Couch Surfing?

Couch Surfing?

Heather Blaha
Aug 10, 2007

On our flight to Austin earlier this year, we read an interesting article in the March 15 issue of American Way, the American Airlines magazine.

Of course, our luck that it's not one of the articles available online, but the topic is perfect for AT's month of Escapes: Couch Tripping: It's the new way to travel the world - one sleeper sofa at a time. In the article, one man describes his experience with Couch Surfing, as one of 138,678 people around the world who subscribe to this practice.

Much like apartment swapping, which we've never done, this practice is intriguing and feels very European to us. What are your thoughts, ideas, and experiences revolving around Couch Surfing? How do you deal with safety issues, especially when traveling alone?

While we're all about staying at friend's or acquaintence's places (whether they're there or not), we're not so sure how we'd feel about staying with a stranger while they are in the apartment, too. Then again, we did it in Amsterdam when we were 20. So maybe it's all about your age, needs, and fearlessness...

Oh, and the Couch Surfing network is free:

CouchSurfing is a non-profit organization dedicated to the global community. CouchSurfing was created specifically so that everyone can travel the world and partake in cultural exchange. Staying with your host(s) is also always free; it is contrary to the values of CouchSurfing and against our terms of use to charge someone to surf your couch. Many surfers like to bring their hosts gifts or treat them to a meal as a "Thank you," but this is not a requirement. There are infinite ways to reciprocate goodwill.


(Couch image via Smarter Travel, with accompanying article on CouchSurfing)

(Edited from a post dated 4/3/07)

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