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.

Photographing the journeys to recreate the Travels to take you for a virtual Photo walk.

73 Comments

  1. […] am looking for a host in Mumbai. It is something like Couch surfing and blogging combined. Call it BlogSurfing. Anyone is free on September 10th […]

    Reply
  2. Maria
    July 16, 2015

    (: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.

    Reply
    1. trablogger
      July 16, 2015

      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.

      Reply
      1. Maria
        July 17, 2015

        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…

        Reply
        1. trablogger
          July 19, 2015

          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!

          Reply
  3. ANooP
    February 10, 2015

    Did you pay up for CS?

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 10, 2015

      You didn’t read the post!!! 😛

      Reply
      1. ANooP
        February 12, 2015

        I did man. There is an option in the CS site to pay up and get verified. I was talking about that.

        Reply
        1. trablog
          February 12, 2015

          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 😉 )

          Reply
          1. ANooP
            February 12, 2015

            Hmm.. Will get into CS with all my vigor in 2016. I can smell 2016 as a great year.

          2. trablog
            February 13, 2015

            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 😉

          3. ANooP
            February 13, 2015

            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.

          4. trablog
            February 13, 2015

            haha.. I get what you meant. But by now you must be knowing that I am ready to compromise a lot more on quality 😉

          5. ANooP
            February 13, 2015

            Lol 🙂

          6. trablog
            February 13, 2015

            I will let you know if I end up vazhiyaadhaaram 😛

          7. ANooP
            February 13, 2015

            Sure man. No probs 🙂

          8. trablog
            February 13, 2015

            Thank you in advance 😀

          9. ANooP
            February 13, 2015

            (y)

  4. dianagitau
    January 21, 2015

    I am in Kenyan, love the idea of coach surfing but not sure its being done in Africa so far. I wish it was though because it definitely does sound awesome.

    Reply
    1. trablog
      January 21, 2015

      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?

      Reply
      1. dianagitau
        January 21, 2015

        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 🙂

        Reply
        1. trablog
          January 21, 2015

          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 🙂

          Reply
        2. trablog
          January 21, 2015

          btw I couldn’t find your blog!

          Reply
  5. […] with emphasis that I was couch surfing at Thiruvannamalai. So I will do it now. Yes, I was couch surfing at […]

    Reply
  6. sandydunne
    January 8, 2015

    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!

    Reply
    1. trablog
      January 8, 2015

      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 🙂

      Reply
  7. Finding My Inner Zen
    January 8, 2015

    Did you ever end up couch surfing?? This is fascinating!

    I’m not sure I would be brave enough to do this, but the concept is amazing.

    Reply
    1. trablog
      January 8, 2015

      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.

      Reply
  8. thegirlacrossthebridge
    January 6, 2015

    This is such a lovely concept!

    Reply
    1. trablog
      January 6, 2015

      Indeed it is. Are you going to join Couch surfing? 🙂

      Reply
      1. thegirlacrossthebridge
        January 8, 2015

        I would love to try it one day but circumstances have me tied to my post right now. Bummer! 🙁

        Reply
        1. trablog
          January 8, 2015

          I am hoping for a couch during my euro trip 😉 Hope you are doing well 🙂

          Reply
          1. thegirlacrossthebridge
            January 8, 2015

            When are you traveling? And where? I am just very occupied with my revisions. Btw, I was meaning to ask but I forgot last time. Have you ever gone to Nepal? 🙂

          2. trablog
            January 8, 2015

            I haven’t made any plans. I was just sharing a dream 😀
            Well Nepal still remains as a dream. Are you planning to go?

          3. thegirlacrossthebridge
            January 8, 2015

            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. 🙂

          4. trablog
            January 8, 2015

            Cool. Are you looking for a guide?! 😛

          5. thegirlacrossthebridge
            January 8, 2015

            I would love to have you join us but you have to make sure you we won’t get lost. Do they speak the same language as yours? 🙂

          6. trablog
            January 8, 2015

            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.

          7. thegirlacrossthebridge
            January 9, 2015

            HAHA..thank you! I will count on that 😀 Do you think it would be colder in Feb than it will be on May?

          8. trablog
            January 9, 2015

            May will be warmer. I guess in that case April would be a better option, after cold and before monsoon.

  9. rodi (Rob and Diane)
    December 19, 2014

    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.

    Reply
    1. trablog
      December 19, 2014

      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 🙂

      Reply
      1. rodi (Rob and Diane)
        December 19, 2014

        I’m sure it’s awesome and maybe we will try it since it’s great for early retirees trying to save money

        Reply
        1. trablog
          December 19, 2014

          Sure, it saves some money on a trip, also gives a native’s insight into your trip

          Reply
  10. Les Petits Pas de Juls
    November 25, 2014

    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’

    Reply
    1. trablog
      November 25, 2014

      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! 🙂

      Reply
  11. Capt Jill
    November 21, 2014

    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?

    Reply
    1. trablog
      November 21, 2014

      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.

      Reply
      1. Capt Jill
        November 21, 2014

        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.

        Reply
        1. trablog
          November 21, 2014

          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 😀

          Reply
  12. allywonders
    November 3, 2014

    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.

    Reply
    1. trablog
      November 5, 2014

      Awesome. Maybe you should also do it. Its so much fun. And the best part is that you get to meet so many interesting people in a short time!
      Find me on CS
      https://www.couchsurfing.org/people/jithin.s/
      Hope to meet you soon

      Reply
  13. thefrenchiebug
    October 2, 2014

    I have used it for a while now, when did you start using it your self? What do you think of the changes occuring on the website as well as their policies?

    Reply
    1. trablog
      October 2, 2014

      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

      Reply
      1. thefrenchiebug
        October 2, 2014

        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!

        Reply
        1. trablog
          October 2, 2014

          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.

          Reply
  14. diarystanam11x2
    October 2, 2014

    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!

    Reply
    1. trablog
      October 2, 2014

      People doing Random acts of kindness without a label is even more awesome. But couch surfing giving a platform. Do you want to try?! 😀

      Reply
      1. diarystanam11x2
        October 2, 2014

        ah sure! Cometh December I want to metamorph into gypsy!

        Reply
        1. trablog
          October 2, 2014

          awesome ! what are your plans?!
          Are you near Hyderabad?!

          Reply
          1. diarystanam11x2
            October 2, 2014

            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!

          2. diarystanam11x2
            October 2, 2014

            and of course meet new people..see the places around that I missed…there is a big list of places…

            you have any plans to visit Hyderabad???

          3. trablog
            October 2, 2014

            I think I will have a plan through Andhra/Telangana.
            Would you like to host me?! 😉

          4. diarystanam11x2
            October 2, 2014

            definitely!! would love to…but it is possible only after December…does that suit your travel plans???

          5. trablog
            October 2, 2014

            Maybe I can one on December too 😀 Who knows 😉
            Thank you for the offer 🙂

          6. diarystanam11x2
            October 2, 2014

            great! keep me posted! of course then you would come to know me! 😉 🙂

          7. trablog
            October 2, 2014

            haha.. I need to see your references 😛

          8. diarystanam11x2
            October 2, 2014

            hahaha…..I forgot that I was talking to a seasoned traveller 😛

          9. trablog
            October 2, 2014

            haha.. Im not that seasoned!! Seasoned traveller is a pseudo reality for me 😛

  15. Saya
    October 1, 2014

    Brilliant…class concept…I’ll try to try it sometime..heard about it before but didn’t know this term..

    Reply
    1. trablog
      October 1, 2014

      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.

      Reply
  16. CheefHobo
    October 1, 2014

    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.

    Reply
    1. trablog
      October 1, 2014

      exactly. The most amazing idea that I have seen and used! I am glad that I found another CSer 🙂 Did you try CS in Europe? or the hostels?

      Reply

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