HOTELS, HOSTELS, OR COUCHSURFING?

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With there being so many options in travel accommodations nowadays it can be near impossible to decide where to stay. Recently I have been picking between three different types of accommodations: hotels, hostels, or Couchsurfing. So in order to help you narrow down how you want to travel I have compiled a list of some of the pros and cons of each.

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Hotels
The traditional residence for a traveler, hotels come in all shapes and sizes. If you want your journey to be a bit more comfortable and do not have socializing as one of your top priorities then a hotel is the ultimate choice. Hotels are generally for travelers with less of a budget restriction and who prefer more of a traditional accommodation.

Benefits:
– Comfort!
– Privacy.
– Safer in general.
– Guaranteed cleaning service.

 

Cons:
– Less likely to meet other travelers.
– More expensive than the alternatives.
– You will have a less authentic experience of your destinations, as hotels are often similar all over the world.

 

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Hostels
Hostels are the less expensive alternative to a hotel. Traditionally, most travelers staying in hostels stay in “dorm rooms” where the number of beds per room can range anywhere from 4 to 10 to even 20. Private rooms can be booked for those who prefer to guarantee a full night’s sleep. Like hotels, there can be impressive hostels as well as disgusting locations. Just do your research to be sure where you are staying fits your standards.

Benefits:
– Cheaper than hotels.
– Hostels often have bars with cheap local drinks.
– You don’t have to leave your bed to make new friends!
– Often located in trendy areas of cities.

Cons:
– Showers are often dirty. Don’t forget your shower flip flops. Just don’t.
– Towels often cost extra, so bring your own microfiber towel.
– Other travelers come in at all hours of the night. If you are not a deep sleeper it would be in your favor to bring earplugs and a sleeping mask.

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Above: Just a couple of my views from my Couchsurfing accommodations. Oslo and Horw. 

Couchsurfing
Many travelers I have come across do not completely understand Couchsurfing, so here is a quick breakdown:
– You create a profile with pictures and information about yourself.
– This allows you to request to stay with locals in their cities.
– It is safer than it sounds, since friends as well as previous hosts and surfers can leave reviews on each profile explaining their experience.
– Couchsurfing is completely free, though it is expected that the surfer at least buy the host a drink, leave a small gift from their country, cook a meal for the host, or some sort of gesture that symbolizes their gratitude.

My experiences through Couchsurfing have been absolutely incredible. I have made lifelong friends with my hosts and even with my host’s friends. Couchsurfing has given me the opportunity to learn the local spots around the world that aren’t crowded by tourists, which in turn allows me to pass this on to you guys. No matter my income, I plan to use this website to meet locals around the world and to fully immerse myself in different cultures.

Pros:
– New awesome friends!
– No actual cost.
– Experience your destination how the locals live.
– Learn about cool places off tourist’s radars!

Cons:
– You don’t always know exactly what you’re getting.
– Accommodations generally aren’t as comfortable (sometimes you may share a bed with another traveler or do actually sleep on a couch or the floor).
– If you don’t evaluate each profile closely you could end up staying with someone you don’t get along with well.
– Location of accommodation may not be ideal.

 

 

Which accommodation do you prefer on your travels?

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