Couch surfing isn’t just for the extreme! (from all that is interesting)
The Couch Surfing experience offers a number of awesome benefits to both travelers and locals alike. I realized during a a road trip across the United States that there exists no consistently cheap lodging options except for camping (which can also cost an arm and a leg sometimes!). But Couch Surfing is a far cheaper (Free!) and more personal choice than a hotel or even a hostel. On the other side of things, hosts who give up their couches can swap stories and cultural experiences with a foreign traveler, which is a bit like traveling without leaving the home.
One hesitation I had, and know many others will also is the simple question, “is it safe?” If used correctly, I believe Couch Surfing even safer than staying in a ‘nice’ Hotel or Hostel, as well as far more interesting. The CS Community is a tight knit one, bound by sharing information about their hosts and travelers, consistently writing reviews, and ‘vouching’ for other members. Put simply, a traveler who is involved in the community is more likely to get hosted, and a well connected host is more likely to be asked for a couch. Although it may take a while to become involved in the community, after a few experiences and new friends, the CS world is welcoming and respectful.
That night I created a Couch Surfing account, and have learned a great deal about the community from my first host and the web site itself. Couch Surfing has created a tight-knit network of interesting and friendly people willing to give up their couches and entertain a traveller. The group envisions a “world where everyone can explore and create meaningful connections with the people and places we encounter” and for me, that is what traveling is all about.
Thank you CouchSurfing.