You’ve probably heard of Couch Surfing, maybe even thought about joining, or even signed up and never used it.
GET ON IT! Couch Surfing is a great resource for people either currently traveling or thinking about travel.
Reasons to Get on CS
Let’s say you are traveling through Europe for about a month and are planning to stay in hostels for an average of 17-20 euro a night.
Let’s do some math: 30 nights x 17 euro = 510 Euro
510 Euro just for a place to rest your head. That cost doesn’t include seeing museums, taking tours, and *cough going out until 6 am cough*.
Couch Surfing is FREE and would allow you to spend the extra 510 Euro on creating a better trip. Maybe it’s buying dinner or drinks for your hosts, visiting more museums, or experiencing more events. Whatever you chose: Couch Surfing put money in your pocket.
Explore the World
Surfing allows you to experience locations around the world from a local perspective, not as an tourists. You will get into situations you never would imagine, see sites that aren’t in the books, and eat at delicious, cheap restaurants. You will have access to local parties, hospitality you didn’t think existed, and experiences you can’t plan.
By hosting you will learn about unique places not on your travel list, hear stories from around the globe, and satisfy a piece of that travel urge. You will probably even explore new places in your city because you want to give your surfer the best experience possible.
Meet Cool People
Travelers are interesting people with interesting stories who want to create more interesting stories.
Whether you are traveling or stationary, Couch Surfing is great at increasing your access to fascinating people. They have stories from Nepal or South America or SE Asia. They will inspire you to travel and see the world. And then after exchanging stories you will go out and create stories together. Sometimes you will really connect and other times you won’t but in both cases you will be exposed to unique individuals.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SLEEP ON A RANDOM PERSON’S COUCH TO FULLY APPRECIATE COUCH SURFING.
Even if you decide to stay at a hostel or hotel, plenty of Couch Surfers are willing to show you around their city, grab a coffee, or take you out for the night. The Activities section is great to see what kind of events are happening in your city.
Is it Safe?
Yes. There are over 4 million couch surfers so granted there will be some weird people on the site. I’ve been hit on by some guys and that can be a little weird. But for the most part everyone has been awesome. A quick look at the site and you can tell that it is laid out with safety in mind. There is always the possibility of something bad happening so just be careful and don’t be stupid!
How to get Started
Spend time on your profile. Check out my profile and others for examples of what works. Just be honest, be interesting, and don’t say anything creepy.
Find Friends. Linking your Facebook and Couch Surfing profiles makes this easier. Once you find a friend leave a reference for them, talking about how you know them, how trust-worthy they are, or what sort of craziness someone will experience if they surf with them. Then hopefully that person will leave you a reference in return. These “References” help others know that you aren’t a creeper and they can trust you.
Attend an Activity. There are tons happening in your city so find one that looks interesting and check it out. Make friends and have fun. Meeting fellow CS-ers in real life is a great way to get some references, also.
I went to an event inVienna not knowing what to expect and ended up having an awesome night with dozens of great people.
Host. If you are up to it, host someone. Just make your couch or bed available for surfing. It might be weird at first but hosting is a great way to meet people from around the world . It will be a unique experiences and you will truly understand the power of the site. And then you will have a place to stay when you visit your surfer!
Surf. Planning a trip? Look into Surfing options, especially if you don’t know anyone in that city. CS-ing will immediately drop you into an environment so you don’t waste time getting adjusted.
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I tell everyone to sing up for Couch Surfing and start right away.
I wish I hosted more people.
I wish I met more hosts in Austin by going to events.
I wish I surfed more at the beginning of my trip.
I will definitely surf more the longer I travel.
So sign up, fill out your profile, add me as friend, and let the adventure begin!