General Question

Jude's avatar

Has anyone tried "couch surfing"? How was your experience?

Asked by Jude (32134points) August 11th, 2010

Couch surfing.

I’m thinking about next summer (I’ll have it off. I’m a teacher). I want to do a bit of travelling.

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14 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

I have done it with friends from college. I don’t know if I would couch surf with someone I just met on the internet without doing some basic background checks.

The site you link looks like a decent place to start. I would start making contacts now for next year. That way you have more time to gather feedback about them.

Jeruba's avatar

My 25-year-old son did it through that website when he went to Europe last summer, using hosts in Brussels and Amsterdam and someplace in Germany. He had an excellent experience. My nephew had recommended it to him on the strength of his prior good experience in Ireland and his reciprocal experience as a host in the Boston area.

theglennnn's avatar

I did it last year in europe. i went to seven countries with a friend and we only found CS hosts in Paris. we stayed at two different places in Paris. The french are very nice and trusting. Being two guys probably made it more difficult to find some one. I think more people would be willing to host girls. Generally its easier to find a host if you are traveling alone and you give a bunch of information about yourself on your couch surfing profile.

zenele's avatar

I have a guest room you are invited to use. PM me when you decide to travel in my country. You just missed Ashton Kutcher, by the way.

Jude's avatar

lmao, what?

Is that a joke? What city do you live in?

lilikoi's avatar

Yay! I saw your other post about getting tired of summer break and thought you should totally travel. I’ve been on CS for years, but have never actually used it to sleep on a stranger’s couch. I know people that have had fantastic experiences, but I tend to travel alone and just don’t want to take the risk. I usually stay at hostels.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes I’ve done it when I had to get away from a psychopath and it worked well. A few weeks here and there and before long I was set up in a new city, new job and everything.

BarnacleBill's avatar

My daughter did it in the Europe this summer, and it worked really well (Netherlands, UK, Spain, France). In all instances, she had back-up stay arrangements at hostels, just in case it didn’t work out, but it did. Her hosts were quite gracious, showing her around their neighborhoods and their daily lives. All the people she stayed with were either grad students or professors. Having a cell phone was crucial in finding where they lived, and making sure they were there.

Coloma's avatar

Unknowingly yes! lol

Last August my daughter and I took off for a week in the Redwoods in Northern Ca.

Picked up a couple of Couchsurfers on the highway and dropped them at their hosts house in Eureka.

Had a blast with them!

Awesome young couple, she was from Indiana and he was from somewhere in Europe ( forgot )

We toured some of the big trees and then had a million laughs on the way to meet their host.

I would like to hostess some CouchSurfers, but, have not gotten around to really doing it yet.

I traveled in Asia last spring, but was with friends that already had longterm accomodations.

I think CouchSurfers is a great way to assist and get to know fellow travelers! :-)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Forget about couches. Our farm has two guest cottages, usually vacant except during harvest and the maple season.

WestRiverrat's avatar

CNN just had a short bit on couch surfing this morning.

Response moderated (Spam)
peglegtrading's avatar

it’s a buffet for moochers and alcoholics. i hosted about 10 backpackers over the course of 3 months. i made two great friends and got a really bad taste for seeing myself as the bitter old man so i stopped offering my place out even though i have the space. it’s a great idea, but the bigger it gets the worse. it’s like all communities, they lose their elasticity over a certain threshold. ebay is the poster child of this.

Smashley's avatar

I used it a decent amount this past summer. I figured if I could managed free traveling (hitchhiking) then free lodging might be just as interesting. It’s a great concept, and couchsurfing.org has a really nice community going. I stayed four nights in San Fransisco, and met some really cool people. Then I met up with a kid from Liverpool in LA and we drove to Yosemite to camp for a couple nights with three others from the website. Later on, I stayed in Missoula, MT and enjoyed a great time, sampling local beers and lending my cooking skills to a giant potluck dinner. Brilliant. I’ve only just opened up my couch recently, but I expect to host from time to time. A woman I used to date routinely hosts travelers, and has had nothing but positive experiences.

I highly recommend it!

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