I can not repeat enough how easy and fun CouchSurfing really is.
Paying for sleep is something I think is absurd and staying with locals allows you to see any place in the world through the eyes of a pro.
It's free and above all, you get a friend included.

If you are travelling with a smartphone, you can simply download the app and arrange your bed on the road. Moreover, they mostly came to pick me up at my point of arrival, which has spared me a lot of trouble trying to navigate in streets I've never seen before.

Also, your host can explain you which tourist attractions are worth the visit and show you cheap places to eat and get your groceries.

To get around, I use local transport or hitch hike (BlablaCar).

Travelling is cheap if you don’t pay for overpriced tourist attractions, crappy beds and expensive transport. If you handle it clever, you can end up only paying for the food you necessarily need to get into your body and some cheap alternative ways to go from point A to B.

Before getting to my destinations, I also use CouchSurfing as a forum to shoot any question I have on any topic. In this way, you get up to date answers of experienced travellers who are willing to share their thoughts about your plans.

Please have a look at "Kind of Boring" in order to get more detailed info about the places I've visited so far.