General Question

Trustinglife's avatar

Any experience with couchsurfing.com?

Asked by Trustinglife (6584 points ) February 19th, 2009 from iPhone

I plan on using it for the first time this weekend. I’m excited about it.

Any stories or experiences you can share?

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8 Answers

TheFonz_is's avatar

erm, not to worry you, but i met a chinese dude in frankfurt germany on his way to berlin the day before the world cup final in 06. On the 4 hour train to berlin he got a call acncelling his expected stay, which, without much cash left, left him stranded in berlin at midnight..

I think its a good idea and can work well but you should always be prepared..

Jack79's avatar

Yes, it works and it’s really great. Most of the hosts are very friendly and easy-going people, and you can pick people who are certified if you have any doubts. Visitors can of course vary, but overall in my experience they’ve been a nice mix.

I have mainly hosted, but also had a guy meet me for coffee when I was in Turkey last summer.

I hosted a Korean girl who spoke no english and it was sort of awkward.
I hosted a Newzealander who stayed for a whole month and I got her a job, but we didn’t get to meet much because of our schedules.
I hosted a Danish couple who were great and we had some good laughs.
I hosted a Turkish boy who was a little annoying in that he was too attached to me.
I spent the day with a Canadian girl who just had a shower and left her stuff there. I showed her around and then put her on her boat. That was also good.
And eventually spent a month hosting a single mother with a daughter my own daughter’s age, who eventually became my girlfriend (yes, weird way to start a relationship by living together before the first date).

Overall it has always been interesting, because people have been from different nationalities and have all these interesting stories to share (apart from the Korean girl who I am sure would have also been interesting, had we been able to communicate).

bodyhead's avatar

Hey I just stumbled on couchsurfing.com the other day. Great question. I was also curious as to other peoples experiences.

Hey Trusting, where are you going? Is it out of the country?

janbb's avatar

Let us know how it works out, trusting. My son may be trying it this summer.

marinelife's avatar

I too would like to hear about you experience. I did an article on alternative travel options that included couchsurfing, which many people—especially, open adventurous people—enjoy. Another one that I know people who have used and has been recommended to me is Servas International.

Have a great trip.

Trustinglife's avatar

Thanks for your curiosity, and thanks Jack, for sharing your experiences!

I’m volunteering at a training in San Jose this weekend. I don’t live that far away, but it’s more than an hour from my house, and it goes late, so I don’t want to drive home each evening.

I’ve made 3 couchsurfing requests so far, and all 3 potential hosts are going out of town! They all seemed sincere, though, and one offered for one of the two nights I’m looking for. I still have a good feeling about it, and I think it’s going to work. Will try to remember to post after the weekend to tell you how it went!

Jack79's avatar

Well it’s a win-win situation anyway, because in your case, even if everything goes wrong, you can just drive home in an hour (which is how long it took me to get home last night anyway).

But I’ve only heard (and had) good experience with CS anyway.

Trustinglife's avatar

Update: Well, I made 7 requests, got 5 no’s, and 2 didn’t write back. All responses were sincere and apologetic – most folks were going out of town for the weekend. I got a good vibe. I ended up staying with an acquaintance I hadn’t considered originally, which worked out wonderfully.

I’d certainly try couchsurfing.com again, and have listed my own couch as available there, mostly out of curiosity.

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