Couchsurfing in London

Couchsurfing in London

What is Couchsurfing?

Couchsurfing is a global community of travellers that helps you find a place to crash while you explore London. Hosts register their availability online and can list any form of accommodation from couch to bedroom. The service enables you to safely exchange details like mobile numbers prior to arriving and is perfect for solo travelers to London. Couchsurfing can be a fantastic way to save money when travelling in London, it can also be a scary idea for a lot of people particularly if they have never done it before. Our guide will explain the pros and cons of this service.

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How to begin Couchsurfing in London?

To begin Couchsurfing in London you are required to sign up to the service at Couchsurfing.com. Details required include your home base, your lifestyle, your mission and what’s important to you.  We recommend being honest on the signup and filling in all the sections with as much information as you can. We recommend signing up early, some hosts will not accept you as a new account and with no reviews.

Once signed up you can begin to search the listings for suitable places to stay in London. Once you find a few suitable hosts you can send a couchrequest for the dates you will be in town. Make sure you personalise your message.

The service itself is free, yes “free accommodation in London” however we recommended that you pay the once off $20 verification fee which provides a few extra features and security. We also suggest you only stay with verified hosts.

Depending on the host your accommodation options may range from a pull-out couch (hence the name Couchsurfing) through to your own private bedroom. You will find some generous hosts that will prepare meals for you while also hosting a number of different people at the same time. This is a great way to make friends and cheaper than staying at a hostel or hotel.

Couchsurfing isn’t just accommodation you can also meet locals in London to show you around, arrange have a beer with fellow travellers or help you save money on sharing transportation costs around the city.

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Help your Couchsurfing Host

When staying with your London Couchsurfing host we recommend that you help out with chores during your stay. The whole service is built on trust and reviews and helping to cook or clean is a small price to pay for free accommodation in an expensive city like London. If you leave their place looking like a tip then bad reviews will quickly stop any other good hosts from accepting you.

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Where to Couchsurf in London?

As you could imagine, a major city like London has a very active level of hosts and visitors prepared to couch surf. As of August 2018, London had 160,000 hosts listed on the service. One thing you will notice is that a lot of the hosts live in the outer areas of London where real estate prices and rent are a lot more favorable. We found quite a few hosts with options in Greenwich, Millwall and even down towards Battersea and south of London. More information on London Couchsurfing

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How to Stay Safe when Couchsurfing in London?

For services like Couchsurfing, Uber and even Airbnb safety is the biggest concern. You are relying on the reviews of fellow travellers as well as the honestly from hosts. To ensure that you remain as safe as possible during your couchsurfing experience we recommend the following tips.

  • Always verify your account, this includes a once off fee but helps you find better quality hosts.
  • Where possible only stay with verified hosts.
  • Read profiles of hosts you are considering and reviews from other guests.
  • Use the message service to communicate with your host
  • Read forums and ask the community for help
  • Ignore anyone with bad reviews (or no reviews) and treat them as potential red flags.
  • We also recommend that solo female travellers to London choose female hosts as an extra level of security.
  • Meet your host in a public place like a café or pub.
  • Report any hosts who promote services or try and charge for a room
  • Tell your friends and family where you are staying
  • Basically if anything looks dodgy then walk away.
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Are you ready to Couchsurf London?

Couchsurfing is a fantastic way to save money while traveling in London while also meeting some great locals or fellow travellers. The service is not just for backpackers with people of all ages couchsurfing on a daily basis. If you are keen to experience London through the eyes of a local without having to spend a fortune of hotels then visit couchsurfing.com to register.

London Guide Online