CouchSurfing and other options to sleep for free while travelling

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That time of the year is approaching when many of us begin pondering about the travelling adventures for the coming months. Destinations that we have always had in mind, whims that not yet accomplished for lack of time… or budget. However, at this point, everything is possible, since it is about making a travelling inventory, getting lost surfing the Internet or researching through social media.

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Traveller dreams that will gradually become a real option if it fits with ours. It is expected that travel will continue to be an upward activity in the coming times, but that does not hide the fact that, for many regular travelers, it is increasingly costly to maintain the pace of trips or great trips from previous years. That is why, at unuk, we want to take advantage now that the great trips are not yet fully defined — except if you are one of those detailed planner travellers —  to remind you that there are ways to reduce a travelling costs, for instance, regarding bedtime.

Raise your hand if you know of someone who has slept for free in this or that other place while travelling! Or maybe even you have experienced it in the first person. Sleep on the cheap or directly without paying a penny. Here we’ll explain to you how to do it. Counting sheep though is up to you…

CouchSurfing

There are probably few travelers who at this point have not heard of what might be considered the pioneer in sleeping for free in other countries. From a sofa to a mattress on the floor or a room in the homes of people who also happen to enjoy travelling the world and want to meet people.

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This platform, however, is not unique in its kind. Similar and even theme-specific meeting platforms like that have been sprouting in recent years. For example, for bicycle travellers. This is the case of Warmshowers, which puts fans of two wheels in contact.

Home exchange

Sounds like a movie, but it’s real. There is the possibility to exchange your house with another traveller and get free accommodation in that city that you want to discover calmly. Of course, do not expect that in the host neighborhood there will be a neighbor to fall in love with or that opportunity of life that will make you leave everything and move irremediably … or yes, but those things almost always only happen in Hollywood.

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Housesitting

Or what would be to take care of another person’s house in exchange for being able to live in it. Normally it is usually associated with taking care of pets that cannot travel with their owners, gardens that require care in the absence of the owners … In return, the house will be yours during the time in which you agree to ‘occupy it’ and take care of it. Mobility, of course, is somewhat reduced at the level of travel routes.

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Casual farmer

As we told you in the previous post published, experiencing the farming life can be a way to sleep for free. That does not mean having to work for months collecting fruit, but to remain a few days helping out with more concrete tasks in exchange for a mattress and a corner of privacy.

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Buddhist temples

There are many temples, especially in Southeast Asia, where if you arrive from 19-20h in the afternoon they offer you a place to sleep. It happens mostly in Buddhist temples. However, do not expect the comfort of a hotel, but it will allow a few hours of sleep before continuing with the adventure.

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Travel at night

Night transport is a much more ‘nomadic’ alternative to sleep for free or at least to save a few hotel nights. There are buses that include a kind of bunker beds — in Vietnam, for example — that allow you to rest relatively well between destinations.

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It is usually a good option to save money and time on trips where we plan to travel very long distances. Of course, it is not the best solution if you suffer from light sleep.

Other options for free sleeping are airports or train or bus stations. In those cases, you always have to know whether or not they close at night and, unuk advice, if they have benches that allow you to stretch for minimal comfort. And of course camping in the middle of nature — here are some tips about it.

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As always, we are open to hear from your experiences and recommendations.

Happy travels!

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