How to Travel Through 20+ Countries with Free Room and Board

This is an awesome extract from one of my favourite authors (Tim Ferriss) on how to travel on next to no money. It talks about couchsurfing, which most of us already know about but what is unique about this article is that it is written by one of the creators of couchsurfing. It covers in depth the most effective ways of writing a couch request, so as to make sure that you have the highest success rate no matter where in the world you want to travel!

"I met Alexandra Liss on a rainy day last September, outside of one of myfavorite Thai restaurants in San Francisco.
Alex had just returned from six months abroad, traveling through 21 countries for free while shooting her full-length documentary, One Couch at a Time.She was wrapping up the film and had requested an interview with me.
Our topic of discussion? The Sharing Economy.
Startups that are part of this “sharing economy” — like TaskRabbit, AirBNB, Uber, and Sidecar — have given us unprecedented access to incredible experiences and resources, allowing many people to completely upgrade their lifestyles. By capitalizing on underused resources and new technology, people can live many strata above their income. In Alex’s case, she was able to raise $8,000 through kickstarter to crowdfund her travel and the making of her film. She also lived rent-free during those six months, staying with more than 80 different strangers she’d met through
In this post, Alex shares exactly how she’s managed to become a couchsurfing guru, and the steps you can take to travel the world on next to no budget…

                                                                      Flickr Warzauwynn

(BOC Side note in case you still can't find anyone to couchsurf with after 
reading this article, you can still get beds for US$5 a night at this paradise
 pictured above in Vietnam known as Nha Trang beach)

Enter Alex

I love the look people get on their face the first time they hear about Couchsurfing.
I might mention how I’ll be hosting a revolutionary leader from Egypt, or that I’ll be crashing in the heart of the Amazon on a stranger’s couch. They inevitably tilt their heads like confused puppies.
Of course, once they’ve experienced Couchsurfing and understand how it works, their whole attitude changes. 

I cannot stress enough how important it is to accurately represent yourself. There’s no use in trying to be someone you’re not, or being bashful about your spiritual beliefs or diet preferences. If something is really important to you, then tell people! Show the community who you really are! The more information you can provide other members with, the better odds of everyone having positive exchanges.
Here’s what you’ll need to do in order to create a great profile:
  1. Register. After signing up, you’ll be asked if you’d like to verify your profile with a contribution. You can skip this part for now (we’ll cover it in “Step 2: Verify Your Profile”) and begin creating your profile right away. Just click your name in the top left corner, then click ‘Profile.
  2. Post 5-10 pictures of yourself. We are visual animals, so don’t be afraid to upload a bunch of fun photos of yourself (ideally from any global excursions you’ve been on). Make sure the photos are interesting or remarkable, which gives fellow surfers material to start a conversation with you.
  3. Fill out your profile. There are a lot of fields to complete, but don’t worry! You don’t have to complete everything all at once. Fill out as much as you can, then polish up the rest when you’re up to it. [Since I host a lot of surfers, I included a note in my profile to spell the word “couch” correctly when messaging me. You’d be surprised how many people request to stay on your “coach.”] (By the way, are you enjoying this article? why not join me on facebook and be informed of all the latest unique ways to travel on the cheap? 
Kho Pi Pi Beach, Thailand                                                            Flickr Tartarin2009

If you’re already feeling overwhelmed with the task at hand, relax! Spend some time looking at other members’ profiles, take notes on what you like and dislike, then emulate your favorites when you’re ready to get started. 

For more, check out Tim Ferriss's book - The Four Hour Work Week.
Also, I wanted to mention  that occasionally I send out a unique newsletter with my secret and unique money saving tips, great deals on flights, and special locations unknown to the average tourist (at bargain prices). You really can travel on a super small budget to exotic locations if you have all the information the travel companies don't want you to know about!
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