Edinburgh Friday Blog

Couchsurfing – Staying Overnight with Locals

This is my favourite way for stay! There is nothing better, more fun and interesting than being a guest in a local resident’s home, or immigrant, who has been living in a rental property recently, for instance – in Paris. This way of cheap accommodation can be practised everywhere – in Europe as well as Asia, America, and island nations. The only thing you will need for such a visit is a little courage, but if you have decided to feel the real atmosphere of some destination you would hardly worry that much.

Where to Look for Such Stay?

https://www.couchsurfing.org/

For now I don’t know about some good CouchSurfing alternative website. If somebody know that can share it with me in the comments. Visitors of these sites are people, who offer to other members of these communities their homes for a short stay. Usually we’re talking about a stay for one or several days. Most often negotiation of the arrival happens through the website. Besides these universal networks there are networks targeting specific groups of people: cyclists, divers, climbers, etc.

How Does this Work?

To take advantage of these online communities, you must register and fill out your profile as detailed and interesting as possible, because it will be visible to others. After this you will have access to other people’s profiles too. cats After you complete your profile you can find people from any corner of the world in the website search box, and the best part is that the number of users is constantly increasing. In order to negotiate with someone for a visit first you need to write him. In the letter you need to announce the date of arrival / departure, purpose of travel, plans, hobbies and anything else that may interest your future host.

Often you will have to send several emails before finding place to stay, as people you’re writing to may not answer at all, or just refuse you stay (the host may be busy on those dates, to be in another city, to have already agreed with other travellers to visit him on the dates you requested, besides, he just might want to take a break without guests). So, with the emails you exchange phone numbers and arrange your meeting. It is best to make your arrangements with your host in advance, although some people are ready to accept guests literally a few hours after you have written to them on the site.

Everything is relative – after all it comes to communication with people. Normally on such sites, there is an opportunity to write a review for another travellers. In the review you can describe briefly how and where you met, what they were interested in, were there negative moments and what were they, and your general impression of communication.

Many people ask me “Is CouchSurfing safe?” for a single traveller like you? Of course, sometimes I make my mind full of thoughts about couchsurfing murder and that kind of stuff, but at all I am brave, curious and have big experience to believe that the system really works. Actually, I began my adventures with couchsurfing in Europe about 3 years ago and have had nothing but positive experience! The hearts of those who open their home are always a pleasure to get to know and people I love to spend my time with. As member of Couchsurfing – several times I have been hosts, couple times I went to other people’s places abroad and a few times I have met other people just to have a talk with them. For those years I have no Couchsurfing bad experience. The stay is free, everything happens according to an agreement with the host.

The advantages:

You’ll meet someone who is really familiar with the place where you’re going. They could tell you interesting stories and legends, give you tips on what to do, what to try from the local cuisine and point you a landmark, which is really worth to visit.

You’ll see non-tourist places such as clubs, restaurants, etc., visited usually only by locals.
You’ll learn a few words and phrases from the local language.
You can be sure you will make new friends.
It will be a great fun!
You’ll save money

The disadvantages:

Perhaps you will have to mind your host i.e. you’ll need to negotiate if you can have the keys of the place or for a specific time to get home.
Here you will find out also my Couchsurfing profile if you want to be a friend of mine and become a part of my couchsurfing experience >>> https://www.couchsurfing.org/people/edinburgh/
Some good posts about Couchsurfing – http://www.reddit.com/r/couchsurfing/

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