Couchsurfing is growing and growing. After several personal attempts, also failed ones, I have put myself together in Australia and travelled from couch to couch.
A little hint in advance: plan your trip carefully! Couchsurfing is simple, but it must be organized thoroughly. The best way is to write a few people, yes a few, several weeks in advance and ask for accommodation. Doing so, things will work out and you will not only save money but also bed bugs!
And here they are: my 4 best Couchsurfing experiences that could have not been better!
Cairns: From Germans for Germans
Actually, I ‘m not a fan of meeting Germans abroad, but I must say that it has a huge advantage (at least sometimes) to meet its own people abroad and especially to Couchsurf in their place!
My first host was a jackpot! My dear hostess picked me up from the airport; with a typical Australian Land Rover she got me to the typical house in the middle of Cairns’ Jungle. After a chilled out evening watching television, eating ice cream and drinking wine, my host took me to my trip the next morning- a luxury!
In the evening my host has then invited other German couch surfers: BBQ, Girls Night and German phrases, in the jungle of Cairns, there’s nothing else you can expect from the perfect first Couchsurfing experience!
After a little road trip the next day and a car full of Germans, I continued my journey to Airlie Beach.
Airlie Beach: Who wants to go sailing through the Whitsundays?
Airlie Beach is famous for the Whitsunday Islands, where everyone is going on a sailing trip, tans and unwinds. It is also the place where I got the luxury of sleeping on a sailing boat, for free, as a Couchsurfer. My host picked me up on the beach, with beer and pizza. We jumped into the rubber dinghy and got ourselves, my host, me, the pizza and my backpack, to the boat. If you think the boat was in a harbour, you’re absolutely mistaken! My host got us out in the ocean where the boat was on anchor.
The evening was spent with pizza and an amazing sunset. After having been woken up by the sunrise, we went back on land. What an experience!
Brisbane: staying with an Australian family → CHECK!
My host mummy picked me up in Brisbane and drove me, in her absolutely typical family car, to her family house. Greeted with coffee and toast I moved into my own room – Luxury! My host mummy has taken the fact of accommodating international students, travellers, workers and Couchsurfers very serious and now calls it ‘her job’. Every night, dinner is taken together on the cosy terrace. You cannot feel more home! A real experience and a must for all Couchsurfers !
Surfers Paradise: a real paradise…
Following my previous article, Surfers Paradise guarantees no paradise for surfers. But Couchsurfers can most certainly have the night of their lives at this Miami-like place. My host, a (potentially) 50-year-old guy, picked me up from the coach station and drove me to his massive mansion. With a fresh juice in my hand, I was shown around this 5-story-villa. Having passed the room full of Gucci and Versace as well as Manolo Blahniks, prepared to dress up nasty backpackers for a big night out, I got into my own suite. And this is not it…
Time for the big night out in Surfers Paradise. I didn’t take Gucci but Flip Flops and shorts. And drinks. Lots of drinks. After having ordered millions of drinks in bars around Surfers Paradise we went back home, where a proper strobe light show, fog and Rihanna were waiting for us. Drinks did not stop but were replaced by proper champagne.
As a thank you from the host, I did not only get the biggest hangover in my entire life but also a certificate saying, “You have officially survived my Villa”. Thus, a Polaroid photo of hungover-Anne on the wall honoured me. Phew.
All in all: Couchsurfing is great! If not, amazing! Through my trip I met a variety of people and can now proudly say that I have not only been sleeping on a sailing boat, but also had a hangover from champagne.