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Couchsurfing : An idea everyone should try!

couch surfing

When I first came to know about couch surfing,  I was like “its a too good idea to be true”. The concept  was introduced to me as something which would let you stay anywhere in the world for free! Without doubt, I knew it was one of the too good to be true offers.

But as I started knowing more about it, understanding what really couch surfing is, I was blown away. Because like I said it was too good to be true, and In fact it is TRUE!!

Don’t get the idea that it is a way of finding a cheaper stay while you are travelling.

Couch surfing is about

being kind and trusting people blindly;

it’s about love and universal brotherhood;

it’s about exchanging of cultures and making new friends;

it’s about meeting interesting people and creating  connections;

it’s about being a better person and making this world a better place to live in.

It seems I cannot stop telling you about this truly amazing concept. So I will be constantly writing and doing Couch surfing trips.

What is Couch Surfing?

Couchsurfing is a service that connects members to a global community of travellers. Use Couchsurfing to find a place to stay or share your home and hometown with travellers.

Basically Couchsurfing is a social networking website. The members of the site are known as couch surfers or CSers. Couch surfers are travellers who is either searching for a couch or offering a couch. So there are two types of people, a host and a surfer and they are connected by a  couch.

What is a Couch ?

Couch is what the host offers to the surfer. It can be the host’s spare room, sleeping bag or just the couch in the living room.

How Couch Surfing Works?
  • Register yourself at www.CouchSurfing.com
  • Plan your travel, find a host in that place
  • Request him/her for a couch
  • If he/she accepts visit the place and enjoy your stay
  • Make sure to come back home 😉

Q. Is it that simple??

A. Almost yes

Q. What do you mean by almost yes??

A.

  • first you need to build a reputation in the community and prove that you are not an axe murderer and are safe to host.
  • The host might be busy with his/her life, and might not respond within the time.
  • Might not find an active CSer in all areas

Q.  How do you build a reputation?

A. Apart from hosting and surfing, Couchsurfing websites allows people to organise CS meet-up locally. Find your local page, join some meet ups or group activities, get to know the experienced CSers and build your reputation. And it doesn’t happen overnight!!

Q. Am I obliged to host/surf?

A. You are not obliged to do anything. If you are the host, you are the boss, you make your house rules, you have the right to accept or reject a couch request. You can tell the surfer your house rules that the surfer is expected to follow during their saty. And as a surfer you are not obliged to stay in a hosts place, if you are feeling uncomfortable at any point of time. But as long as you are staying at a host’s place, you are expected to follow the rules set by the host.

Q. Isn’t it dangerous to let a stranger to stay in one’s house?

A. It can be dangerous, if there wasn’t the reference system. Couch surfing mainly works on a reference system. Getting positive reference is what is meant by building up of reputation. The reference once written can not be deleted from your profile. So if you misbehave or done something bad, it will be reflected in your profile and stays there forever as long as you are using  CS. So from other people’s opinion and by using one’s own judgment, one has to decide if the surfer/host is safe or not.

(But believe me, CSers are the best people in this world, I personally believe. Whoever I have met through CS are amazing, kind and interesting. But like in any case there can be exceptions. Choose wisely, use your common sense, trust your instincts, and you will have a great time Couch surfing )

Q. As a surfer How much am I expected to pay the host?

A. You are not expected to pay anything. Will you pay your good friend for staying at his/her home?!

Q. You must be kidding!!?

A. No, you are not expected to pay anything. That is why I said it sounds like a too good to be true marketing offers! But you are expected not to be a burden on the host. You should be remembering all the time that you are at the host’s house, not in your own home. And act accordingly while using any facilities. And you are not expected, but it’s always good to go to someone’s home with some gifts. Its a good practice to replace what you have used! Or at least keep the place better than you found it.

Q. Is that all?

A. Not really, Couch surfing is much more amazing than this. So just register, experience it, get addicted to it, spread the love, be a better person, surf at some nearby couch, host someone, attend some CS meet, travel more, live more. Because To Travel Is To Live!

www.CouchSurfing.com

Once again. Here is the link, if you feel like checking it out.

If you have any questions, ask. Anyway I will be writing more about couchsurfing . And will make you all  a Couchsurfer 😀

Do share your thoughts.

trablogger
Photographing the journeys to recreate the Travels to take you for a virtual Photo walk.
http://www.trablogger.com

73 thoughts on “Couchsurfing : An idea everyone should try!

  1. (:hmmm…so innocent and easily said… I have heard about this, I got some stories… such as one lady travelled 7 impossible places and it took all his money in the fixed deposit…they were impossible places and arranging visa for her was challenging task…she said she lived with families, single men and women in her journeys… hmmm…I know it works for you so no negative comments, I know there are good people out there helping each other out and it is good idea, but as Indian lady its hard to go like the man counterparts and I believe it is true. There is a Kerala creature who believes good people don’t exist and I am tried to explain that blogger that people are good and helpful, he differs says they become selfish eventually and very few good people exist. So…it depends on experience… right now I am not much of a traveller… and if I become one which is unlikely(you guys have the true wanderers spirit) I shall try it…but those meeting are tempting…that Chennai experience of yours just coming back… I just like a bunch of happy people unwinding without criticizing, just positive and as you say these experience makes one a better person… well anyway…you really think if we travel a lot, our country is big enough?… I think it is… I recently visited jog falls in the rain and had nice time.

    1. Even Indian ladies are also doing it, that too alone. Well I am also a Kerala creature 😉
      Well the meet up can go either way at times. Of course, our country is big and it offers a lot of variety. Each state has so much to offer, sometimes more than some other single country itself!
      Indeed, jog falls is a lovely place.

      1. yeah I am stuck between two or three worlds…the conservative and protective, the liberal and explorative and the societal one…so it is hard for me to pin point about the ladies travel safety and hosting stranger safety…maybe a few do and I do admire single independent confident women but I hate getting serious, as I am still not a parent to have a parental mindset yet… but if single women to hosting I can say that those groups which are plenty debating on the morality of having live in relations ships are outdated… yes that Kerala blogger who blogs about movies thinks there is more evil in the world than good and he won’t change the view so I thought Kerala does not have nice, cool people around… your view is humanity exists his is humanity has gone… it is a unsafe world filled with crimes and induvidualistic, materialistic people so that blogger feels… so I am netral here…on both ladies travelling and hosting and the goodness of the world stuff… I think we are lucky to have exposure to good elements for a positive viewpoint and it is our each one’s responsibility to make others feel that the world is a sweeter and nice place to live… Jog falls is ok place, it was the rains and the greenery which was nice…nothing nice on that falls like people say…

        1. People’s view on life greatly depends on their experiences. Hope you will have a great travel experience once you decide to travel alone and the other guy have better life experience to know how beautiful the world is.
          Indeed, waterfalls look great during the monsoons!

        1. oh okay. Sorry 😀
          Well I haven’t verified yet. It just gives an extra feeling of trust if you are verified. Mainly CS works based on your references (and luck 😉 )

          1. haha.. by that time you might forget about it 😉
            Maybe you can host me when I am in Dubai, and officially start your CS activities this year itself 😉

          2. Sure man. I don’t mind 🙂 if you are ready to compromise a bit on the quality of living. Our’s is a thorough bachelors place. Hope you understand what I mean.

    1. Hey, good to meet you 🙂 Indeed couch surfing is a great idea to try.
      I have just checked the CS site and found that there are a very few active couchsurfers from Kenya, from Meru, Lare etc. Why don’t you join too?

      1. Thank you so much. I have just registered and turns out there is actually a CS meeting right here in Nairobi, Kenya on Friday. I am really glad that i found your blog 🙂

        1. Wow!! that is really wonderful!! I am really happy that I have turned someone into a couch surfer through my post 😀 I am looking forward to hear from you about the CS meet on Friday 🙂

  2. Have been hosting and surfing for years, mostly before I had a family but we still host sometimes, if I think the travellers will get along with all of us. Have made wonderful friends, always met interesting people. Recommend it!

    1. Good to meet another couch surfer 🙂 So I will have a couch in Tanzania, if I ever visit 😀 And you know whom to contact when visiting India 🙂
      Thank you for reading this post 🙂

    1. I always ended up couch surfing 😀 I have met the kindest of souls and most amazing people through this wonderful concept!
      Well now as I know that you are a girl, I will tell you that there are a lot of solo girl travellers in couch surfing.

          1. A dream that will come true. 😀 I would love to go! I’ve done some research but it’s not enough yet. I’m planning to go with someone this Feb but it’s still a plan. There’s 20% certainty to it. 🙂

          2. haha.. I will try to make sure the you guys wont get lost 😉
            Well in India there are so many languages, Hindi is national language. In Nepal they speak a bit of Hindi too, even though it is not my mother tongue, I can still manage.

  3. I registered and looked at this once. With all due respect to the CS community, sometimes there may be a cultural issue here. Indians are very open to hosting and are also very trusting (generally speaking of course). Often Chinese people, OTOH, tend to be more guarded and less open to receiving strangers; Don’t trash me; I’m not being racist; MY wife Diane is Chinese so I’m just saying I would probably never get her support on this concept. But I love the idea and I know it works well for the right type of individuals.

    1. I am a little bit disappointed to hear that. Couch surfing is supposed to be fun with the right people. Hope you will get to try it soon. Singapore Couch surfing is really a happening thing, as I heard from one of my friend. I guess same is the case in Malaysia also. Maybe you can try 🙂

  4. Good one! you have a way with words, whatever you think!
    the Couchsurfing community and ideals is just the best ever. Been part of it for a bit over 5 years now and can not count the many everlasting friends I’ve met that way (even my husband!!).
    For travellers, the best way to enter directly into the culture; for hosts, the best way to travel while staying at home and revisiting their own town.
    I’m glad you’re one of us too and I wish you lots and lots of great adventures and friends!
    Cheers to a better world!
    Jul’

    1. Wow!! You met your husband through CS?!! Awesome! I know one similar story. 🙂
      I am also glad to meet another big fan of CS.And I completely agree with your views on couch surfing. The new site looks great. Maybe we should add each other there!
      And Thank you for reading the post! 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing this. I only found out about couchsurfing a couple of months ago. I’m looking forward to trying it. I’d love to host someone but having a hard time with my schedule to figure out when I’ll be home to do that. Also, who would want to come to stay in my boring little town?

    1. You will never know who is interested in which place. So you can always start couch surfing. And its not only about hosting. It is also about being a guest 😀
      And making new friends, doing some activities. So you should join.

      1. oh yeah, I joined a couple of months ago. 🙂 just trying to get a schedule where I can either take a trip myself or sign on to offer my place to someone in the area. I am kind of far from any big city (50+ miles from Houston Texas) but who knows, maybe someone with a car will come through my area. I always like to meet nice people. I have been so lucky to meet so many really fantastic people when I’ve traveled.

        1. That’s so true. Whenever I travel I end up meeting amazing people 😀 Especially if I am couch surfing. All the couch surfers I have met are awesome people. Well you are also a couch surfer. Isnt it 😀

  6. My girlfriend did a bit of couch surfing through Europe when she was around the Germany area. When she returned to New Zealand, she also hosted others at her house. I think it is a great concept but one I’m too scared to try out yet… But solo travelling is helping me open my eyes a bit more so maybe in the not distant future, I’ll be asking around and checking out the site.

    1. Good to know that.
      I became a member in 2012. But started to use it actively like a year.
      The site has improved a lot. And the mobile is really cool. And I am not very sure about the policy changes. What do you think? Did they change any policies? And i’d love to know your experience

      1. Ok that’s nice! I am glad you are enjoying your experience 🙂 well I think it’s changed because it got bigger which isn’t necessarily bad but it has his downside too. Personally I joined for the spirit when i was 18 because sure I was broke but I like this concept that was another way of doing tourism without consumption in a way and relating to people. Now they have changed the status of the organisation it’s really big, I am not sure of the details but i remember people where unhappy about the privacy policies. I personally don’t like the new website, it’s slow and harder to find your way around…But it’s still a good tool to travel and meet people for sure!

        1. Oh yes, I heard that too. They have become a private company or something of that sort. But as long as the couch surfing spirit remains the same, it doesn’t bother me 🙂 What I really like about this things is the people involved!! Money matter comes next of course. But the people are so incredible.

  7. awesome! My family enjoyed the kindness when we were touring south India and our sumo broke down in the footsteps of Ooty…a family in Coimbatore hosted us! That was a great experience. Now scoial media of this sort will only do good to such culture! Thanks for sharing!

          1. I am IN Hyderabad. I have been planing to take time out to visit all the places where I have been till now. Just go back. Meet old friends. Have dinner. Take some photos. Spend night under night sky. And may be write blog posts about conquering nostalgia!

    1. yes. it is brilliant and amazing! There are other similar concepts too. But so far this is the best that I know! You should try. At least go for a meet up.

  8. It’s a brilliant concept based on give and take. Although I discovered this only recently, I had the pleasure of hosting a couple of people. It was a wonderful experience and you get to learn so much about other cultures.

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