Each week in ‘I Want to Break Free’ on the Great Destinations Radio Show we’ll feature ways to holiday for nothing – or as cheaply as possible.

Ariel De Ramos and Liz Howes have written a guide to the concept of couchsurfing. They travelled around Europe by bus for 30 days and spent just £50 (US$73, NZ$109) on places to stay.

I must admit I was initially discouraged by the idea of sleeping on someone’s sofa. I’m 46 and my days of snoozing on a mate’s settee are long gone! But the couple told me that they’d stayed in proper beds and one host even did their washing for them! You don’t have to stay with your contacts, either.

Couchsurfing also helps travellers find friends in unfamiliar cities who will show you around. Ariel and Liz discovered ‘secret’ parts of cities that visitors wouldn’t normally find thanks to the couchsurfing community. You can buy their book Coaches to Couches on Amazon.

Listen to Ariel and Liz share their tips on how to be a successful couchsurfer.

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