This article should have been written for a long time, because, as it turned out, some still do not know this way of traveling. And there is no other way to call couchsurfing, the language does not turn around, since it has ceased to be just a way to save money on travel for a long time. So, what is vprinting or couchsurfing? This is an overnight stay (or several overnight stays) in the house of a stranger who provides such an opportunity. The English word couchsurfing means searching for a sofa. And here is the word «entry» from the word «fit in», I know, many do not like it, as it is probably associated with some informal circles. However, I have not come across any other analogue to the English term. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with it, and I use both options, including Russian. So, an overnight stay, as practice has shown, you can even end up on a yacht!
As I understand it, initially rubber appeared due to the fact that people wanted to somehow save money on travel. Imagine that you can deduct the costs of hotels and guesthouses from your trip, tempting isn't it? But then it all grew into a whole movement, a community with its own unspoken laws. At the moment, thousands of people only travel in this way..
The content of the article
- one How to search for listings or couchsurfing
- 2 Tips for finding a couchsurf
- 3 Pros of couchsurfing
- 4 Cons of couchsurfing
- five My findings
How to search for listings or couchsurfing
At the moment, there are two popular sites where you can search for rubber:
We mainly use only the first one, since it is more convenient, and it seems like it has a larger base. I have not met any normal Russian sites devoted to this topic, but those that exist are not at all popular and there is nothing special to catch. By the way, the fact that the sites are in English (but the interface is in Russian) does not mean at all that there are no users from Russia and the countries of the Union, on the contrary, even in Russia you can travel using these sites.
The basic idea is that if you are couchsurfing and staying with people, then you yourself should offer to stay at your place and post a photo of the bunk for guests. In fact, this is not necessary, since after registration you get access to the entire database and you can write to anyone with a request to spend the night. True, it is not a fact that there will be many respondents, because you still have a very low rating..
Tips for finding a couchsurf
I can’t say that this is the only way for us to travel, but there is still some experience. In principle, this is applicable in any country, but most of all it allows you to save money in Europe, since in the same Asia housing is already very cheap, but after all, the point is not at all about saving!
- The most important advice: do not treat couchsurfing as just free housing, it is fundamentally wrong and offends hospitable hosts. Nobody owes you anything, and first of all you need to choose and write to those people who are interesting to you and with whom you would like to communicate. This is an interesting meeting and communication, and then an overnight stay.
- Read the profiles of the people you write to carefully. This is important because the hosts are also interested in matching your interests. In addition, there is often found «the codeword», which you need to insert into the text of your letter, and this will mean that you have read the person's profile.
- Your profile must also be completed. It is on it that they will evaluate whether they want to host you or not..
- Always write your request in advance (1-2 weeks). It is considered bad form if you write «I want to come tomorrow». Few can adjust and adjust their plans so quickly..
- Exist «emergency» groups of people who are ready to receive you on the same day or tomorrow. Therefore, if you have an emergency and urgently need to find an overnight stay, then it is better to write there..
- If possible, try not to write the same letter to everyone, it is often noticeable.
- Be sure to write in your letter who you are and what you are, where you are going and why, tell a little about yourself and your trip. One sentence letters «I want to spend the night» may not ride.
- Write to several people at the same time. It may so happen that out of 10, only one will answer positively.
- Do not forget to leave your feedback about the person who hosted you, or whom you hosted. In the future, this will help other users understand whether to contact him or not..
- Be prepared that everything may be canceled on the day of your arrival. People also have some kind of unforeseen situations..
- Some will be ready to just meet you for a cup of coffee or take a walk, but they will not be able to receive you. This is also great, because perhaps a person will be able to show you something in the city, as well as tell something interesting..
- If there are more than two of you, it might make sense to split up for the night. Small groups accept more readily.
Since we were both fitters and receivers, I want to tell you a little how this might look from the receiving side. When we lived in Chiang Mai and set the status of receiving guests, there was just a flurry of letters. And many of them were - «tonight / I'll come tomorrow», and so we refused, we are not a hotel. Those who did not read our profile were also refused, and it was just ridiculous ... A person writes, I want to stop and all that, we answer, but come 1-2 days normally, only you read in our profile that we have one room , there is no extra bed and you will have to spend the night on the floor and you need a tourist rug, since the tiles? By the way, this piece of text in the profile was even specially highlighted. The answer is oh, no thanks, I'll look elsewhere. After this incident, we also wrote «the codeword» in your profile, be sure to indicate in the letter that you are ready to sleep on the floor and you have your own rug, otherwise we will not answer. By God, it was enough to clarify every time, and it’s really unpleasant when your profile is not read, but simply spammed to all people in the city, which means that the person is not coming to us, but he just needs to spend the night stupidly. And this is in Chiang Mai, where accommodation can be found for 150-200 rubles per day..
Pros of couchsurfing
- Reduced housing costs while traveling.
- Interesting communication, new people and meetings.
- The opportunity to learn something about the city and local residents that I would have learned if I lived here myself. Some quick immersion in the country and knowledge of life from the inside.
- If the host has time, he can also arrange an excursion to local attractions. IN Munich city we did it.
- There is an opportunity to spend the night in exotic places, for example, we spent the night on a yacht in Marseille.
Cons of couchsurfing
- The inability to just be alone and relax in silence from a busy day. This is not always required and not for everyone, but sometimes it is necessary.
- You have to make the laws of the house in which you stay.
- It is necessary to adjust to the host's schedule: arrival / departure time, breakfast / dinner, etc..
- Not always convenient location of the house, for example, on the outskirts.
- The list can be canceled at any time. It happened with us in Malaysia, the day before departure, so we had to urgently look for hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
Having tried kachuurfing, I realized for myself that it suits me perfectly. I like to communicate with people and most importantly, I can ask them about the country / city, this is much more important to me than sights. However, from time to time you still want to stay at a hotel just to go about your personal affairs and be silent. Since my English is so-so, I get very tired communicating in a foreign language. By the way, I use the most convenient RoomGuru service for all kinds of accommodation, where you can see the cost of a hotel in each booking system right away and choose the one that is cheaper. Of course there, and there are reviews, and a rating, and you can book in advance.
The second conclusion that I made is that trips to people are much more interesting and valuable than an ordinary trip, and that is why I was very glad that when we started participating in the project Russia in 365 days, then some of the readers invited us to visit. By the way, this is a good alternative to couchsurfing 🙂 Alternatively, you can still look for people on thematic forums and ask to visit (we did it in Turkey).
P.S. If anyone has any experience in couchsurfing, please add your comments. And it will be useful for us, and for other readers 🙂