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What is Couchsurfing + Alternatives to Couchsurfing App

Over the past couple of years, we’ve taken a handful of road trips, and on the road, our choice of hotel has usually been Hampton Inns whenever it’s possible. Sometimes we’ll drive the extra miles just to stay at a Hampton Inn, too. We like that they have free Wi-Fi and are clean and consistent. At the end of the day, after a long drive, you just want to know what to expect and not have to crawl into bed with a sleeping bag.

But even staying at Hampton Inns can add up, so many times, we either take shifts and drive impossibly long hours, or we are couchsurfing with friends. We know that we would not be able to afford a lot of our trips if it wasn’t for our friends that have let us crash in their guest rooms, couches, or inflatable beds. We’ve also met incredible friends while couchsurfing in Italy through the Couchsurfing website and app. This post is dedicated to them.

Couchsurfing with friends.Pin

Lana & Nathan / Jess & Joe / Stephen & Souwah & Fern / Hsiao & DavidRyan / Jen & Ben

What is Couchsurfing?

Couchsurfing is a social networking platform that connects travelers with local hosts willing to offer them a place to stay, either for free or at a low cost. The platform aims to promote cultural exchange and create a sense of community among people from different parts of the world. Couchsurfing can also provide an alternative to traditional forms of accommodation, such as hotels or hostels, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in local culture and meet new people.

7 Best Alternatives to Couchsurfing App

  1. Be Welcome – a non-profit network of hosts and travelers focused on cultural exchange.
  2. Hospitality Club – a non-profit platform for cultural exchange and free or low-cost accommodation.
  3. Trustroots – a non-profit hospitality exchange platform focused on outdoor, sustainable, and alternative communities.
  4. Warmshowers – a hospitality exchange network primarily for bicycle travelers and touring cyclists.
  5. Global Freeloaders – a platform connecting travelers with hosts offering free accommodation.
  6. Airbnb – a paid platform where hosts can rent out their homes or spare rooms to travelers.
  7. Servas – an international, non-profit hospitality exchange organization focused on peace, understanding, and cross-cultural exchange.

These are some of our favorite road trips made possible by these nice folks above:

We’re so grateful for their hospitality and grateful that they have opened up their homes and hearts to us!

Have you ever tried Couchsurfing before?

This is week 41 of practicing gratitude. 11 weeks left!

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Hsiao-Ting

    yes! my first time was in japan! haha people thought i was crazy …

    1. esther julee

      As girls.. it’s more risky, but I’m so glad we tried it! :)

      1. Hsiao-Ting

        yea i guess i never thought of that when i decided to do it …

  2. Rebekah

    Staying with friends is the best – I can’t imagine staying couch surfing with strangers though – maybe when i was younger and felt invincible lol

    1. esther julee

      haha I think it’s more common in Europe than it is in the US. I think people have a couchsurfing culture there so it wasn’t as weird.. I think if I tried it in the US, it would be a bit strange.

  3. Deidre Emme

    Couchsurfing is something I have ALWAYS wanted to do.

    1. esther julee

      You should try it!! It’s a great way to get the local experience.

  4. Kristine Foley

    Couchsurfing is definitely the way to go! This was our fav thing when we didn’t have kiddos!

    1. esther julee

      Oh yeah. I guess it is harder to ask someone to host a whole family. I never thought about that.

  5. kaitleech

    I have always wanted to visit the west coast! What awesome adventures!

    1. esther julee

      You should! Where in particular would you want to go? :)

  6. Joyce Gonzales

    I recently had a 10-day vacation to South Korea and eight out of of those 10 days I stayed at friends’ houses in Seoul, Bundang and Busan. I was able to save a lot of money because of their generosity. We had a great time catching up and they were able to accompany me to go sight-seeing. I had the best time going around places alone but I also had so much fun with friends, especially at the end of the day when I’d tell them of my adventures. A post like this is something I’d like to do for them, too. By the way, I stayed overnight at a sauna/public bath (jjimjilbang), which was another unique experience. :)

    1. esther julee

      haha that’s awesome! i’ve actually never stayed overnight at a jjimjilbang, but i know what you’re talking about. You got the full korean experience for sure then! :D

  7. Ashley

    How fun! I’ve always wanted to try couch surfing and the trips we’ve planned never seem to have it as an option. Some day I plan to!

    1. esther julee

      You should try it! :) It’s definitely an experience for sure…

    1. esther julee

      it wasn’t an event. it was a compilation of friend photos! :)

  8. Ashley Nicholas

    We’ve been staying at friends houses when traveling lately too, and it’s fun- but we definitely owe them a few favors haha :)

    1. esther julee

      haha yeah we try to bring gifts / souvenirs.. or we always tell them to come visit us!! :)

  9. Logan Cantrell

    I do love Hampton Inn! :)

    1. esther julee

      :) they’re so reliable! i haven’t stayed at a bad one yet!

  10. Awesome! We used the couch surfing organisation (so total strangers!) when we first arrived in australia, and it literally saved our skins! we were so overwhelmed by the generosity and open-heartedness with which people helped two travelling British tourists. Great idea to show your gratitude :)

    1. esther julee

      Thank you! I’ve done couchsurfing once in Italy! :) We were scared bc we were two girls going and the guys were hosts.. we heard some shady things before, but they were really SO nice! They were travelers themselves that couchsurf as well. :) I love couchsurfing.. I think it’s a much more personal experience and you get to hang out like the locals do!

  11. Mia Myrabev

    Always good to have friends like that, love the post idea x

    1. esther julee

      thank you! exactly.. and we’re always open to having guests too.. i think that’s the mentality of a couch surfer, you end up hosting and being hosted. :)

  12. Betsy Gettis

    Having awesome friends to visit makes trips so much better, doesn’t it?!

  13. Amber

    It looks like you have some great friends!

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