CouchSurfing? WarmShowers? Airbnb? 2017-05-13T13:01:26+00:00

What is CouchSurfing?

Couchsurfing logo

We owe so much for this hospitality network, which during the last years became stunningly popular. In particular, we met through Couchsurfing. The idea of this net is that the members could host and stay for free at each other’s house or apartment, either in a private room, sofa in the living room or just on the floor. Those who have no possibility to host, can simply participate in the countless events organized by active members of various groups, or meet from time to time the travelers for advice exchange, practicing a foreign language, showing around etc. I can proudly declare that we are pretty experienced CouchSurfers. In Estonia, more than 60 surfers stayed at our place, whereas around 40 hosts accepted to accommodate us all over Europe!

Advantages:

As a surfer:

Personal Exchange.

You could never find more precious information about any place you visit than from the person who lives there. And if not about the place, but about anything at all! Our last host was an ex-jockey, who simply opened our eyes to an alternative world we had been ignoring before! With our hosts and surfers we cooked, we talked, we read, we played, we walked – and it taught us a lot. This way your journey becomes even warmer and more memorable.

It’s supposed to be free.

Do you know how much a night in the shittiest Norwegian hostel can cost? Better not to know. Thanks to CouchSurfing, you can avoid unnecessary and sometimes ridiculous expenses.

As a host:

You know that what you do is good.

Might sound stupid, but when you welcome a tired traveler, you feed them and help with advice – it makes you feel as a character from the Bible. :D A bit exaggerated, but you got the point. You help someone, and it feels good.

Entertainment free delivery.

New people and new experience directly to your home. In our long hosting experience, every second surfer could cook something very tasty, told us various stories, and one couple actually partially inspired to independentpeople.net creation. What you have to do is just to open your door.

You can ALWAYS expect a return-hosting.

Yes, yes. Don’t forget that you surf also, and one of your surfers can live, let’s say, in the center of Vienna! (Cheers, Daniel :) And even if your surfer is overwhelmed with hundreds requests per day, you can’t get a refuse.

Disadvantages:

As a surfer:

Don’t forget that freaks still exist.

We heard a lot of creepy stories, thanks god we had almost no bad experience. Nobody should forget risks one might take.

Different standards of hygiene.

Be ready that some hosts don’t think it’s necessary to change the sheets after every surfer. Just one of the most harmless examples.

You are not the boss.

Of course, it’s a personal perception, but when we are at someone’s place, we can’t feel 100% relaxed even if the host is a wonderful sweetheart. You don’t know the rules and the habits of the house, it’s normal, but still you’re supposed to follow them.

It’s not as free as you think.

As a polite person, you won’t come with empty hands at your host’s. As a polite person you’ll not refuse to “have a drink” in a pub. Finally, you will participate in cooking and paying for the ingredients. Of course, better to spend money on everything mentioned above rather than just on a bed in a hostel, but you shouldn’t believe the myth that CouchSurfing is something absolutely free.

As a host:

Don’t forget that freaks still exist.

I think it’s clear. Bad surfers are rare, but they happen.

Different standards of hygiene.

Like surfers who wash up the way you have to rewash all the kitchen afterwards. Or even worse. Very dirty toilets. Who will wash the sticky disgusting bathroom? Correct, the host.

People forget that you are not a hotel.

“Hello, what is your wi-fi password? Thanks.” Sometimes, this is the detailed discussion with the surfer from the beginning to the end. I think I prefer even ultra-dirty toilet rather than such attitude.

It’s not as free as you think.

Once again, CouchSurfing is not free. Honestly, the difference between the bills is noticeable when we host and when we don’t. Dear surfers, don’t forget about this.

If to choose, we love much more to host than to surf! What about you?
We are on CouchSurfing!

What is WarmShowers?

warmshowers logo

This network is way less known than CouchSurfing. Let’s say that the idea is the same, but WarmShowers is « reserved » for cyclists only, and it makes a difference.

Advantages:

Cyclist. Full stop.

You don’t have to explain that you have a lot of bags, you’re dirty and sweaty and you are hardly full of energy to make a night tour of bars, but on the contrary, you DO need a warm shower… ;)

.

Less formalities.

WarmShowers is less formalized than CouchSurfing with much simpler design, which is very useful with no regular internet connection while travelling. A very cool searching system according to the geographical position. And what is even better – the host leave their telephone number, so you can contact your host directly in case of unpredicted stop.

.

Disadvantages:

None detected.

We are on WarmShowers!

What is AirBnB?

airnbnb logo

The same, but you have to pay :D Here one can rent a room (or an entire flat sometimes) from the local. In the majority of cases, the owner lives in a room next to you and is always glad to help you with advice.

Advantages:

You are the boss.

It’s astonishing how the payment changes completely the personal approach. Once paid, you can do whatever you want with no limits.

.

Cheaper than hotel, better than hostel, more comfortable than CS.

That’s actually the whole sense of AirBnB.

Disadvantages:

Be careful: hostels disguising in locals!

Currently Airbnb is strongly criticized for the reason that many professionals (hotels and hostels) post their offers there that makes the whole concept gone and creates an unfair concurrence to real hotels. In some touristic places, it becomes even hard to find a local.

GET YOUR FREE CREDIT!

By clicking on this picture you’ll get a referral link which will award you with 28€ of free credit. Of course, we’ll get the same for bringing you, so everything is fair. :)

airbnb credit

Personal exchange – gone.

As a French writer Céline said in one of his book, while there are several sous between people, there won’t be too much love in this world. Unfortunately, Airbnb hosts often think that they are paid to provide us with a room, full stop, and then they should just be seen as less as possible and leave us alone. If we want to discuss something, they answer politely and that’s it. I assume, that they can be not at all interested in our company, but we can’t help thinking that the hosts don’t want to “derange” their guests.

Voila. Short resume of the three most used welcoming networks. If you use any others – please, share them with us, we’re very curious about every existing alternative. :)

Pin it!