The Art of Couch Surfing

The Art Of Sleeping On Couches – The Unglorified Side Of Travel

Couches, Spare rooms, and Sofa Beds

You might think that sleeping on your sister’s couch takes no skills or talent? It doesn’t take talent. The talent comes from getting up each morning bright, fresh and most importantly happy from your life choices. The choice of sleeping on a couch maybe a beggers choice but the ways you play it isn’t! After reading this Article you will like a professional Sofa Surfer.

This article is for the guys (and girls) that have lost there rise from fame (the fame being “traveling”) and now coming back to their home country with their tails between their legs. O.K shit didn’t go to plan! Don’t worry there are many travelers in your shoes (including myself). If you are worried about losing your independence give this a read. It will help you feel better. Unlike like the as before mentioned article this one is directly talking about where you can sleep and how to get on best intruding on peoples lives.

If beggars can be choosers

Sometimes, you get a choice on where to stay (even if it’s just for a short time). If you are lucky enough to get a choice of where to stay then this is a quick guide that will help you decide which couch bed or floor is best. But the choice is still up to you.

If you keep reading I will be giving you advice on how to get more options (if you currently have little options).

This list is in order for your new priorities.

  • Location ( This isn’t key if you have a car)
  • Length of stay (If someone is to offer you a couple of months, it’s better than a couple of days)
  • The place you will be less in the way (staying in a single mates house is better than a couple with small kids)
  • Comfy bed (This is really the last to worry about as a comfy bed can be made)


This is number one on the list due to the fact coach surfing should be a short-term, If the person you’re looking at sleeping at lives 50 miles away from anything. It’s not likely you will find a Job and another place to stay (for longer-term solution )

Best locations for has-been travelers

  • Near a city or a town (For work)
  • Near Bus or Train routes (Airports if possible)
  • Near a Pub (good for meeting people, working and getting drunk)

Length of stay

This one is hard to judge, Friends and family might be like “stay here as long as you want” which actually means different things. Some expect as long as you want is like 2-3 weeks tops, where you might need somewhere for 2-3months. The best thing to do to actually work out what length of stay is being upfront.

Say thing like this ” Thank you for the offer, I’m looking for somewhere for (x amount of time), would this be ok?” instead of saying “That’s great I need it until I get (a job, a house…etc)

Setting yourself some time with people is a better option due to you both knowing where you are going. Sticking to the time is key to being a good guest.

Want some estimates for the length of stays?

  • Visiting Friends (A day or two)
  • While you look for a job (A week or two)
  • While you look for somewhere to rent ( a month – 3 months depending on if you need payslips)
  •  So you can sort out your finances out (6 months)

The room your not in the way

If you are able to stay somewhere with a private room, its gold! A private room is normally a spare bedroom or guest room. You won’t understand the benefits of these rooms unless you have stayed in the lounge or a room used by others!

Let me help you picture it!

Imagine you sleeping downstairs in the lounge (next to the kitchen) and your hosts want a cup of tea in the kitchen they have to go through your bedroom. It’s awkward for all that is involved. long-term stay isn’t fair for your hosts and isn’t fun for you. Say you plan to be up before them and go to bed after, your sleep patterns have to be shorter than your hosts and this will get hard for you quickly.

Getting changed, having things about and generally living in a shared room is a pain in the arse and shouldn’t be planned for long-term stays

I would take the old unused cold conservatory over a warm lounge any day.

Comfy bed

The reason this is last on the list is the fact, you can make a comfy bed and if you have been staying in hostels, You already know this.

A couple of extra pillows can make all the difference.

To be fair I would rather 6 months sleeping on a sofa oversleeping on a bed in a lounge.

A couple of items to make that sleep a little better;

  • As aforementioned pillows
  • A blow-up bed on a pull out sofa works well
  • extra sheets for warmth
  • Storage boxes to store items and keeps your room tidy
  • A bottle to go wee in (Thinking about it now, probably not the best idea)
blow up bed

My blow up bed. Even has a built-in pump

Tips for being a good guest when couch surfing

The key to being a long-term guest is not to change the hosts’ habits. If they don’t know you are there or even or find that you help, they won’t care about your presence.

For example. If your hosts have a habit of walk around the house naked, don’t make them feel uncomfortable, join them. Unless they are family… that’s just weird.

My key tips of being a good guest

  • Stay out the way as much as possible
  • Help out whenever you can (money, cleaning, fixing stuff..etc)
  • Be grateful. Remember that they are helping you out.
  • Make your stay as short as possible and Stick to your deadlines

What to do if you have no family or friends to stay with

You might find you have exhausted your stay with friends and family and feel you are running out of options. But this isn’t the case. Here are some great places to get you back on your feet or back traveling. You might of even just some of these when you last traveled.

Thanks for reading

Hopefully, you found this Blog helpful! If you did and want to read more great blogs, have a look around the website, It would help me out as I am trying to break a Guinness World record for the fastest person to travel to all sovereign countries. If you want to read how my journey is going to give this article a read.

Don’t forget to Smash it.

Leave a Reply