Travelers, nowadays, have an array of options on places to stay during travel. Aside from hotels, hostels, or motels, Couchsurfing and Airbnb are now the norms.
With the increasing demand for accommodation, travel platforms are breaking the online world. Today, you can now decide where to stay based on your budget. You can stick to your account and still have the best stay with Couchsurfing and Airbnb.
As a well-traveled individual, you now have the option to stay outside a traditional hotel. With Couchsurfing and Airbnb, you can stay in a private home where you can interact with owners.
Both platforms already established a global presence. Travelers from different parts of the world choose between Airbnb and Couchsurfing.
Airbnb and Couchsurfing offer easy ways to book accommodation. You can create an account, log-in, and search for the ideal place to stay. A host will then contact you and confirm your stay at their space.
Airbnb is different from Couchsurfing. The Airbnb platform is faster to book than Couchsurfing. It is like searching for a hotel room, where you pay the length of stay. In Couchsurfing, the process is longer. You need to contact several hosts and wait for their reply.
Couchsurfing is cheaper than Airbnb. Pay is free in Couchsurfing, unlike Airbnb. You have to go on a lengthy process of waiting for the host’s reply in Couchsurfing. You are not guaranteed space in Couchsurfing compared to Airbnb. The host can cancel in case they have more important things they need to attend to.
It is better to use an Airbnb than Couchsurfing. Airbnb is more secured, and owner’s guaranteed your stay. In Couchsurfing versus Airbnb, you should use and pick Airbnb. It provides you opportunities to interact with the hosts and give you space and safety.
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What is a couch surfer?
Couchsurfing connects to different travelers around the world. You can use this platform to search for a place to stay and interact with the local hosts.
The couch surfers have their own Couchsurfing profile, which they use to look for a place to stay. Being a couch surfer is the best way to get connected to people. You can plan your visit and meet locals as a couch surfer.
As a couch surfer, you have the opportunity to connect with people and build a community. Meeting up is normal among couch surfers. They have met up events in different cities where people meet new friends.
Couchsurfers do not pay their hosts during their stay. They bring the hosts with a gift instead of spending money. It is not a requirement as hosts do not expect anything from surfers.
Of course, you can interact with the hosts during your stay. In Couchsurfing, the host can give you advice on the city you are visiting. It is a good bonding experience between the host and the couch surfers.
Is Couchsurfing dangerous?
Couchsurfing is a fun and affordable way to travel. It is a non-conventional form of accommodation where you are not required to put in money. It is about enjoying the joy of travel and establishing a connection with other people.
You will have the advantage of seeing a new city through the eyes of its locals. By surfing through the couch or staying in with locals’ homes, you can have an opportunity to live the life they have.
You can experience the local culture by staying in a traditional house. It is also a way to know how locals prepare food, what they do during the day, and how they live. It is a unique and affordable way to travel.
However, the danger it might pose to couch surfers is still a paramount concern. As you will be staying with a total stranger, trust and honesty are crucial.
Couchsurfing puts safety paramount importance. The site has profile verification to ensure that a hosts are not dangerous. Couchsurfing is relatively safe and not dangerous to the surfers.
Yet, you are still encouraged to check references, read reviews to know more about your host. It is equally important to read the host’s bio, as well. The host’s feedback will give you an idea of how they treated couch surfers during their stay.
As it is a global online community, co-surfers help each other through feedback. Do not skip reading feedback or reviews to ensure your safety while staying at the host’s place.
If you have doubts about Couchsurfing, it is helpful to have an alternate place to stay. You should know the nearest hotels or hostels or another host if you feel uncomfortable. A backup plan is essential, as well.
How long can you stay Couchsurfing?
Unlike hotels or Airbnb, where you can book an extended stay, Couchsurfing is limited. Given that a host provides you free accommodation staying long is not an option.
Hosts in Couchsurfing include in their profile the maximum number of stay they want to host. Most couch surfers live with the host for as long as three days. Going beyond the timeframe should be negotiable with the hosts.
Couchsurfing is ideal for short stays. If you will visit a city for less than three days, Couchsurfing is a suitable option. Yet, when your trip extends beyond three days, you can find another option, like Airbnb.
Why is Couchsurfing failing?
The idea of Couchsurfing became popularized by an American named Casey Fenton. It started during his trip to Iceland, where he randomly selected 1,500 people to ask for a couch to crash on. He got 100 offers, and Couchsurfing began.
The website officially started in 2004, and surfers have skyrocketed since. It became popular in the travel world, and plenty of travelers resort to the website to find a place to stay for free.
Couchsurfing became the go-to site of backpackers. It is a non-profit organization where volunteers donate and manage the site for free. During that time, Couchsurfing is at its peak. Plenty of volunteers donated thousands of dollars to keep the site working.
Yet, in the midst of it all, its non-profit status started to become a for-profit organization. It divided the community, volunteers who passionately work for the site lost interest. It prompted the downfall of Couchsurfing. Few volunteers donated to the site again.
Volunteers stopped donating money, and Couchsurfing started to fail and lose its non-profit status. Couchsurfing reorganized as B Corporation and failed to receive the non-profit charity status. It fell because the site began experimenting on charging surfers. This is why Couchsurfingn is failing.
It never regained its popularity again. Few hosts and even surfers continue to log into the site, making Couchsurfing a failure.
Why should I use Airbnb?
While Couchsurfing is facing challenges, Airbnb is starting to take its momentum. Airbnb is another platform where people can book a place to stay during a trip.
Like Couchsurfing, you need to create an account to be able to book using Airbnb. It is a for-profit website, where there are corresponding room rates to pay.
Using Airbnb is another way to interact with a host. When you book a stay through Airbnb, a host will confirm your booking online. You are entitled to use their facilities and space for the duration of your stay.
Airbnb is a lot cheaper than hotels. Using Airbnb is more flexible than getting a regular hotel room. Airbnb has convenient locations and has household amenities lacking in hotels. Travelers prefer to use Airbnb to hotels nowadays.
Here are other reasons why travelers prefer using an Airbnb over hotels:
- Convenient locations and provides more flexibility
- Can be a substitute for a budget or mid-range hotel
- Encourages to have an extended trip due to cheaper accommodation
- Provide an opportunity for local interaction
Who uses Airbnb the most?
A lot of travelers today are looking for flexible and affordable accommodation. Airbnb gained worldwide recognition since it gives what travelers need.
People who use Airbnb the most are those were seeking affordability and convenience. The users of Airbnb are money savers, home seekers, and novelty seekers.
Here are the different users of Airbnb according to their motivation:
- Home Seekers
- Novelty seekers
Airbnb is relatively cheap compared to hotels and hostels. For those who want to save money, they will resort to Airbnb due to affordability.
Airbnb offers users the convenience of staying in a home space. You can use the owner’s amenities like cooking and laundry. In this way, you can save money on food and even other basic amenities. You also have the option to rent an entire house for a family or large group.
Airbnb is a new way to have a comfortable stay near your travel destination. A lot of Airbnb has a unique design where users appreciate. They can rent an Airbnb and still find it new every time. You can choose plans according to your preference and personality as well.
What should I watch out for Airbnb?
Airbnb provides you with a wide selection of houses and vacation getaways. Your options are endless. Thus you need to filter and know what you want.
Booking an Airbnb means knowing what kind of stay you need. It would help if you watch out for your Airbnb location, rates, and availability. You should also watch out for the number of guests and the type of home in Airbnb.
Further, considering the following is essential, as well:
- Sleeping arrangement and amenities
- House rules
- Cancelation policy
- You host profile
It would help if you put safety first in any accommodation you stay in. It is essential to verify the legality of the house before confirming a booking. For privacy concerns, you will not see the host’s exact address until you confirmed the booking. Yet, reviews and feedback are available to know whether the site is legit or not.
If you are interested in the location, you can search the area, as well. The Responsible Hosting in the U.S. allows you to see host listing in major cities like New York.
Most listings include all the amenities you can enjoy. Read about the sleeping arrangement by how many people the house accommodates. Your stay in the Airbnb must be comfortable, as well. You can check all the amenities the home offers, especially the kitchen and laundry. WiFi is available in some of the host’s house.
As you will be staying in a private space, the host usually posts house rules in their listings. It is equally important to read on this aspect to establish a good relationship with the host. After your stay, you can provide feedback on the site, as well as the host. Your visit must be a pleasant experience to the host, too.
Hosts have the right to determine their cancellation policy. The three-Airbnb standardized procedures include Flexible, Moderate, and Strict. It would help if you took note of these conditions before confirming your booking. In this way, you will know how much or what percentage of the total rate is refundable.
To get a better Airbnb experience, know your host’s profile. Choose among the ranks of Superhosts, where they have the highest reviews in Airbnb.
Airbnb and Couchsurfing are innovators in the travel industry. The existence of these platforms gives travelers flexibility when traveling. They can offer a unique experience. According to your personality, it is your preference which one to choose.