Are you a couchsurfer yet?

Are you a couchsurfer yet?

I joined couchsurfing.org a few years ago after watching a TV magazine that followed the trails of 3 groups of friends traveling around the world via their contacts on the website.

I have now been a member for 4 years, and have had active and inactive times, as all members are free to accept or decline requests sent to them. I have hosted, and I have been hosted. I never felt unsafe. Although you can register very easily, if you decide to do this seriously, you give a small donation to support the site. In return, after the donation payment has been made with your card details, they will send you a postcard, with a code, to your personal address. Once you receive the postcard, login and enter the code, et voila. This simple and efficient process allows many members to have a verified and certified address. It does not appear in the open on the site, but increases the feeling of security of many travellers.

Each couchsurfer has their own environment. From happy and excited students, ready to rough it on a mattress on your living room floor, to young couples or best friends wanting to meet like-minded experienced travellers, or the 50 something teachers looking to share their spare room with people who will cook them a dinner from their own part of the world, couchsurfing is an excellent way to meet new people out of your daily circle.

While many book their room months in advance to attend the theatre festival in Avignon, local couch surfing members receive requests of the late and spontaneous travellers.

While many book their room months in advance to attend the theatre festival in Avignon, local couch surfing members receive requests of the late and spontaneous travellers.

Couchsurfing has something for everybody. You don’t have to have a couch to share, you can join for the cultural experience of being the contact and guide or beer companion of travellers that have already booked their accommodation, but would love to meet and greet the locals. I should know, I have done it. I shared my sofa a bunch of times, but when work was keeping me too busy or tired to host someone according to the standards I wanted to give, I put myself on the “not right now but I can hang out” list, meeting the odd business traveler, or even a lovely girl traveling with her mother, and quite keen on some fun late night life after her mother had gone to sleep.

My first experience of couch surfing as a guest was in Barcelona. A wonderful experience, and contacts I still have 4 years later.

My first experience of couch surfing as a guest was in Barcelona. A wonderful experience, and contacts I still have 4 years later.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, everyone should have a couchsurfing account in the same easy way as we get a Facebook or twitter account.

Want to know more? Go and make your own opinion on http://www.couchsurfing.org

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