Yes, another blog post raving about the wonders of Couchsurfing. Seriously, how many people have written about this thing?
The reason I am putting it on here as one of the best websites for (budget) travelers is because it really is THAT great. No, seriously. And also, I was inspired by CS’s recent revamping of the website and logo (which I still have mixed views about, and I am definitely not alone here).
BUT there’s more to it than just getting hooked up with a free place to stay. At a stranger’s place in a foreign country (I swear it’s not sketchy).
Couchsurfing is an amazing tool for travelers, and one which I have used very much, because of a number of different reasons, aside from the whole free accommodation and potential tour guide thing.
There is a feature on the site where members can join groups based on location or interests. So, those who are into hitchhiking can join the CS group for hitchhiker’s. Members can share tips, itineraries, warnings and even link up with others. If you are planning on going somewhere, join the group for your planned destination and ask CSers for help when planning your trip. It’s the ultimate source for unsolicited advice.
Another great thing about the CS website is the potential to meet people. Not everyone on the site is looking for a free place to stay. The main philosophy behind CS is to SHARE. Share experiences, knowledge, culture. CS activities are great for meeting people in your area (AND in a public place, for those who are still sketched out by the whole idea).
So, I have to say that Couchsurfing has been one of the most valuable tools for my personal travel experiences. I got to ride a motorbike around Goreme, see a professional women’s volleyball match, make friends in Christchurch, party in Bodrum, and meet some of the most interesting people. Not too shabby.