A social and travel phenomenon, people have been asking "what is couch surfing?" for nearly a decade. The idea behind couch surfing is to leverage the hospitality of friendly people around the world who open their homes to travelers -- an act of kindness that dates back millenia.
Couch surfing is a remarkable way to travel for cheap, and travelers of all budgets take advantage. Couchsurfing.com -- the social website that makes connecting travelers with places to crash easier -- now has more than three million members in 246 countries around the world!
What is Couch Surfing?
While the term "couch surfing" loosely refers simply to staying with hosts while you travel, most people associate the concept with couchsurfing.com -- a social site to helpbudget travelers meet hosts in different countries.
Hosts, who are often former travelers or expatriates that want to meet and interact with travelers, sign up on couchsurfing.com to share their homes. You can find free accommodation ranging from simple couches to spare bedrooms and guest cottages. Not only is your place to sleep free, you can befriend a local who knows your new destination well -- a huge asset while on the road!
Couch surfing can dramatically lower your expenses when traveling in expensive places such as Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore. Hosts are usually interested in learning about your culture, practicing English, or just enjoying your company as a break from their regular routine.
Couchsurfing.com first became a public website in 2004 as a way to match travelers with willing hosts. The site operates much in the way of other social websites such as Facebook; people add friends, build profiles, and can send messages.
Signing up for an account on couchsurfing.com is free, however, members can optionally pay a small fee to become verified for more credibility.
Couchsurfing.com offers more than just a place to stay. People often meet new real-life friends, find travelmates, and gather information about destinations where they are traveling. The forums come in handy for everything from asking questions about a city to buying a bicycle or getting settled in a place for an extended stay.
The groups on couchsurfing.com are operated by local volunteers known as ambassadors. Local groups often have informal meetings and gather for events and outings periodically. Even when not traveling, you can use the groups and ambassadors to meet fellow travelers and interesting people at home!...