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??
- 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!
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.