I was already familiar with the general concept of crashing on your friend’s couch for a night, but apparently there’s a social networking site that is all about connecting travelers with people who are willing to host them at their homes.  It’s based out of California, so maybe it’s more of a west coast thing.  Apparently there’ s a DC group for couch surfing though, and they hold annual events.  It’s a pretty cool concept.  CouchSurfing.org filters out weirdos with a rating system that lets members vouch for each other.  Wikipedia has a surprisingly fleshed out article about CouchSurfing and the official couchsurfing.org site has some pretty interesting information as well.

According to the wiki, couch surfing isn’t completely rape-free.  There’s been one incident so far, but other than that it’s largely safe.  Also it seems that the site is growing because it went public only a year ago.  There’s now 3 million members on the site.

No money is exchanged between couch surfers and hosts.  Instead the custom is for guests to bring gifts or teach a skill.  We might set up a profile on that site and start hosting people that can give us advice about starting a business or doing freelance stuff online.  We’re also thinking about using it when we travel.  It could be a cool way to network and make friends all over the world.  Has anyone ever used CouchSurfing or similar services before?  If so, what did you think?


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