Our last 6 years we spend on hundreds of trips and we spend almost every night somewhere else. Where and how do we sleep? We share our tips with you (and the post is written while couchsurfing in Madagascar;)
Depending on the country we are visiting, the amount of money we have with us and the weather – we always choose one of those 5 options: sleeping in the tent, in the car, by the couchsurfing portal, in a rented flat (by portal HomeToGo.com, which compares a lof of different options) or in the hotel.
What is cool about each of those options? What is annoying?
Sleeping in the tent
- we are close to the nature! It’s beautiful! We wake up with the view, we decided for the evening before!
- it’s cheap (usually totally for free), we can stay in 4 (or even in a bigger group) without spending a cent
- we can reach places, where there are no roads, no hotels, nothing (like an uninhabited island;)
- thanks to the mosquitera built in the tent – we are protected from mosquitoes and others
- people look on us in a different way (I had doubts about writing this point but it’s a fact), thanks to which we are closer to them
- wild animals or drunk people could visit us without much effort, even if we wouldn’t like that
- we need a proper ground for putting up the tent: quite equal, not too wet, not too dry, not too windy, without plants with spike
- we need to carry the tent, even if it’s the lightest (plus the mats, sleeping bags, pods, cooker….)
- we are dependent on the weather (few storms during the trip is nothing but when it rains – like last year in Scotland – for 2 weeks non stop…)
- we can’t leave all we have just in the tent unattended: which means we have to carry around with us always, everywhere at least all the technics, documents, money…
- not everyone likes to sleep in the tent: to pee outside at night, to have no bath tube, not be able to be comfy
Sleeping in the car
- we are still close to the nature and it’s beautiful (the amount of places, we can choose is still big, just slightly more limited than with the tent)
- it’s still cheep (or mostly for free)
- we are still protected from mosquitoes and others (if we know the tricks)
- we do not care about wet ground or plants with spikes (which would destroy our tent)
- we do feel… safe! (with one click we can close or open the car from inside, we can start and drive away any moment) people still look at us in very friendly way
- even when it’s rainy or windy – it’s ok*
- we have all “house” with us: no need to pack and unpack every day, to carry the heavy stuff
- it can become not comfy: how many months you can sleep without a running water, heating, electricity…?
- if we want to cook: we also need to have the cooker, the petrol, the pods
- maybe we gonna meet non-drivable roads (for 4WD cars, or we want to stay on the island)
- we need a special car, which is able to be a sleeping option (more about it here)
- we need an equal ground, otherwise we gonna roll on each other at night
- sleeping in the car is perfect for a couple or a couple with a small baby (for us it was ok, until the time, when the girls, altogether had a length of an adult person and couldn’t sleep one under another anymore)
* probably here, even more comfy option would be a camper or mobile home, but we do not take it into consideration, since we don’t want to be so obviously touristy visible
Sleeping by couchsurfing
- we are very close (because simply together) to the people, we have a real lovely inside of the habits and mess in the kitchen (once there was more about it here)*
- it’s for free
- we are very safe (as you maybe know, we do trust people, especially if they have dozens of positive reviews by the other guests), and our stuff is safe: we can leave everything at home and go for a walk!
- very often a night like this might end up with… friendship!
- you pay with different money: with your smile, talk, involvement: and this sometimes – especially after long travelling or long day with tired kids – can be no easy
- there is no privacy: we sleep with just-met people in one room or a youngest kid in the family wakes us up with a kiss
- there is no guarantee that in this town (or country) there is anybody using the portal, that there is somebody who might answer, answer on time, if he is at home or maybe change his plans in the last moment
- couchsurfing is not for everybody: not too many of our friends like to use somebodies else bed or toilet
* another kind of version of couchsurfing is simply being invited to somebodies house! But this you cannot plan or predict! And this version gives us always the most!
Sleeping in the apartment or holidays house
(we always use HomeToGo.com portal, which compares offers from many other portals and seriously helps you to find the cheapest apartment or a holiday house, check it out!)
- we decide about everything: the exact place of the house, the floor, the view – each of the offers has pictures and description
- we have total privacy and freedom: we can run around naked, eat breakfast any time we wish, and spend evenings on the blog, reading book or whatever else, without feeling guilty that we don’t talk with the host
- we are still between the people: for example in Istanbul we met the neighbours, we walk on little local streets, we use the closest bakery
- we spend much less money than on the hotel
- doesn’t matter if we stay in 2, 4 or 8 – the price is the same
- we can also use the kitchen: cook what we want, and save the money by this
- there is thousands of options to choose from
- nothing forces us to contact the outside world (this can be a positive, for us it’s sometimes a disadvantage)
Sleeping in the hotel
- we choose, we pay and we expect: if the water drops – we call the reception, if we want additional pillow – we get it, etc etc. The deal is clear: money and service
- there is a big chance we gonna meet only other tourists (some cleaners and waiters are even not allowed to talk with the guests)*
- we spend the most of the money (especially travelling as a family of 4, let’s say for 4 months)
- sometimes we spend even more: because the hotel doesn’t have option “without breakfast” or “without food” at all (in Madagascar it was standard)
- in many hotels of this world you don’t feel any soul of the place: you wake up and have no idea if you are in Warsaw, Guatemala or on the Pacific
* here there is still additional option: hostel. But in the hostels we meet not only other travellers, but those travellers are usually young and boring and will ask same questions: how many countries have you visited…?
We use all of those 5 options! And you? Which of your nights on the road do you like the most?
Our first book is out!
We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »
Good to know I’m not the only one who finds talking with hosts a bit troublesome, but that it happens even to the best travellers! ;) & just a tip: land can’t be equal :) flat/level
My przeważnie korzystamy z hosteli i guesthous-ów. I uwielbiamy rozmawiać z turystami z całego świata :) Opcja spania w aucie, która mimo wszystko wydaje nam się być całkiem komfortowa, cały czas jest jeszcze przed nami. Pozdrawiamy!
What an amazing post you have shared. Thanks for sharing the post. I would be following your post whenever i go on my next trip.
Very clear, nice and informative writing. So much of information for travellers. Thanks.