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  1. I love AirBnB, but unlike you, I’ve only ever used it to rent whole apartments (usually when travelling with my partner), never just a room. I’ve always had good experiences, and a couple of times, I’ve not actually met the host in person, though everything still worked out fine. So for me, AirBnB is less like couchsurfing than you describe, and more like apartment rental.

    1. Linda Martin says:

      That’s interesting, I’ve seen quite a few full apartments listed but we’ve never used them. I suppose we’re usually looking for the cheaper options, and that’s usually a sharing situation.

  2. Doug Seattle says:

    Hi Guys
    I love to get more into the culture and people and see what they do and what they think about and is important to them. I have been traveling over 40 years (41) and have actually been in historic events which are sort of like cultural earthquakes and would not have the perspective about them if I had been in a hotel, I did the dorms in hostels and ski lodges for the first 10 years and then moved to guest houses with hotels for the first night or last night to recover or prepare for the 18 hour plane rides. Sight seeing is fine but they can consume lots of time and money. I usually do a couple mostly historical sights I have read about and then just wander, watch and enjoy the freedom. I have learned it is more relaxing to be yourself and do what you interests you rather than what everyone says you should. While at home I host couch surfers and international visitors, they can give you great inside info for your next trip.
    Happy Trails
    Boy that got wordy

    1. Linda Martin says:

      Sounds like you’ve got a great travel style. Guesthouses for the first and last nights are a great idea, I definitely think that if you’re staying with someone it’s a good idea not to be super-tired.

  3. I just had my first real travel experience (I’ve been pretty sheltered yes- but hope to remedy this) and actually did a mix of hostels (3 different ones), hotel, and AirBNB. Hostels are definitely an experience and worth trying if you’ve never done it — but can vary widely. I stayed in one hostel in London that I hated because there were 16 of us in the room, both sexes, beds very close together and people loudly coming and going all night. But stayed in one in Bruges (less expensive, too) that was quaint and adorable and I shared with only one other person. I could have stayed for weeks. Definitely do your research and read reviews on hostels to fit the experience you want. Hostels are a great way to meet people, but you definitely aren’t guaranteed good sleep.

    My AirBNB experience (also in London) was fantastic, and like another commenter said, it was more like an apartment rental. The homeowner was there at the same time, but she wasn’t around much and was very friendly and accomodating to my needs. I had a key to her house and was basically her roommate for 3 days; able to use all her facilities and she welcomed me to use basics like coffee, cereal, milk etc. On my next trip I will definitely use AirBNB or a similar website to book my accomodations. I paid $40/night in a city where hotel rooms go for at least $200/night and up.

    It was nice to have a hotel on the night before my plane departed, right by the airport, but I’d have been fine in an AirBNB room as well.

    1. Linda Martin says:

      I completely agree about hostels — they can vary wildly. I think if I was travelling alone I’d be more keen to keep using them, and I’d probably choose female dorms, but since we’re travelling as a couple we can often get a double room for not too much more than the price of two dorm beds. I tend to get a much better sleep and don’t have to worry about tidying up after myself so much!

      We had the same experience with AirBnb, it was just like being our host’s flatmates. It was nice, but quite different to couchsurfing.

  4. I always find sleeping in a tent fun and adventurous, but it’s not as comfy as a bed in a private room. But of course it depends on the place and the reason why you’re staying there. I think I just want to say that I love tents lol. Staying in hotels and hostels have always been my and my friends’ option whenever we travel. I haven’t shared a room with some strangers, and I don’t know if I’d be comfortable doing that. That’s the best thing about traveling with friends, you get to share everything with them.

    1. Linda Martin says:

      Tents are awesome, I agree — I just don’t want to carry one! When we travel around New Zealand, though, we almost always stay in tents. The Department of Conservation manages hundreds of fantastic, cheap campsites and there are (more expensive) holiday parks to camp in as well.

  5. As long as there are no scary bugs/snakes, I’m pretty much happy anywhere. A bed is always a luxury! Great post 🙂

  6. If you travel by car (or just rent one,) it might be a great idea to rent a caravan. The mobility is aweonme and you’re totally independent. The only drawback is that zipping around cities could be a real pain in the neck.

  7. Didn’t think about the campervans, thanks for the hint. 😉

  8. I love trying different types of accommodation. I am a couchsurfer, I love camping and staying in hostels but recently I’ve used AirBnB to rent a room and once to rent a whole apartment. It’s great to have such a wide range of choices when you travel.

  9. Hotel, hostel, or couchsurfing: how to decide where to stay | Travel | Indie Travel Podcast, me ha parecido muy genail, me hubiera gustado que fuese más largo pero ya saeis si lo bueno es breve es dos veces bueno. Enhorabuena por vuestra web. Besotes.

  10. Cool article Linda. I recently tried couchsurfing and my experiences are more than good, I would recommend it to anyone.