Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crash on a couch

Looking for a way to meet folks abroad? One option for adventurous types: couch surfing. It is, as the Christian Science Monitor put it recently, "the universe of social networking itself, simply pushed into the real world."

In a nutshell, travellers hit the CouchSurfing website and make connections with people willing to offer people a free place to stay for a night or two, along with a glimpse into local culture. It's not a technique for the faint of heart, as there's no way to guarantee that your host--or your guest--isn't someone you'd rather not share a roof with (the CSM article includes several horror stories). But the CouchSurfing Project claims that complaints are few, perhaps because many (though certainly not all) members are 20-somethings with an easygoing outlook on life.

For safety tips for travellers using services like CouchSurfing, see my article on hospitality clubs on my travelling-like-a-local website,

1 comment:

Tess said...

I'd heard of this - cool idea! Especially for a non-traveller like me *g*.

Are you headed anywhere interesting on your vacation? Or is it a staycation?