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?