CouchSurfing.com is one of the most innovative, communal organizations I have ever experienced. It is a worldwide phenomenon that I can’t help but think will have a considerable impact, not only on the travelers of the world, but on the citizens of the world.
For those unfamiliar, CouchSurfing works basically as such: As a member you have a community all over the world. And not only a community, but a place to stay. As a member of the community, you pledge to open up your home to other community members visiting in your area. And in return, whenever you’re visiting an area, community members will open up their home to you.
What about safety? That was my first question. Who’s to say that the person you contact isn’t a total nut job that’s going to rape you in your sleep? Well, no one. No one is going to say that because to make a guarantee like that would be outlandish. What CouchSurfing has, however, are a series of qualifications to become a Verified Member as well as an opportunity for your personal friends and individuals you have either stayed with or hosted to leave references on your profile. The staff at CouchSurfing are also extremely accessible and absolutely all correspondence on their system is monitored.
If you’re an avid traveler, it’s definitely worth your while. Or even if you sometimes travel and might like to meet up with a local to show you around from the privacy of your hotel. I’ll be meeting up with some fellow surfers during my time in Myrtle Beach and I’ll actually be surfing with an Ecuadorian woman in Quito.
So, is it safe? Is it too good to be true? Is it worth the money just to book the hotel? I’ll let you know.