Aug 18, 2015 11:24 JST
There are many ways to travel. As a solo traveler, it is best to travel cheapest as possible. However, I have never really travelled on my own. In 4 days, I will travel to Koh Tao, Thailand on my own (Aug 21-31, 2015), but it is not really travel – I am going there for scuba diving lessons since Koh Tao is one of the cheapest places in the world to obtain scuba diving license and one of the easiest to pass tests. Koh Tao was recommended by a Couchsurfer whom I was supposed to meet but could not meet due to her flight delay to Tokyo from Malaysia.
I have used the terms ‘Couchsurfing’ and ‘Couchsurfer’. For those who does not know what ‘Couchsurfing’ is, here is a brief description, which I will explain further in the Couchsurfing section:
Couchsurfing is a website where travellers find places to stay at the host’s home for free while they can also use the website to meet both locals and travellers.
Note: Couchsurfing is usually for short-term stay only.
Generally, I find that Couchsurfing is most popular among young travellers (<35 yrs). Older travellers are more like tourists and they would rather stay at safer accommodations.
While I find Couchsurfing the most efficient way to travel, it is always not necessarily the best option. Finding places to stay for free at someone’s home can be both dangerous and unpleasant if the traveller is not being careful. The place to stay is often difficult to find as they are often booked from much earlier time. Therefore, it is important to plan wisely. If necessarily, I have to find hostels to stay and even random places I can sleep without fear of being raped or robbed.
Although I prefer travelling alone, I also wish there is someone I can talk to and travel together. I need someone to take ideal photo of me right? This is where Couchsurfing coming in. I can ask people to join me and enjoy time together. Hostel works too as long as other travellers are happy with the plan.
When not travelling solo, the risk of being involved in less ideal situations is minimized but plan ahead is still very important.