The best of world on a budget of €15 a day…
This journey is sponsored by InterRail and I’ll be posting a daily tip about how to save money for those of you who might be undertaking an InterRail journey for yourself.
Day One’s Tip: Surf the web to surf a couch…
It sounds obvious, but there are few countries in the world (let alone Europe) where €15 adapt would cover your food + fun AND accommodation. And so the best option (unless your Captain Popular and have friends in many places) is CouchSurfing. This is a fantastic website, hooking travellers up who need couches to sleep on, with people who have couches available. Yes, staying with complete strangers, with the only transaction being an exchange of knowledge that you’ll return the favour if they wind up in your neck of the woods. Check in out here.
After hearing top reviews from friends who’d tried it, I thought I’d give it a go and am overwhelmed by the kindness and warmth of people. I was cautious at first but ended up with Karin, who lives in an apartment in Graz with her gorgeous kitten, who even helped me write this blog….
Karin’s a fascinating human and gave real insight into how people from Graz are, what she likes about the place and what doesn’t. She cooked an amazing dinner for me and a friend of hers who came around and, when I apologized for not bringing home the bacon, she just smiled and said that it’s all about “Geben und Nehmen” or simply Give and Take to us uneducated English speakers, and that she knows I’ll return the favour when the time comes. I like that attitude.
Karin was particularly interested in my wee project with InterRail because she’s off next year on a year long journey that puts mine to shame – she’s traveling for a whole year on €30 a day, taking in all corners of the world from Vietnam to NZ to Peru. She’s got a great idea to write a book featuring 365 people – one for each day she travels – with 365 stories.
She will often be couch surfing so if you’d like to have some excellent company in exchange for a couch, please mail me and I’ll forward on your details. I’m definitely looking forward to catching up when
So, money saving tip for day one is CouchSurfing, and I bet it’s going to be the most valuable of them all.
TOP FIVE PRE-COUCH SURFING LESSONS
1. Get sorted in advance – get your photo up, get verified if you can and get your profile written BEFORE you hit the road, it takes time and you owe it to people to host you to give them some info about you!
2. Give Notice – 3 days I think is enough, more is probably better and you’ll probably find someone for less, but 3 days seems good so far!
3. Think about who you surf with – spending ten mins to find someone you either have a common ground with, or think will be interesting is definitely time well spent!
4. Remember your manners – cook, or if you can’t afford or it’s not possible, clean up, water the plants or generally bring your helpful hat.
5. Write reviews – it helps the system and other travelers and will help you get reviews in return, important for future surfing!