Posted by: cj | November 23, 2008

Forget hotels – try couchsurfing

For those of you who’d rather not spend money booking hotels and would love to meet the locals of wherever your travels may take you, couchsurfing might be something to consider.

The CouchSurfing Project is an Internet-based, international hospitality exchange network where travelers connect with hosts willing to offer a free bed, floor, or couch in their homes to crash on during their visit.

The network currently has 828,228 members in 229 countries.

Of course, safety is a main concern, and the the site handles that through a verification system.

Some quick tips to keep in mind while couchsurfing:

  • Create a friendly profile and upload your picture so people won’t be apprehensive about who you are.
  • Bring your host a gift or treat them to something.
  • Always have a backup plan. Get the numbers of other hosts so you won’t be stranded in case your original host doesn’t work out.
  • Keep an open mind!

Top 10 couchsurfing cities:

  1. Paris, France – 15,515 surfers
  2. London, England – 12,794 surfers
  3. Montreal, Canada – 10,790 surfers
  4. Berlin, Germany – 10,666 surfers
  5. Vienna, Austria – 7,310 surfers
  6. Istanbul, Turkey – 6,489 surfers
  7. New York City, New York – 5,917 surfers
  8. Melbourne, Australia – 5,555 surfers
  9. San Francisco, California – 5,520 surfers
  10. Barcelona, Spain – 5,141 surfers
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