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What is Couchsurfing?

1 June 2011 23,328 views 116 Comments
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Want to travel the world but have limited budget for accommodation? Join Couchsurfing, and you get to stay anywhere in the world for free! Of course, it’s not just the free accommodation which makes it attractive; it’s also the opportunity to interact with locals in their own milieu. First, though, what is Couchsurfing?

Couchsurfing Project

Simply speaking, it is an online community of travelers whose motto is to “Participate in Creating a Better World, One Couch at a Time.”

The concept is that anyone can stay in any members’ place for free; as long as that member indicates in his profile that he can host. Other options include “Meet for Coffee or a Drink” which means that he cannot host but he can meet someone and maybe show him around, and “Traveling” which means that he is not available to either host or meet up.

Couch in Couchsurfing

This is the couch of my host Noah (from the US) in Saigon, Vietnam.

A member who is planning to go to another country sends a request to a potential host. When accepted, they then agree on when and where to meet-up when the traveler arrives in the country. The space allotted to surfers (the one who’s requesting) is called a “couch,” which can refer to any sleeping area, from a mattress on the floor, to a real couch, or even a whole bedroom with a king-sized bed.

I first learned about CS from an article in the Reader’s Digest sometime in 2006. The idea intrigued me but full of anxieties about hosting someone I didn’t know, it wasn’t until 2007 that I signed up and began hosting people.

Since 2008, I have been hosted a number of times—all over Asia and Europe, and even in the Philippines—and I have slept in all kinds of beds, from huge four-poster type of beds, to just a mat on the floor.

All my hosts have been extremely friendly and accommodating. My first host in Shanghai, John from Edinburgh, met me a few minutes before he went to work, gave me the keys to the house, and left. My friend and I had the whole house (and his Persian cat, Harry) all to ourselves.

Couchsurfing Host

My host John (from Scotland) in Shanghai, China (2008).

Again, what makes CS all the more memorable is not just the free accommodation (although it is a HUGE savings for a budget traveler like me), but more importantly, the opportunity to chat and interact with the locals in the area.

When I was in Indonesia, for example, I had been hosted by two of the warmest, sweetest, and kindest people I have ever met—Zuky and Fivi. We had spent hours talking, and I deeply regretted not being able to spend time with them longer. Without CS, I wouldn’t have had a chance to meet these lovely people.

One drawback is that after establishing bonds with your hosts or surfers, the time eventually comes when you (or they) have to leave, and sometimes it can be quite painful. I had gotten along very well with my first surfer, Jacob (from the U.S.). After three days, when he was scheduled to leave, he wanted to cancel his trip to stay longer. I had felt the same when I was with Zuky and Fivi in Indonesia.

Fivi from Indonesia

My host Fivi and me in her couch in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2010).

What about safety? Living solo as I am, my friends have always been concerned about the security of my hosting strangers in my home. While it is a real issue, CS does have some safety features, including references in the profile (feedback given by CS friends, hosts and surfers), a verification system (identity and physical location are confirmed by CS), friend links (where you can see the type of friendship, from being an acquaintance to a close friend), and a quick and responsive CS team which addresses reports of abuse seriously and quickly.

I also take some precautions whenever I decide to accept surfers. Here are some of the tips I follow:

  • I review the member’s profile very carefully. I make sure that he has been a member for some time and did not just join up to contact me.
  • He should have positive feedback, not only from people he met during CS meet-ups, but more importantly, from his previous surfers and hosts as well.
  • He must have been vouched for by other CS members.
  • Unlike other CS members, I don’t give my surfers a set of keys to my house, and when I go out, they go with me. I don’t leave them behind (although this is more about hospitality and less of a security measure).

Do I recommend CS? Absolutely. It is the true measure of your faith that despite everything, it’s still a wonderful world.

Update (January 2012): I’ll be using Couchsurfing a lot in my 70-day solo backpacking trip to Europe next month. Thanks in advance to my CS hosts! Without you, this trip wouldn’t be possible, as I’m not rich and would need all the assistance I can get to make this dream come true.

What about you? Are you willing to try surfing abroad or hosting a traveler in your home?


 Aleah Taboclaon is a freelance writer and editor. She likes running (completed one marathon, training for the next!), diving (PADI open water diver), and traveling with her Kindle. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can also email her; she would love to hear from you!


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116 Comments »

  • BPS said:

    I have tried signing up, but #Couchsurfing required me to give them my credit card number? Same holds true for you?

  • Aleah said:

    @ BPS: CS only requires the credit card when you want to verify your identity. Otherwise, you just remain unverified, which is not usually a problem if you have positive references from other CS members, your hosts, or your surfers. If you give your credit card number, they’ll deduct a small amount as donation to CS.

  • Micamyx|Senyorita said:

    I will try this one out on my upcoming international trips. I think it’s much better kung ma-feel mo talaga how it is like to live in that place in the normal way (meaning not in a hotel). I-try ko sana ‘to sa Scotland kaso di natuloy hehe
    Micamyx|Senyorita recently posted..Davao Food Appreciation Tour Day 2- A Taste of Davao’s Best!

  • Stephanie said:

    Hi Aleah! Like I said, CS is a very interesting concept. It’s definitely something I’ve never heard of till I read your post.

    I wonder what it’s like to bring in travelers from all over the world and welcome them into your home. And how does a new CS member with no references get accepted though? Without any feedback from past hosts (and vice versa), it seems rather difficult to get started. Man, that sounded like a newbie applying for a job on Elance or something. XD

  • Aleah said:

    @ Mica: Yes, CS is so much fun because of the people you meet who intimately know the place. Have you signed up already?

    @ Stef: That’s why I hosted someone when I knew I was going to surf in Shanghai in 2008. That being said, hosting IS easy if you’re a woman (the perception of not being a threat haha). You can actually join and not surf/host, though, and just meet travelers.

  • ian dela pena said:

    hehehe nice one aleah…. sana magamit ko yung cs membership ko soon…. may kakilala ka ba na CS sa Montalban punta sana ako sa wawa dam eh…hehehe but seriously…. I really want to experience how to cs in other countries….
    ian dela pena recently posted..Packing 101

  • Aleah said:

    Ian, yeah CS is really great. When you look for a potential host, find someone where you have something in common aside from traveling, e.g., photography. That’ll make your stay more enjoyable :)
    Aleah recently posted..Couchsurfing Project—Stay Anywhere in the World for Free!

  • lakwatsera de primera said:

    Very practical and helpful tips for those who are planning to CS, i’ll link this on my FB page :)
    lakwatsera de primera recently posted..Enchanting Vera Falls

  • Aleah said:

    Thanks Claire. I won’t forget your offer of a couch in Oz ha. :D
    Aleah recently posted..Couchsurfing Project—Stay Anywhere in the World for Free!

  • Marky said:

    I’ve tried Couchsurfing in Bacolod and Iloilo and my hosts became good friends and they themselves also couchsurfed during their respective backpacking trips in Asia…and in Bacolod my fellow guests are an Australian girl and a German dude while in Iloilo my fellow cs guests were a couple (American girl and German guy) and fellow PTB Ada…and among them I heard lots of backpacking stories that further inspired me to travel…

    Yeah CS is a great idea, its not only bout traveling cheap its also garnering friends along the way.
    Marky recently posted..Cebu Foodtrip- Larsian- Siomai sa Tisa at Lechon sa Carcar

  • Aleah said:

    Marky, that is so true. When I was in Kota Kinabalu, I met this really nice English couple who introduced me to another CS in Yogyakarta to become my host. Then when they came to the Philippines, we met each other again, I showed them around, and introduced them to CS Manila. The friendships really add up, and although it’s sad when you see people leave, you know (or at least, you hope) that someday, somewhere you’ll meet again.
    Aleah recently posted..Couchsurfing Project—Stay Anywhere in the World for Free!

  • pinaytraveljunkie said:

    I’m still in touch with CS people I’ve met overseas. I love the concept of this project for it paves way for a more borderless globe. Uhm, I met the hubby thru CS – and no, it’s NOT a dating site! Lol.
    pinaytraveljunkie recently posted..California Dreamin

  • Aleah said:

    Gay! Yes, CS is NOT a dating site. Good that you met Sherv there though. Luna’s just the cutest baby I’d ever seen!
    Aleah recently posted..Couchsurfing Project—Stay Anywhere in the World for Free!

  • Red Nomad OZ said:

    How brave are you??!! It looks great, and your safeguards make it seem secure – but, in the end I think I’d be too gutless!!!

    Have a great day!!
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted..Australias Scenic Public Toilets 15 – Lord Howe Island- New South Wales

  • Anis said:

    Hi,

    I liked your blog post about staying with locals. Have you heard of Tripping.com? It’s a newer community where travelers connect with locals for cultural exchange.

    We have a lot of solo female travelers on the site. In fact, we have micro communities called “Networks” and in addition to the Solo Female Travel Network we also have networks in partnership with the community for female travelers Do It While You’re Young and the community the authors of The Lost Girls travel book and optioned tv series created (the Lost Girls Network).

    I run the blog and would love it if you were interested in doing a guest post for us. Let me know if so. If not, it’s cool. You have a great site!

    Best,
    Anis

  • Aleah said:

    @ Red: When you try Couchsurfing, you will realize that there are many wonderful people out there who share your interests in traveling. It’s really a great concept!

    @ Anis: Thanks for dropping by my blog. Your site looks great too! Very helpful.
    Aleah recently posted..Couchsurfing Project—Stay Anywhere in the World for Free!

  • Beth said:

    This is very nice! :)

  • Aleah said:

    @ Beth: Thanks. Have you also read the post about our own Tandag?
    Aleah recently posted..Danakit Cave: Spelunking in Tandag, Surigao del Sur

  • sometimes Kim, sometimes Mj said:

    Accommodations take the bulk of the travel budget most of the time and CS seems great although we have yet to try it, me local interaction aspect pa. Great post dear, thanks for sharing.
    sometimes Kim, sometimes Mj recently posted..DINING: Quan An Ngon, HCMC, Vietnam

  • Aleah said:

    @ Kim|MJ: That’s why CS appeals to me, because of the interaction with locals. Plus of course, the big savings :D
    Aleah recently posted..The Worship of a Divine Jose Rizal in Mt. Banahaw

  • Helene said:

    Wow, this is the first time I’ve heard of this concept, and it sounds incredibly fascinating! I’m sure anyone would be anxious at the idea of putting up a stranger in their home, yet it seems the site is offering good safety measures to protect those who do it. Truly a great idea, and an excellent way to meet new people and make new friends.

    And hi! Just like to say this is a great blog. :)

  • Aleah said:

    Hi Helene, thanks for dropping by. CS is a great way to meet people from other cultures. And it’s not just single people doing it; there are traveling families as well. Wanna try it? :D
    Aleah recently posted..6 Things You Shouldn’t Forget When You Travel Solo

  • Helene said:

    Hehe, I’d love to try it… someday. ;) But don’t think I’m ready to do so right now. :)
    Helene recently posted..Ramblings Once More…

  • Ruth said:

    Very informative post! I’ll think about signing up when I have plans of visiting another country in the future.

  • Aleah said:

    @ Helene: :)
    @ Ruth: You can also build your profile now so when you go out of the country, you can already easily look for hosts :)
    Aleah recently posted..6 Things You Shouldn’t Forget When You Travel Solo

  • Cai said:

    Helpful tips!
    Ako rin I want to try this pero I’m scared HAHA

    How can I build my profile din pala if I can’t host? Ok lang ba yun? I want to couchsurf din sana this coming September pagpunta kong Saigon, pero di ko pa nababalikan yung CS account ko hehe
    Cai recently posted..Who doesn’t love Oreo?

  • Aleah said:

    @ Cai: You can set your profile to “Meet for Coffee or Drink” then join CS Manila meet-ups. There’s one every week! I’ll add you to the CS Manila Facebook page so you’ll also be updated. Once you meet people, give them a reference and hopefully they’ll give you one back. That will work when you search for a couch in Saigon. In my experience, it’s hard to get a local couch there–a lot of them still live with their parents. Your best bet is to look for expats; there are a lot of them offering couches in CS Saigon.
    Aleah recently posted..Snapshot Sunday—Child in Ta Prohm Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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  • Mei said:

    Wow I never thought that kind of thing exist. That is a good thing for travelers since they can save money from accommodation plus they have somebody who could be with them while they’re staying. Cool!
    Mei recently posted..Vector Girl

  • Sining Factory said:

    I dont know what CS is all about. But after reading it on your blog, I wanna try it pra sa new blog ko. :) Hehehe. I wanna meet new friends to sa ibang bahagi ng mundo./ :)
    Sining Factory recently posted..FLIPPISH.COM: Now Streaming Launch Party

  • yuuki said:

    i’ve seen a different but almost similar concept of CS, haven’t tried any though…i envy you guys who could travel solo and learn diff cultures…but maybe it really is not my thing as i’m afraid to travel solo…
    yuuki recently posted..Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens

  • Vicky David said:

    Good Evening!

    I didnt know that this type of accommodating someone really exists. This is a great news for country hoppers like me.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Yours,

    Vicky David

  • Clint said:

    Will be useful to me soon! Thanks!

  • Sumi said:

    Wow! CS is such a cool project. I hope I can join when I already have my own place.. :) I want to travel smartly and meet new people too.
    Sumi recently posted..Winebar: The Wine and Dine Spot of Café 1771

  • Rachelle said:

    This is the first time that I ever heard of this and I’m intrigued and interested at the same time. I’m totally up for this, I just need to save up! Hehe
    Rachelle recently posted..On Shopping With A Plan

  • tatess said:

    You are lucky to travle to anotehr place and meet somebody who becomes your friends .CS gives you a lot of priveleges to enjoy travelling without spending too much money.
    tatess recently posted..Fort Towson High School -" A" Honor Roll

  • Kathy Ngo said:

    I’ve been giving this a lot of serious thought. I’m becoming really interested. :)
    Kathy Ngo recently posted..coloring time …

  • VIoly said:

    wow this this the first time i read about this.. it’s interesting though i must admit while reading your post the only word flashing in my mind is “too dangerous”.. hehe well with our world now with so many killings its better to be safe. But its good to know you are researching about the person really well before you accept them in their home. Just be very careful.Im not sure I’m willing to try this but will give it a thought.. Nice and interesting post! And goodluck on your europe tour! Good for you that you dont have to spend on accommodation, went there for 2 weeks which cost me a fortune.. hehe. Have fun on your trip!

  • Blair Villanueva said:

    its my first time to hear about couchsurfing.. thanks for sharing additional infos
    Blair Villanueva recently posted..Weddings and Beyond @ PICC

  • chrisair said:

    I will try to join maybe if both my hubby agreed on it and we are getting old lets say when we hit 50′s I just hope that it will still exist by that time, see you then
    chrisair recently posted..Jessica Alba, Miley Cyrus: How They Dropped Their Weight

  • Ed Zafra said:

    I understand “couchsurfing” as hospitality at its best. It should sit well with Filipino culture though I doubt if the higher echelons of our society practice such.

  • KC said:

    I have a friend who is hooked to that.
    Yeah, it’s really a great way to travel.
    I envy his experiences.

  • Berylle Kaye Hong said:

    This is such a great idea! Great for budget travelers and people who want to meet new friends on their trips too :)
    Berylle Kaye Hong recently posted..Yutaka Izakaya Japanese Restaurant

  • Algene said:

    Wow. Kakaiba to ah. Truly interesting. Ngayon ko lang din narining ang tungkol sa couchsurfing :)

  • Jerome Ibuyan said:

    “Participate in Creating a Better World, One Couch at a Time.”
    great idea!frist time to here bout’ that thing , too. great way to make friends with people in other countries!
    thank you for sharing Aleah!
    keep on blogging!
    Jerome Ibuyan recently posted.."It’s More Fun in the Philippines" Photo among Mashable’s 10 Most Noteworthy on Twitter

  • paige said:

    Honestly, I am not familiar with couchsurfing. I better check some information about it kasi parang maganda. Well, Almost all free are good. hehheheheh

  • Journeys and Travels said:

    I am an couchsurfer too. Karlo and James thought me this and they are the first i hosted in my house. I love CS and it does bring people together

  • edmaration said:

    I didnt know about CS until I met a fellow travel blogger who introduced it to me. I was in fact hesitant about this project because of questions of trust since we have been hosting people sleeping in our house for sometime until we have learned that they are “wanted” by law trying to seek hide out in our house. I referred to my parents what can they say about this program and they warned for it hahaha.

    Without their knowledge, I am really gonna try this but first, will try to surf to nearby provinces then probably will do what you are doung now. :))

  • Gil Camporazo| RandomThoughts! said:

    “Couchsurfing” is an online community of travelers who select a host for him/her to stay to h is/her house for free. This is quite weird for me for we don’t know the culture, the habit or social practices of others. It is good as mentioned here to view first the profile of every member thoroughly, for you might be a victim of rape, murder or whatever. This is a unique program or project for people to fellowship their fellow.
    Gil Camporazo| RandomThoughts! recently posted..Biospectator, a Value-Rich Blog

  • julie said:

    This is quite exciting but pretty scary too. I just cant imagine myself sleeping in a total stranger’s house and not think about something bad. Well, anyways, it takes guts and passion for travelling to be able to pull this couchsurfing off. I admire and envy you for having all these opportunities. Hope you’ll be able to travel the world. :)
    julie recently posted..A Blast from the Past: The 80′s Era

  • Ivan Saldajeno said:

    When I first heard couchsurfing, I thought it’s a virtual couch where you can stay. I never thought couch surfing is a real-life experience.
    Ivan Saldajeno recently posted..Where Were You 11 Years Ago?

  • Simurgh | Ang Pala-lagaw said:

    CS is a very nice option to budget travelling..
    I’ve heard of this for quite sometime in PTB
    Think I’ll try to join with this. :)
    Simurgh | Ang Pala-lagaw recently posted..Puerto Galera | A Crowd Magnet Fire Dancing

  • ralph said:

    this is the second time i’ve encountered couchsurfing… this is really quite cool and saves you a lot (the place and for a tourist guide). it was explain it is safe, but still be cautious to your host and to the couchsurfer as well… Yahweh bless. http://trunklocker.blogspot.com/2012/01/viva-senior-santo-nino.html
    ralph recently posted..Holiday For 2012 Chinese New Year

  • kiko said:

    CS have done a great endeavor, kudos t the community
    kiko recently posted..lumang polo ng ala-ala

  • Cha said:

    I CS in Polomolok South Cotabato and Puerto Princesa Palawan. We develop a bond of friendship and we exchange text messages every now and then.

    You are so lucky, Europe is very expensive and you’ll save a lot please tell us about your CS in Europe when you come back! Enjoy!

    http://travel-on-a-shoe-string.blogspot.com/2012/01/libations-bar-grand-launch-g-strip.html

  • Faust said:

    couch surfing at the sea would be great too, an inflatable couch with you on top wee..
    Faust recently posted..Adsense Toolbar for Chrome: See Your Stat Earnings

  • Edwin said:

    This is interesting. Something that seems to be a good option for people who loves traveling and to get to know people more. You share the same interests but you get to know the culture than just being a normal tourist. I appreciate you sharing this. I might share this to my friends who travel a lot.

  • ellinor said:

    This is a good way of saving some money while travelling and to find new friends. God bless. :)
    ellinor recently posted..Independent Woman

  • Jonathan said:

    Wow! This is really really practical! Thank you for the recommendation and I’ll certainly join this once I have a place of my own. I really want to travel!

  • rudolphian said:

    CS ngayon ko lang to nabasa. very nice idea. sana mabasa to ng DOT. a concept to build upon lalo na ibang tourism destinations natin kulang accomodation facilities

  • Chronicling the Learnings from the Year that Was, Planning for the Future that Will Be | Solitary Wanderer said:

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  • Ric said:

    The idea of CS is great coz it allows you to travel to a lot of places where you can save for accommodation. But I’m still not comfortable of being with somebody that’s totally a stranger. Safety still is an issue for me.
    Ric recently posted..Empower Network Real Life Testimony

  • ROMELO said:

    Yup, it’s a great idea but I also agree that there is some risk involved. So, just be careful and have fun.

  • Ness said:

    Oooooh! Finally, I saw this na! Will check on this and review. Who knows, I might be able to enjoy this too! haha! Thanks!!! it was really nice meeting you and I told you, I am happy for you. haha!
    Ness recently posted..Untitled

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  • carmz said:

    Hi there… this is the first time I heard about CS and “hosting”…. Very interesting pero natatakot ako ng konti…hehehe.. I can’t imagine people (stranger) will let me in there houses or me, meeting them for the first time and actually stay in their place… :) Nice read… I learned a lot. :)
    carmz recently posted..iPad Prices in the Philippines – 2012

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  • Eric said:

    Dublin is not in Scotland dear, its in Ireland. :)

  • Aleah said:

    @ Eric: I meant Edinburgh! Waaah! Thanks for the catch! Better late than never haha
    Aleah recently posted..Take a Leap of Faith and Travel Solo!

  • Mark Delgado said:

    Thank you for introducing me to this concept Aleah! This will indeed be my next project! What I like most about Couchsurfing is the chance to “LIVE LIKE A LOCAL” and to network with wanderlust folks just like us!

    OMG! OMG! Is there a CS member living in Li Jiang, China? When I attended classes in Fudan University in Shanghai, I won in a singing contest and the prize is trip to Snow Mountain, Shangri-La Mountain and Li Jiang Province!

    The meet up point is at Shanghai. I will definitely have to meet your Scottish host!

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  • Aleah said:

    @ Mark: Go, go, go! Unfortunately, John is not in Shanghai anymore. But there are a number of CSers there. I’m sure you’ll have a grand time!
    Aleah recently posted..How to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

  • Lagalag said:

    Hi, Aleah, one question: Can I be hosted even if I indicate on my profile that I am “Travelling” which means I don’t host and meet up? Thank you so much for your reply.
    Lagalag recently posted..Strawberry Picking: A What To Do In La Trinidad

  • Aleah said:

    @ Lagalag: Most hosts especially here in Europe will not accept someone who has no experience hosting or being hosted. I suggest you build up your profile months before your intended long trip. That said, people in Asia are more accepting of newbie members. “Traveling” only means that you are *currently* traveling and cannot host or show people around in your home town. If you don’t want to host at all, but you are not traveling, just choose “Not right now.” You don’t have to meet up if you don’t want to :)
    Aleah recently posted..How to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

  • Lagalag said:

    Thank you so much Aleah. This is one great tips and advice. Will do it :)
    Lagalag recently posted..How To Commute To Tam-Awan Village From Baguio City

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  • Reiza said:

    This post has confirmed my desire to Couchsurf. Thanks, Aleah. As this will be my first time, I’m sure I will have memorable experiences.

    I’ll let you know how it goes. :)
    Reiza recently posted..My Kitenge Obsession

  • Aleah said:

    @ Reiza: I’m so excited for your first CS experience! Don’t forget to come back and let us know what it will be like for you :)
    Aleah recently posted..Snapshot Sunday—The Cats of Europe

  • Vagobond | Vagobond Travel Musuem – Couchsurfing Around the World Around the World said:

    [...] Aleah Phils from Solitary Wanderer on the Couchsurfing Project. [...]

  • Travel Massive Comes to Manila! | Single Brown Female said:

    [...] Astronomical Society. Who would have thought I’d see friends from different groups (AstroSoc, Couchsurfing, Pinoy Travel Bloggers) in one [...]

  • Memories of Saigon - Solitary Wanderer | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] of the Couchsurfing members I met in [...]

  • Snapshot Sunday—Beautiful Bodies in Pattaya, Thailand - Solitary Wanderer | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] was in the   Restaurant in Pattaya, Thailand with a Couchsurfing member when I saw these two women on the beach below. I was struck by the contrast; one was slim [...]

  • Solo Backpacking Trip in Europe | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] my trip, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to stay with K in his hometown in Olen, so I used Couchsurfing to find my first hosts in Europe. Gerd and Pol from Herentals accepted me with open arms, and [...]

  • Things to Do in La Mesa Ecopark | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] an ordinary park. I didn’t realize how wrong I was until last weekend when I went there with Couchsurfing [...]

  • Best of Travel Photos—My 7 Super Shots - Solitary Wanderer | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] used Couchsurfing when I was in Prague, but I’m aware that not all people like the backpacker lifestyle. To get [...]

  • Day Trip from Manila—Our Mt. Pinatubo Trekking Adventure - Solitary Wanderer | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] of the locals living there? I set off to Tarlac one summer day in April together with 20+ other Couchsurfing members, full of anticipation and excitement to finally see this famous [...]

  • Reflections on Solo Travel | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] What would these people say if I told them that since I began traveling abroad in 2008, I had been staying in strangers’ houses, relying on people I only met online? (Yep, it’s Couchsurfing!) [...]

  • Jardness said:

    Just used CS last year. My first host was in Yogyakarta.. and then my second host in India. Am now officially addicted to couchsurfing. hehe
    Jardness recently posted..Butt Naked on a Train to Bagan, Myanmar

  • Aleah said:

    @ Jardness: Am going to India tomorrow, and yeah, I will be using CS a lot there, too!
    Aleah recently posted..Snapshot Sunday—Lucky Sculptures in Europe

  • Best Day Trips from Manila | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] to Couchsurfing and my love for traveling, I meet a lot of foreign visitors who ask me what else they can do if [...]

  • Where to Stay in Siquijor | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] disadvantage of solo travel is the cost of the accommodation (that is, if you’re not using Couchsurfing). Being location independent, my number one requirement for a place to stay is internet access, and [...]

  • Of Eve Teasing and Solo Travel in India | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] was Holi festival, and a group of us from the guesthouse decided to join the street celebration. A Couchsurfing member was supposed to go with us but he stood us up, so we decided to go on our own at 9am. Aside [...]

  • Solo Travel Tips to Kota Kinabalu | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] locals through Couchsurfing. In my three days and two nights in Kota Kinabalu, I met a lot of Couchsurfing members, both locals [...]

  • Should Solo Females Couchsurf? - Her Packing List said:

    [...] What is Couchsurfing?, Solitary Wanderer [...]

  • Tips for Choosing a Hotel for Solo Travelers | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] With these insider travel tips, brought to you by ProntoHotel.com, you’ll be able to find the perfect hotel to fit all of your solo traveler needs. (Read: An alternative to hotel stays: Couchsurfing) [...]

  • The Circle Hostel | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] and Europe, I had experienced staying in different kinds of accommodations. I’ve stayed in couches offered by locals, slept in hammocks, bunked down in what used to be a cave. I’ve stayed in luxury hotels, too, [...]

  • Springtime in the Old Town Square in Prague | Solitary Wanderer said:

    [...] hotels there. However, backpackers like me always find a way to cut down on costs. I stayed with a Couchsurfing host in Žižkov, the place to be for those who love the [...]

  • Tips in Observing the Masskara Festival in Bacolod | Solitary Wanderer said:

    […] out in advance where your hotel is in relation to the activities. (I surfed with a Couchsurfing member. Thanks Marian!) You would want to be at the venue early, so you can get a good observation […]

  • Backpacking Northern India in 3 Weeks | Solitary Wanderer said:

    […] I found Kolkata warm and welcoming. My Couchsurfing hosts—Swarnab and Rita—pulled out all the stops to make sure that I had fun in their city. We […]

  • 3 Things to Do in Budapest for Lazy Travelers (Like Me) | Solitary Wanderer said:

    […] not into bars, but when a local Couchsurfing member suggested going to a “ruin bar,” I didn’t hesitate to say yes. These bars […]

  • Christine manalo said:

    How to join and register the cs im so interested about it since i love meeting people

  • Acropolis, the Sacred Rock of Athens | Solitary Wanderer said:

    […] and appreciate its beauty. I was glad to be there by myself (there was only one guy near me, the Couchsurfing sticker on his backpack clearly visible); I needed the solitude to reflect and process what I was […]

  • Celebrating Holi Festival with Kids in Bodh Gaya | Solitary Wanderer said:

    […] a free school for children in the community slash guesthouse founded by Michael Saatkamp, a fellow Couchsurfing member from Germany, and Murari Singh Kalyan, a local businessman who also serves as the guesthouse […]

  • Sue said:

    Thank you for introducing CS! i just signed up.. into believing that this would be my first step in preparing to travel solo.. hope to learn more from your bloggggss :)

  • 5 Stories of Kindness on the Road | Solitary Wanderer said:

    […] had contacted and was accepted by a Couchsurfing host in Budapest, a beautiful and smart woman living alone in the city center with her gorgeous […]

  • 7 More Stories of Kindness on the Road | Solitary Wanderer said:

    […] wrote an SOS in Couchsurfing, hoping someone would accept me at the last […]

  • How to Save Money on Hotels via TravelPony | Solitary Wanderer said:

    […] a budget traveler, I prefer hostels (or Couchsurfing) whenever I travel. After all, budget is my primary consideration so I can travel further and […]

  • 7 More Stories of Kindness on the Road | Solitary Wanderer said:

    […] met Lara Yturriaga through Couchsurfing in 2008 when we went as a group to the Caramoan Islands, a beautiful destination in the […]

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