Traveling and lodging have become safer and more practical than ever for economizing travelers thanks to two new apps. Both BlaBlaCar and Couchsurfing bring people together from all over the world, saving travelers a lot of money along the way.
A ridesharing app called BlaBlaCar helps travelers in the United Kingdom to carpool various distances. This venue provides cheaper transportation for individual travelers as all passengers split the cost of gas. Drivers simply post planned travel itineraries and passengers can request to ride with a driver of their choice after viewing driver profiles. The driver can then reject or accept the passenger. Once the trip is over, drivers and passengers rate one another on the app, “allowing the members to build up a trusted community reputation” (blablacar.com). Avid BlaBlaCar user Ryan Lindsey says, “It just made more sense than any other mode of transport because it’s more friendly, cheaper, and who knows what kind of stories and friendships could lead from it!”
In addition to transportation, sleeping accomodations can cost a pretty penny as well. The Couchsurfing app helps people travel at a lower cost by providing a forum for couch owners and travelers to communicate with one another. According to the company’s website (couchsurfing.com), “Couchsurfing is a service that connects members to a global community of travelers.” Through this app, people offer up their couches free of cost in order to meet new friends, show people around their city, and share their homes. Communication safety measures are provided through Couchrequest, the website’s system for requesting a host’s couch, and the messaging forums within the website. Further safety can be reached by viewing member profiles and then giving feedback about your experiences post-stay. University student Hayden Barton, who used the Couchsurfing app during a six-week visit to Europe, says, “Couch surfing sounds like a sketchy thing and, to be quite honest, can be sketchy if you don’t do it the right way. The key to couch surfing is to use the online couch surfing community, couchsurfing.com. If you are willing to put in the time, couch surfing can be a safe, cheap, and unique way to travel, and I for one would do it again.”
So before your next travel adventure, be sure to download these apps to not only make your trip cheaper but, as Couchsurfing advertises, to connect you with friends you haven’t met yet.
I wonder if the United States have any apps like these for people to use?