As with everything else, couch surfing has its pros and cons. Although it may be environmentally friendlier than other modes of travel, there are some conditions to consider. What exactly is couchsurfing?
Couchsurfing implies minimalist travel. Basically, you travel in a minimalist eco-friendly way and stay in properties you booked for rent - alongside their owners.
Hence, you get to experience the place as well as the locals. This is a bit like Airbnb, except that you don’t have the rental space all for yourself while staying there. It strongly emphasizes the social side of travel. With an improvised arrangement like this, you may have to sleep on the couch, hence couch surfing.
Staying in a massive holiday resort or 5-star hotel may not be ideal for the environment. This is where couchsurfing comes in. Of course, you will have to eschew air travel to make Couchsurfing eco-friendly. This may all sound good. But where is the catch? Here are some conditions of couchsurfing you should consider.
Be Careful When Choosing Your Host
Since you will be staying with your host, it is advisable to check out all reviews to make sure that you have selected one that you can get along with. You will have to be discerning and astute while reading reviews.
Some people are extremely polite and are thus reticent to directly criticize the host even if it's justified. You should look out for signs of potential problems and be honest when they may arise.
Verify Property Ownership
How can you say that the host really owns the property they are offering for rent? By using platforms like Nuwber, you can confirm both ownership as well as the address. This will reduce the chances of booking a hotel due to ownership disputes.
Interact With The Host Before Couchsurfing
Before embarking on your couchsurfing stay, interact with the host. If you feel uneasy for any reason or something just doesn’t feel right, you should not hesitate to back out. Trust your gut instinct and play it safe. Keep your eyes open for red flags and signs of potential trouble.
Try your best to arrive at the couchsurfing destination during the day. This is safer than finding yourself lost at nighttime when you might be more vulnerable, especially in an unknown location.
You should also inform your friends and family about where you will be going. You can show friends and family your interaction with the host for good measure. They might be able to point out something important that you missed.
Couchsurfing can be great for the environment if you avoid air travel. It will also greatly benefit the local community; however, it should not come at the expense of your safety. Be mindful of potential pitfalls before you embark on your couchsurfing trip.