People may say that Couchsurfing is another form of social networking, like Facebook or Twitter, but it’s so much more. It is a community made up of all kinds of people who enjoy traveling, partying and exploring new cultures. It was founded in 2004 and currently has more than 7 million users all over the world. So basically you sign up, leave a few notes about yourself and you are ready to go. You can host, or find a host, in every city in the world. It’s also a great opportunity to explore your own city with your Couchsurfing guests. The best thing is that it is totally free. The site has no fee and when you host someone or someone hosts you, there are no charges.
I joined the Couchsurfing world two years ago (with my boyfriend), and since then it has been a really great experience. So far we have just hosted, but the people who have visited our place have been great. It is very important that when someone sends you a Couchsurfing request, you explore their profile a bit. There you can find a little bit about them and references from other hosts or friends. Or you can just follow your instinct.
It is very cheap and cool way of traveling, especially when you are a student. We students all stick together and we know how to travel and live on a small budget. Once we had a guy from Canada; he flew from Canada to France, and then hitchhiked from Paris to Zagreb. It is a bit dangerous especially when you travel alone, but it’s really fun and dynamic.
You have to inform your future guests about things like, where they will sleep (shared or single room), if you have a pet, if you smoke…and a few more details. For example, if someone is afraid of dogs she or he won’t be able to couchsurf with us since we have one. With all our guests we explored the city and showed them the beautiful and interesting places in Zagreb, since that’s the town we live in!
Every week the Couchsurfing community organises gatherings across the world. It’s for making new friendships, connections, partying and so on.
So far it has been a really great experience, and it’s like a free English course. Like it or not, you have to talk to your guest, and English is the main language. I love the excitement when the new guests are here and listening to the stories about their culture. We, the Couchsurfing community, are all very different, but on the other hand we are all the same, we all share the same interest – we love traveling!
Join the Couchsurfing community today and you will not regret it…