(Couchsurfer meet-up in Khaosan Road)

What is Couchsurfing? I just realized that it is not known to everyone despite the fact that most travelers have done it and are connected to it for a long time now.  I, myself doesn’t really know about it until I heard it from fellow backpackers in Cambodia, but even then the idea of couchsurfing was a bit far out and scary for a newbie traveller like I was.

What is Couchsurfing?

So what is couchsurfing really?  Couchsurfing is an online organization, that works somehow like a network of travelers and hosts around the world.  Members can host a traveler to stay in their place for how long they set the limit on their profile, some can offer a room, a bed, a couch, or just a space on the floor.  It doesn’t really matter, travelers just want to experience interacting with locals and somehow free accommodation.  In return, the couchsurfers are nicely cleaning the host’s place or cooking for them or just a simple gift to thank the host if its really tight.  The goal is all about helping other travelers.

Who are the Couchsurfers?

Hosts are mostly travelers, couchsurfers too who understands the needs of every couchsurfer in a new place who wanted to explore and get to know the culture in a deeper sense.  Most of the time when the hosts have free time, they tour around the surfer to the popular places around the area, invite them to join a family or local community festivities.

Couchsurfing idea is not alien to all of us, even growing up and sleeping over our friends’ houses is a form of couchsurfing.  Only in this case, it’s a worldwide community of people who sleep over houses of people from all over the world and vice versa.  It is also a cool way of meeting new friends and understanding culture, traditions, and way of life of the place of your host or if you’re the host to help the surfer understand your culture.

Be Smart and Cautious When Couchsurfing too…

As the society’s conditioning of fear, the dangers of sleeping over a stranger’s house or welcoming a stranger in your house is scary.  This is how you should be cautious and smart too.  Here are some ways on how to be safe in couchsurfing whether you are a host or a surfer:

  1. Check if their profile is verified.
  2. Check out if they have met a lot of couchsurfers through their testimonials.
  3. Check for people who vouched for the person.
  4. It is safe to attend couchsurfing gatherings before you agreed in sleeping over/hosting.
  5. Get to be known in the travel community.

Have fun hosting and couchsurfing! Join us in Couchsurfing.org and Couchsurfing Backpackers FB Group too.

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