Couchsurfing is one of the most popular ways to explore the world and meet new people inexpensively. If you’ve never tried Couchsurfing or other great couchsurfing apps, you’re truly missing out on a great experience. Let’s take a look at the best couchsurfing apps if you’re looking to keep costs down as a traveler or digital nomad.
Table of Contents
What Is Couchsurfing?
Couchsurfing is a system where people open up their homes to guests from around the world. Guests generally can stay for free, explore a new city, and meet local people. Since it’s review-based, it’s a relatively safe and effective way for people to step outside their comfort zones.
Do People Still Use Couchsurfing?
People definitely still use couchsurfing to connect with like-minded people. When you fill out your couchsurfing profile, you can list your interests and connect with others who share them. It’s also great for language exchanges and community building.
Many people find that couchsurfing offers them the ability to build lifelong friendships with people all throughout the world.
Best Couchsurfing Apps For Travelers And Digital Nomads
In addition to Couchsurfing, there are plenty of other alternatives that offer you the same or similar experience. So if you want to diversify your couchsurfing experience, or simply tap into a whole new network of people, give one of these options a try.
HomeStays is one of the best couchsurfing apps for 2022 that lets you live in a local home for a fraction of the price you would spend on a hotel or Airbnb.
Whereas couchsurfing is generally free, HomeStays is part of Booking.com, and it requires guests to pay a small fee at the host’s discretion. The upside is that instead of a couch, you’ll get a whole room to yourself so that you can have some privacy, but you still get the community of a shared living space. It’s really the best of both worlds.
Hosts and guests generally interact quite a bit, although all arrangements are different. You can also talk to your host in advance to set perimeters for how much interaction you would like and what you both mutually want out of the visit.
HouseCarers gives guests the option of house sitting in a new city. In exchange for accommodation, guests take care of plants, pets, and the general welfare of the house while owners are away. Since it’s review-based, hosts feel comfortable leaving their homes and precious pets in the capable hands of their guests.
House owners can register for free and list their requirements right on their profiles. In addition, there’s generally a comprehensive FAQ section affiliated with each home, so guests know what they are getting into ahead of time. The HouseCarers system makes communication easy and also eliminates any misconceptions right off the bat.
It’s a true win-win situation that allows guests to explore their new town or city on their own terms while living in a local place. It also gives hosts the peace of mind that their homes and pets are taken care of in their absence.
Servas is one of the oldest alternatives to Couchsurfing. At its heart, it is a cultural exchange program that allows hosts to open their homes to guests for work or study. Guests have to go through a rigorous process, and Servas recommends that you put in your application at least a month before hopping on the airplane. This application includes references, an interview with your Servas representative, and a small membership fee.
Once accepted, the guest will receive an official letter that certifies them as a qualified guest for Servas hosts. This letter also details the countries they will be going to, and it’s good for one year. Then, the guest talks to their hosts to confirm their travel dates, and they’re on their way.
Unlike other couchsurfing alternatives, Servas guests can only stay for three days total, but the experience is immersive and well worth it. Accommodations are complimentary, and meals are up to the discretion of the guest and host.
As with HouseCarers, TrustedHousesitters is an app that allows guests to stay for free in exchange for caring for a home, pets, and plants. Host and guests can check each other’s reviews to see which situation is a good fit for them. Hosts can also put together lists of requirements and details about caring for their homes.
There’s also space for hosts and guests to talk about their interests, travel, and list what languages they speak. This detail allows hosts to get a fuller understanding of who their potential guests are and makes them more comfortable opening up their homes. With a robust verification process and open communication, TrustedHousesitters is a mutually beneficial platform that’s an excellent option for homeowners and travelers alike.
BeWelcome prides itself on being a wholly transparent and easy-to-use platform, and it’s one of the best couchsurfing apps for 2022 because of this aspect. You can search for potential hosts within minutes, and there’s an excellent interactive map to show guests exactly where they will be staying.
Since guests and hosts are both verified, and there are plenty of reviews, it’s a very safe alternative for both parties. Also, as with many of the best couchsurfing app alternatives, there’s a space for guests and hosts to list their interests and languages on the BeWelcome platform. Again, this increases the chances of a great match.
Tips for a Great Couchsurfing Experience
Whether you opt for Couchsurfing or one of these great alternatives, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to make sure that your stay is as smooth as possible.
- Make sure that your host is verified
- Research the neighborhood
- Fill out your profile thoroughly
- Bring a lock for your luggage
- Have a backup plan just in case
- Always read through the reviews
- Leave the address with a trusted friend back home
You should be in for a fantastic experience if you follow these tips.
Conclusion – The Best Couchsurfing Apps
Couchsurfing apps specifically aim to help people from all over the world connect through mutual interests or language exchange. People of all ages are rapidly learning how much Couchsurfing and similar apps can enhance their travel experience in meaningful ways.