Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Have you heard of couch surfing?

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon couch surfing. The CouchSurfing Project is a free, Internet-based, international hospitality service, and it is currently the largest hospitality exchange network. The project was commenced in 2003 and formally launched on Jan 1, 2004. As of October 2008, it had more than 780,000 members in 232 countries and territories.
According to their own published statistics 40 percent of their members are currently offering their couches to host travellers (with another 22 percent saying "maybe", and others who are travelling at the moment). According to Alexa it is currently the most visited hospitality service on the Internet, averaging over 30 million daily page views in July 2008.

Members use the website to coordinate contacts and home accommodation ("couch-surfing") with other network members around the world. The website allows the creation of extensive profiles, and uses an optional credit card verification system, a personal vouching system, and personal references to increase security and trust between members. The site offers other features such as discussion groups, events and meetings, and live chat.

So if you think couch surfing is something for you check out this website that links travelers looking for convenient and free places to stay with willing locals. It is one of the better resources on the web. If you’ve done any major traveling you’re probably familiar with Couchsurfing, but have you set up your own profile, offered to host international guests, or slept on floors half the world over?

It is definitely a way to meet interesting people and travel to places you would normally not go to. I haven't signed up on the website (as a host) you can't go with a whole family to crash on somebodies couch, but I wouldn't mind having now and then some youngsters visiting my house who like to see SA.

How do you feel about couch surfing, an idea for you?


Jen and Jeff said...

Okay, great! When should we come over? LOL

Mireille said...

ANYTIME! I even have a spare bedroom, so we can spare the couch ;-)


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