The 5 Best Couchsurfing Alternatives in 2024

Couchsurfing Alternatives

Best Couchsurfing Alternatives – Couchsurfing allowed me to have unexpected experiences while traveling. Unfortunately, the site has changed a lot, I give you 5 alternatives.

The page you are on right now has been praising Couchsurfing since 2013 (date of publication). But faced with the current situation (Couchsurfing is becoming paid, Covid-19 is rearing its ugly head at the start of 2020, etc.), I had to completely rewrite the article to give you my opinion on it.

And after hearing a steady stream of negative couchsurfing experiences (especially in the comments here), I thought it would be interesting to explore some alternatives.

Please note: I am not saying that Couchsurfing is dead. I’ve had some great experiences thanks to this site,. But today there are alternatives which, in my opinion, are more interesting.

What is couchsurfing?

The basic idea is simple; All you have to do is register on the Couchsurfing.com website and fill out your profile to have the opportunity to “squat” on a sofa on the other side of the world (the English word “couch” simply means “sofa”).

The main idea, which contributed to the success of this mode of travel, is the cultural exchange and hospitality between several people from different backgrounds.

What’s wrong with Couchsurfing?

Like many guys getting into Couchsurfing, it’s hard to get past that first step of having a good profile – getting rated so hosts know you’re not a freak.

Unless you pay for Couchsurfing to validate your profile, you will most often come across as a potential psychopath in the eyes of potential hosts. Women who host guests in their homes prefer women, and too few male guests will accept another man into their home. And when it does, there are sometimes character incompatibility issues.

This does not mean that nomadic women, families or couples have an easier time finding their happiness; Couchsurfing can be dangerous (or weird) for women and children, but it’s not my area of ​​expertise.

When I talked about it in a Facebook group for male travelers, I discovered that it’s even harder to find hosts and get the much-needed positive reviews when you’re not white .

They explained to me that people weren’t racist , just more likely to open their doors to a white person, especially if the traveler was male. At least that’s their hypothesis. I can’t speak personally about these situations, but they seem plausible to me.

You can blame cultural familiarity or media bias, it doesn’t matter. Non-white male travelers face all the same problems.

Best Couchsurfing Alternatives in 2024

I’ll be honest, I’ve scoured the net for hours looking for completely free solutions. But all the sites I came across were either dull or dated, to the point where I wondered if anyone was still using them. I don’t want to suggest sites to you that I wouldn’t use myself.

This is why on this page these are not replacement solutions, but alternatives that I have already used.

Don’t hesitate to give me your opinion in the comments.

AIRBNB

I know ! Airbnb is not a real alternative to couchsurfing  ! All rentals are chargeable! Let me tell you why this platform is on my list.

When I was traveling in Asia, all the other sites and platforms failed me at one point or another. I found myself in trouble sometimes and could always turn to Airbnb. So far I have always had luck and no problems.

AIRBNB

This is an excellent plan B , I advise you to install the app on your phone. You’ll even get free Airbnb credit if you sign up using this link today.

AirBnB tip: To pay less, I recommend using 

my technique to negotiate on AirBnB and get 20% to 40% off!

BEWELCOME – BEST FOR BACKPACKERS

BeWelcome is a non-profit alternative to Couchsurfing, a great plan if you’re just starting out, but the system is just as unpredictable as Couchsurfing in that anyone can sign up and profiles aren’t matched through a algorithm.

  • Just as “safe” as Couchsurfing
  • Alternative to Couchsurfing with the most users
  • Nonprofit (meaning little customer service when needed)

Reviews found online indicate that they remove users for no good reason, offer little to no customer service, and encourage their users to be self-reliant. Clearly, they are not well organized. So you are all alone and risk having wonderful surprises like

“Hey. I’m 56 and a nudist – sorry I didn’t mention that in my profile.”

Other complaints include the lack of hosts and fewer users, unlike Couchsurfing.

TRUSTROOTS – BEST FOR HITCHHIKERS

Trustroots was launched in 2014 and presents itself as a site aimed at hitchhikers (in fact take a look at the hitchhiker’s guide here ).

Trustroots is aimed primarily at modern-day hitchhikers and vagabonds . The service is probably not ideal for digital nomads who want to be able to work on their own project.
Their website is, however, very slick and the maps showing users’ locations are very useful, making it a great alternative to Couchsurfing.

  • Dynamic map to see where users and hosts are located
  • Everything is open source, a real non-profit organization
  • Not really ideal for digital nomads looking for reliable working conditions
  • Trust is essential

Trustroots reviews are few and far between on the web, which is why I placed the site third on this list of the best Couchsurfing alternatives. I would really like to have your feedback, it’s the only service that I haven’t tried yet (for the moment).

MOVINGWORLDS – BEST FOR VOLUNTEER WORKERS

Moving Worlds is a platform for professionals to use their skills abroad in exchange for accommodation or other benefits (some projects even offer compensation).

  • Change the world with your professional skills, do more than volunteer
  • All the resources you need for safe, high-impact travel
  • All organizations are verified by MovingWorlds
  • Accommodation included, just ask

MovingWorlds reviews are impeccable, making it one of the best Couchsurfing alternatives in 2024  ; you can even watch video interviews with “experts,” or visit hosts’ websites to get a better idea of ​​them.

TRUSTEDHOUSESITTERS, HELPX, WORKAWAY – EXCHANGE YOUR TIME FOR ACCOMMODATION

By volunteering your time you can now stay all over the world, whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or a few months.

With the Helpx site , for example, I had a magnificent experience on a farm in Japan for 2 weeks. I took care of the animals, some household chores in the company of 3 other travelers. It was very cool ! The Workaway
site offers exactly the same thing. As for the WWOOF site , it allows you to participate in the various tasks on an organic farm (garden, vegetable garden, orchard, flowers, livestock).

Finally, the TrustedHousesitters site allows you to take care of pets (and/or homes) in exchange for accommodation. You can stay all over the world, whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a few months.

Conclusion, nothing is really free

In life, nothing is really free – Courchsurfing is not only starting to become paid , but the site is not suitable or no longer suitable for most people who are therefore looking for a solid alternative. It is much easier to organize trips reliably with other solutions.

Even Airbnb is a good alternative to couchsurfing, if you’re willing to pay for some privacy. And if you’re really looking for solutions to travel for free .

No matter what service you’re looking for to replace Couchsurfing, there’s something for everyone.

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