The United States of America is big and there’s a lot to see, but it can also be expensive. Spend a few days in New York, where a hostel can cost up to $50 a night, and you might have to reassess your travel spending if you want to make it to Vegas. Fortunately, there’s a way to see the real US and get a cheaper (and more comfortable) night’s sleep. Couch surfing, where hosts offer travelers a place to stay in their homes at no cost, is becoming a popular choice for those on a budget wishing to get more out of their trip.
Don’t just see a city, live it
Couch surfing communities are filled with an incredible variety of hosts and destinations. You could end up literally on the couch at a student apartment in Berkeley, or get your own bedroom with a family in Nashville – the range of possibilities is as wide as the US itself. But more importantly, you’ll get the opportunity to discover what life is really like in the places you visit. Together with meeting loads of new people, you’ll often receive tips on cool things to see and do and local secrets that no guidebook will show you.
Tips for better couch surfing
While couch surfing is a fun and safe way to travel, it relies heavily on trust. Remember: you’re staying in someone’s home so if you like to party or just want privacy you might want to book into a hostel or rent a room in private accommodation. Before contacting a potential host it’s also wise to check if they’ve been verified and to read comments left by other couch surfers who’ve stayed there. Let’s face it, part of couch surfing’s appeal is a free bed for the night, yet small gestures of gratitude, such as cooking a meal or cleaning up after yourself can go a long way to ensure that your couch surfing journey across the US will be one of the most rewarding adventures you’ll ever have.
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