such nights are very unusual for Lithuanians, but for some they are unforgettable

What would you say if someone offered you … a home exchange? You leave your cozy apartment in Kėdainiai to your family from the seaside, and you go to live in their house yourself.

What if you decided to go abroad and at what time would you live with completely strangers?

Strange, unusual, a lot of questions? It turns out that although such a holiday practice is not very common, such travel enthusiasts can still be found in Lithuania.

Hunt for a couch

Traveler Renata Kilinskaitė has been on holiday differently than most for a long time. She does it sparingly and turns the hotel room into an interesting acquaintance and enjoys surfing program. The Lithuanian equivalent may be “sofa hunting”. And still wanting such a way of vacation is not very common in Lithuania, then also the Lithuanian equivalent couchsurfing not yet.

Surfing is a website where you can receive guests from all over the world after registration or ask for accommodation with strangers while traveling. This way you can share your travel experiences with them and learn more about the country and its culture. Unlike home exchanges, this is not an exchange of residence, more a sharing of one’s own.

The host does not receive any financial reward for admitting the traveler home, but wants it to be redeemed by a very interesting communication and new experience.R. Kilinskaitė

Make a stay for one or more nights, but there are also some other cases when people go to another country or city to look for a job, volunteer, study – then try to find a place to live for a longer period of time through couchsurfing. Really, all this refers to writing to the very host.

Couchsurfing’o the point is to accept travelers for free. That’s what he wants from residential rental platforms like Airbnb, which have already become popular.

So the host doesn’t get any financial reward for letting the traveler into the house, but it’s better off with a very fun communication and new experience.

As this is not an exchange, you can request accommodation for a person by registering with any person on this website, and not only with those you have ever accepted yourself, ”Renata explains the basic principles of such a trip.

The traveler says that is more than a page to find accommodation. It’s like a community where you can find someone to talk to over a cup of coffee, come to a new place, listen to travel tips, find fellow travelers with similar goals.

Discovered during his studies

Renata herself discovered such a travel character much earlier – in her studies. She says that the community of “couch hunters” was still very small, and now, for more than a decade, it has grown significantly. True, it was initially accepted by travelers rather than by asking people itself. Renata at the time was dear to the heart of nature in a tent.

“Cakes couchsurfing learned probably during the first year of studies, and she actively accepted travelers herself, starting as soon as possible, ie released from the student dormitory and began renting housing with friends. That was around 2009. At a time couchsurfer the community was quite small (now more and more young people are traveling that way), but those who wanted to want to come to us at least once a week.

At the time, I myself mostly traveled with friends around nature with a tent, so overnight stays with people were needed infrequently. I started looking for more accommodation through a couchsurfing platform a few years ago when I started starting to travel alone. On a long trip, you often want to just chat with someone, share your impressions, more about the country.

Since I have been needing good feedback from people who have accepted me and accepted me for a while now, it is really not difficult to find accommodation when I travel – just write to one or two people living in the area and they agree to accept me.

Of course, with very popular tourist destinations, it is much more complicated because the people living here receive ten such requests every day. Then a lot depends on the created profile – if an interesting person appears and others want to communicate with you, it will be a good car. So it is better not to be lazy and to describe in more detail what you are interested in and what you like to do, ”Renata urges.

There is no place for pickiness

As the platform offers free services, only apartments with breakfast included are not required. However, this does not mean that future hosts will not take care of a good atmosphere and a warm sleeping place for the weary traveler. After all, as Renata says, it’s a community, and its members care about each other. On the other hand, the platform opens its doors and is extremely unusual for overnight stays – those that a regular holidaymaker would not find even with a light.

“You can accept people in any living area, and as it is, you describe it in the information on your profile.

No necessary guests need separate rooms. For a long time I accepted travelers living in one small room, for one or two people on a mattress against certainty. Truly in this way, travelers are not picky – it is important for them to get a roof over their heads and gain new experiences.

They have had to live and present themselves in an unusual way: in a cave apartment, on a houseboat moored in the port, created by a community of German squatters (people occupying abandoned buildings) on the site of an abandoned factory in an Indian tent town.

Sometimes people even accept travelers when they are not at home. They just write their place and where they find the keys – in Scandinavia apartments and houses are often not even locked. So it happens that they don’t even meet the host, “says the traveler.

The eyes of fear are great

Probably reading to find Renatos wants just not to be taken by surprise. What? Unlocked houses? People you don’t let into the admission? After all, it will be devastated, carried away, and it will not be …

Such fears and hesitations are probably normal. However, when one becomes a member of a community, such fears remain outside the door – as in any way prejudice.

Here is the zinc of such vacations and travels: to expand one’s own tolerance, the limits of fear, mistrust.

“The main fuse is feedback from other people that cannot be deleted and changed. With lots of good reviews and none of the bad ones, you’re a reliable traveler when you let something into your home or even leave your keys. When you stay with someone again, you try a lot to read other people’s reviews so that you know what to expect, especially when traveling alone, ”says the traveler.

Both young and with children

Indeed, this mode of travel is probably the easiest for young people. They are an abundance of money to boast often can not, and fear less, courage and curiosity more. Less frustration and more trust in the world and people allows them to freely enjoy the pleasures of couchsurfing. But it turns out, it’s not just young people who travel that way.

“It simply came to our notice then. I have also adopted an elderly couple, who have repeatedly announced themselves to much older people. I have also accepted a woman traveling in a camper with a 4-year-old child around the world … So, there are no age limits for this lifestyle.

Maybe in Lithuania couchsurfing not very popular, especially little it was more than 10 years ago when I started doing it myself. The older generation is particularly suspicious – so far I am not saying that I am doing this, because it would be difficult to get why someone can accept to take up residence for free. But any more young people are discovering this way of traveling.

I would say couchsurfing – one of the real things that happened in my life. By traveling and accepting people in this way, learning to trust others, learning a lot of new things, gaining invaluable experience. I have interacted and found people from different cultures – it helps to get rid of all kinds of stereotypes, to look at cultural skirts differently and to understand that they are such they are great.

I also met many people, with whom we want to communicate, we meet from time to time when I come to their country or to Lithuania. This way you get endless ideas for news trips or inspiration to change certain things in your life, because usually couchsurfing’o The people in the community travel a lot and have a wide variety of interesting experiences, ”says Renata.

Home exchange

Another similar, but at the same time different travel experience – home exchange. It is a type of holiday where two homeowners enter into a contract under which they change residence for some time. Want a holiday in central Paris to get free rental? Want, just find out what will come to you from Paris to Kėdainiai for a week, and move on!

And again, there is probably a desire to sway your head – well, what is the admission of strange people into the house here?

Remax real estate broker Giedrius Balčiūnas, who was very interested in home exchange, weighed that this type of vacation is not very popular in Lithuania due to the very many fears in society.

“Lithuanians are just used to protecting their property a lot, because it is no secret that everything is a popular source of livelihood for a certain group of society.

It is likely that people may not be so afraid of being robbed during a home exchange, but that information about their property will later leak to third parties or the like. The fear that guests will ruin something or use their very personal belongings, or otherwise bewildered where very private, is also there. Really, here if we are talking about permanently inhabited housing, not a summer house or a garden house.

Not so many Lithuanians have summer houses, but those who have to rest elsewhere may allow to rent a house and do not consider exchanging houses, and others may not think that their summer house is suitable for transfer to strangers (not beautiful enough, tidy enough). ). in the pan.)

Also, people often have too many items in the house and the house is simply free to receive guests. After all, when something comes to guests with accommodation, you will have to do we vacate some room, hide excess items. Handing over all the houses would simply be like a big job, some would like to get engaged.

Lithuanians lack a culture of trust, and a lack of trust because of the same surplus things that people are attached to. For Lithuanians, especially the older generation, things are often more important than communication with people, ”says G. Balčiūnas.

With a contract – calmer

Home exchanges, like the “couch hunt” discussed earlier, have many platforms on the Internet. There, people who promote this type of travel gather, and the platform sets certain rules for users.

“For the exchange of houses / apartments to be safe, it is probably necessary to have a very detailed and endless fuse master contract, a very clear rule of what is possible and what is strictly unacceptable. Also, in order for people to be happy to use such a service, a customer data and feedback database should be created.

Lithuanians are still slow to write reviews, especially neutral ones, but I think that would be a serious reason for people to trust such a service. A real estate professional can easily help to create a platform, on the other hand – those platforms are not one, you just need to choose which ones to use.

The users of such a service can be absolutely all people who own real estate. Consumer mentality and internal culture are determinants of fitness service, not place of residence. A person living in a big city may want to go to the village instead of another city, while a person living in the village might like to live in an apartment in the city center.

Every person has a choice of where he will want to vacation or rest. I think choosing an exchange can make it clear what the probability is and what is desired.

If I wanted to leave the luxury housing for a weekend in a slum without amenities in the middle of the forest, why not ?! “Says the resident of Kėdainiai.

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