But what is Couchsurfing?
Couchsurfing is a social platform that allows any traveller to be hosted for free at a host’s home anywhere in the world. Originally, the word was used to refer to the fact of sleeping on different couches every night, but today many hosts provide private rooms and food to their guests!
What’s the concept of Couchsurfing?
You’ll first have to register on the website couchsurfing.com, fill your profile as much as possible – so the hosts can get to know you – and then start getting in touch with other people when you travel. Every user can be a host and a guest, as Couchsurfing is based on a reciprocity principle. This method is increasingly used by travelers from around the world because it is a great way to find free accomodation but also to approach the people and culture of a country.
Starting our trip around the world, the idea appealed to us. We thought, “Why not try before our trip around the world” and then do it again with people from different cultures.
Our first Couchsurfing experience
So during our vacation in Spain we contacted Javier, a young father living with his 1-year-old baby Lucas and his wife Marian. We sent an email through the Couchsurfing site 1 and a half months in advance. We had heard that in general at the beginning we would have have no answer, so we wanted to anticipate and but jackpot! Javier told us he would be delighted to receive us for a night at his appartment.
We were surprised to have such a quick positive return and eager to enjoy the experience!
Having never done Couchsurfing before, we were not sure how it worked and we had some questions “will they lend us towels?” or “should we eat before arriving or are we all going to have dinner together?” Yeah it sounds silly but we preferred to be honest so we sent an email to Javier asking him about the organization of the stay, and we are reassured. Yep, Anaïs was a little affraid to stay at a stranger’s home and did not want to be uncomfortable or make them feel uncomfortable.
In the end, we got a response and Javier explained everything to us (basically we had access to everything at their home and we were going to have diner together).
The day arrived and we must admit that we were a bit stressed while ringing the doorbell, but Javier and his wife Marian were very welcoming and everything went very smoothly. They offered us their guestroom and a bathroom, couldn’t be better! We had diner together, and obviously the conversation topic was travelling! We enjoyed this moment, they had visited countries we are going to visit during our trip around the world so they could advise us, and it was really good!
The next morning when we woke up, they had already left for work but they had left the house keys on the table and breakfast for us… We were really touched by such kindness !
We really enjoyed our first Couchsurfing experience, so thank you so much to Javier, Marian and their cute little Lucas for their hospitality!
We intend to repeat the experiment in other countries!
And you, have you ever tried Couchsurfing? Do you know any other unusual accomodation systems?