New Trend in Traveling: Couchsurfing

When you want to travel, one of the most expensive elements of your trip will be the price of your accommodation. It’s costly enough to sort out your travel expenses just to get to where you want to go, as well as buying food and paying for sightseeing and activities once you arrive. So imagine how cool it is to get free board in some of the most exciting and interesting places in the world, courtesy of the new travel trend of couchsurfing.

A fabulous, fun travel experience

When you go away from home, you may just want to lounge on a beach with a book and not bother with the world around you. If your idea of travel is a more interactive experience where you meet up with local people, then couchsurfing is ideal for you. On dedicated websites, couchsurfers meet up to swap information about destinations, accommodation and dates. Potential couchsurfing hosts offer to share their homes with travellers who provide references and photographs, so the host can decide if they are the kind of guests they would like to welcome into their homes. Though sometimes the accommodation will be empty – the host may be away on their own travels – more often, you will share your holiday experience with your host, free of charge.

Sharing time with your couchsurfing host

When you are welcomed into the home of a stranger in faraway places, then it is only courteous to give something back. If you have a particular skill – maybe you are a great cook – then why not share that with your host? Or perhaps you can bring some of your local beer or wine, or some photographs of your home town. By interacting with your new found friend, you can pick up great travel tips. What is the best place to buy good food, a place that only the locals know about? Where is that special little beach that is off the tourist trail? By staying with a local, you can have the inside information that will guarantee you the travel trip of a lifetime. At the same time, you can cut down on those all-important travel expenses!

How One Website Has Beaten NYC’s Ludicrous Hotel Prices

In a city famed for its expensive accommodation, a website encouraging users to welcome travellers into their homes is rapidly gaining popularity. The city is New York – one of the most wealthy cities in the world – and the website is CouchSurfing.com – a free project aimed at providing free housing and accommodation for international travellers and low-cost globetrotters.

The median price of a hotel room in Manhattan is approximately $200 – a figure that prompts many of the city’s million monthly tourists to look outside the city’s central districts. But while hotels and serviced apartments demand high prices from tourists, a growing number of young travellers choose to put their comfort, and occasionally their safety, at risk by staying at a couch-surfer’s home.

New York City is one of the most popular destinations on CouchSurfing.com – a website that now boasts over two million users worldwide. The website has cornered a market in compassion-driven accommodation, with users sharing their living rooms, extra bedrooms, and couches with travellers from all corners of the globe.

Over three million positive experiences are reported on the website – a simple way of measuring whether a housing experience was good or bad. While obvious safety risks do exist, the majority of the website’s users seem aware of the risks and all-but completely happy with them, claiming that theft is rare and violent crime almost completely non-existent due to simple online reporting.

While we suspect that CouchSurfing.com may not overtake the Intercontinental when it comes to revenue, the website is a classic example of social networks overriding a previously closed world. New York City’s expensive hotels will continue to attract high-end travellers in droves, but it looks like those on the lower end know where the best deal is – on the couch.