more since you don’t have to spend on overpriced ‘gourmet’ resort food.
If you’re tired of staying in shady motels that don’t want to bother calling in a reliable exterminator to root out their pest problem, then you might want to try out backpacking. Not only is backpacking budget-friendly, but you’ll also experience different colorful personalities that you wouldn’t have gotten in a grey motel room.
Is Couch Surfing Safe?
Naturally, staying with strangers can be dangerous if you are not sure about who to trust. There’s bound to hundreds of posts in social-media on these types of ordeals. But surprisingly, a couch-surfing community can be exclusive. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing since bad behavior means that that community will know about it as soon as possible. The usual mobile app for couch surfing will help individuals determine if the place is just right for them, especially through the use of online reviews. This system has been helping maintain good behavior in the community.
Of course, if you’re going to search for potential places to stay outside the app, it’s always good to be mindful of who you’re going to be staying with. Staying with mutual friends, colleagues, and acquaintances are a better choice than having to wait with strangers.
Couch surfing isn’t just another cost-effective way of living; it’s also a fun way of getting to meet new people from all sorts of backgrounds. Before you do choose where you’ll be staying, it’s always an excellent choice to look at public reviews of the place. If needed, you can contact other travelers to know how their experience went. If you’re into having a bohemian care-free lifestyle, then couch surfing is something that you can get into. So if you’re going to get lost, do it with style.