Ahhh, couchsurfing. Something I always smile about whenever I think or hear of the word. Although it may spin images in your head about surfing on a couch strapped to a whale shark at sea, it’s really nothing like it…or maybe it is.
No, but seriously, couchsurfing has changed my life in so many ways. Not only has it saved me thousands of dollars over the last few years but has also introduced me to lots of cool people, greeted me with some good friends, opened up new adventures, brought me to great food, and opened my eyes up to a world I had only imagined.
It’s absolutely inspiring that people from all over the world (even from Antarctica) are willing to open up their doors to strangers who they are willing to host for free. I tell people all the time about my couchsurfing adventures and many find it so hard to believe.
“Why would someone let you stay at their house for free in Las Vegas” one guy told me. “I guess they are just friendly and wanting to meet like-minded people” I replied.
I’ve stayed with people in Japan, Australia, Canada, and many places across the U.S.A including Las Vegas, Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Anaheim. Each experience was unique and interesting in it’s own way.
In Boston, I stayed with some young girls who worked at a restaurant which meant I got meals for half price. They partied with me every night and introduced me to all their friends.
In Las Vegas, I couchsurfed at a guy’s house who was also hosting people from Germany, Sweden, and many other places. He got us into expensive clubs for free and drove us around to check out many pools and malls in the area.
In Japan, I had the coolest experience. I met a guy who actually hosts up to 20 people at a time. In fact, he is so popular that he bought a 20-person bus which he uses to organize trips all around the country for a very low fee. Staying at his place is free. I met people from Vietnam, spain, and Japan, and we went to japanese tea gardens, sake factories, Mt.Fuji, and even spent one night on the coast at one of his friends cabins.
And the best part is, there is absolutely no catch! If your a good person with a good heart and open to meeting new traveling souls, then couchsurfing is great for you. You can host people in your own city or request accomodation in another. All you need to do is sign up for free at Couchsurfing.org and take it from there.
Of course, with social networking sites like this, it always helps to do a few things that make people more likely to accept you into their home.
That’s why I have prepared a list of things to help you make the most of your couchsurfing adventure.
Bonus: Here is an article from Time’s magazine on couchsurfing.