You don’t have a penny in your pocket, and want to find a cool and original way to stay in Ireland? Have you thought about couchsurfing? It is an online hosting service created in 2004, revolutionising the classic hosting modes. It is based on a simple and user-friendly concept: the possibility to sleep for free between individuals… on their sofa! Pretty fun, isn’t it? Here’s a little more info on this great plan often appreciated by students!
The term CouchSurfing means “moving from couch to couch”, or “surfing from couch to couch”. The idea is simple: are you looking for a place to sleep in Ireland (or elsewhere), and are on a limited budget?
No problem: if you’re not too concerned about comfort, and you’re not afraid to travel in an adventurous way, couchsurfing is still an option!
To do so, go to couchsurfing.org. Then select the country concerned by your search for accommodation, and discover the list of individuals kindly offering their couch (more than 2 960 000 members to date!)! Each member has his own profile, with his photos and his interests. He can be evaluated by other members who have benefited from his hospitality! An effective way to ensure the seriousness of the person who will welcome you.
Each member of the site can easily chat, and ask for hospitality from other members. The conditions of the stay, are determined by mutual agreement between the two parties… It is up to you to establish your needs and to make sure that it “fits” with your host, his living environment and rules.
Do you agree? Perfect! Then all you have to do is go ahead… and ring the doorbell! An unusual and original evening awaits you!
So, yes, a lot of people might feel a little embarrassed at first. The process of barging into a stranger’s home and making yourself at home can seem a little unsettling. But don’t worry: couchsurfing has become a real philosophy for people who practice it. In general, people are nice, have easy contact, and are looking forward to a moment of exchange and conviviality.
No fuss, no fuss: we receive each other in simplicity. It’s a win-win situation, and everyone comes out a winner, as long as each person puts in his or her own effort.
The main thing is based on exchange: the hosts welcome their guests of the day with a smile… as long as the discussion is rich and friendly!
If you like the concept, CouchSurfing has many advantages:
However, there are a few basic rules that must be followed:
couchsurfing hospitality must always be based on free accommodation.
the guest can bring a small present for his host (a mark of politeness is always welcome!)
the host is in charge of providing the table (even if only on the first evening), within the limits of his means.
the duration of a stay can range from a few days to more than a week (depending on the agreement between the two individuals)
In Ireland, the offer is quite rich: there are many households offering their sofa for free. Often young people for other young people. Nevertheless, there are no age restrictions.
In short: as you will have understood, couchsurfing completely breaks the codes of traditional accommodation. A unique opportunity to travel at a low cost, make memorable encounters, and have a great time. A cool and authentic way to plunge into the heart of Irish daily life, and live on the fringes of traditional Irish hotels, guesthouses and bed and breakfasts!