Becoming a traveler sounds expensive. Do you feel the same way?
Back then, going to certain places within Cebu province together with friends felt like just a fun thing to do but I didn't consider it as travel. That was around five years ago. Fast forward this recent year, most of the millennials are toward traveling. Those blogs about implying the happiest when you transpire as a traveler hit the internet like wildfire that everyone fancies to travel and endeavors to reach to different sites, regions, provinces, cities, and spots every available opportunity!
However, one of the major challenges with traveling is money!
I recall when James (my husband) and I were in a group traveling to Davao. On our second day, we went to the marvelous Samal Island and being a first timer there, I badly would like to go over to the famous resort but it costs around Php 500 entrance fee. Most of the guys in the group disapprove the decision to go there because of the fee, so instead, we went to another point.
Video source: Jean Beltran via bitLanders.com
Money, budget, allowance - all of these demand to be managed properly and if we think of being in a voyage, this is part of the package! Thus, one has to trace out well how he or she could proceed to different places without stripping out a huge chunk of his or her savings! Furthermore, I am referring to the travel savings, don't ever touch those emergency savings!
In line with this, I am super jovial that there's already a remedy for travelers like me so we could spend zero bucks for accommodation during the trip.
Image source: store.couchsurfing.com
Yes, you read it just right! ZERO fees!
If I tell you that this is possible, would you dare pack your bags now and go directly to your most anticipated place? Well, before you do so, please think twice and just relax. You would need a whole lot of planning again.
Image source: blog.expensify.com
Introducing - Couchsurfing!
Couchsurfing is a global community of 14 million people in more than 200,000 cities who share their life, their world, their journey. Couchsurfing connects travelers with a global network of people willing to share in profound and meaningful ways, making travel a truly social experience.
Couchsurfing began in 2004 as a small passion project by founders Casey Fenton, Daniel Hoffer, Sebastian Le Tuan and Leonardo Bassani da Silveira. An email to a group of students in Iceland gave birth to the idea that people anywhere would want to share their homes with strangers (or, as we like to call them, friends you haven't met yet).
Image source: qz.com
Although I have not yet tried it, soon I will be able to share my own fair experience with how I used couchsurf, my friends had shared to me their very own and I get very excited knowing that something like this is available!
It is really amazing to realize that there are still people out there who have no trust issues with strangers and would even open their doors and even hearts to learning about each other.
I have here a few points why we need to embrace Couchsurfing, this is based on my friends' testimonies.
IT OPENS DOORS TO OPPORTUNITIES
Image source: www.tripsavvy.com
Chris, the person who introduced the app to me shared that when he was in Cambodia for his ASEAN tour, he bumped into a co-couchsurfer and learned about how to become an online freelancer.
My friend Roxanne, who is a digital nomad had also encounter lots of opportunities while using Couchsurfing. One of which she won't forget is the experience of working in a cafe resort in Palawan, Philippines.
Since she is a digital nomad, she is used to dividing her hours to work and to leisure especially traveling. Having some other spare time enabled her to work for her host too!
A POSSIBLE WAY OF MEETING FRIENDS
Image source: www.couchsurfing.com
One of the best things about Couchsurfing is the idea of meeting friends while on the way.
First, you'll get to know more about the host and vice versa. Then if the host has a huge area and is able to accommodate more couchsurfers, you'll definitely have more personalities to engage and become friends with! Perhaps, you'll find your destiny and forever while traveling!
Image source: store.couchsurfing.com
Image source: nomadiccosmopolitan.com
This happened to my friend Chris as well. He couch-surfed his entire travel in Thailand and he met this kabayan or Filipina who got married to his host, a Norwegian who's based in Thailand while she was solo backpacking the country! Now, they are living there with their kids.
Aside from that, they had continued their Couchsurfing goals and spreading this love to their guests as well!
Indeed, it makes one believe again in forever's and true love through travel!
ZERO ACCOMMODATION FEES
Of course, this won't be absent for the reasons.
Image source: www.bradsdeals.com
Having to pay nothing for your accommodation is such a huge thing! Booking a hotel would cost a lot from your own pocket while it is just being used as your bag's safety vault because of most of the time, you are out of the room except if your aim is to relax in the hotel and not travel then, this isn't for you.
But for travelers who are after the location and the history of the place, having a luxurious room is last of the priorities. It may sound wrong but it is true. Sleeping and keeping your things safe while you are away is one thing that every traveler needs, but paying a huge amount to fulfill that is not proportional to that.
Image source: www.propertyturkey.com
Here's Couchsurfing, offering both worlds and yes, you can't say no to that!
With Couchsurfing, a host and a guest have their own ratings and reviews that it is not allowed to host if you have a low rating. Users have access to reviews of each host that one may know what to expect and which host is the best for you.
Image source: erasmusu.com
Thus, it is definite that your things are safe based on the ratings given by previous couchsurfers whom they had hosted before as well. This feature is also keeping the reputation of the app on flying colors.
Perhaps in the next blog, I'll share on how to use the app and perhaps try to ask a host to keep me as his or her guest on my future trips.
Surely, I will keep you updated on the advantages as well as disadvantages of being a couchsurfer.