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Old 08-14-2005, 07:48 PM   #1
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has anyone tried couchsurfing.com? would you recommend it? or just go for a hostel?
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Old 08-14-2005, 08:31 PM   #2
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I have sort of had partial experiences with it.

In Santiago, Chile I contacted a guy who wrote back immediately and said I could stay with him/meet up for a drink, whatever. But it didn't work out (because of my end, not his).

I am in contact right now with a guy here who is going to come stay with me. Granted he hasn't stayed here yet, but we have talked a ton on the phone and have met once and he is totally legit.

So so far, so good.

I guess it depends on what you want. It definitely is cool in my opinion to hang out with/meet locals. You feel like you're getting more of a cultural experience than by just staying in hostels and meeting other travellers. Then again, you might not hit it off with the host or they might be busy and not want to do anything with you and in hostels people are always up for going out/partying/etc.
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Old 08-14-2005, 10:33 PM   #3
 
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So far, I haven't been able to arrange accomodations with it...but I have hosted, and the person I hosted was very respectful and just great. I'm looking forward to using it when I go to Europe.
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Old 08-17-2005, 08:27 AM   #4
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I've hosted 3 groups of people so far some Yanks, some dude from Paris and two German bikers. Their all preaty respectful I'll be using it now on my travels. Which reminds me I'd better start sending Emails.

"Can come stay with you, TOMORROW?!"
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Old 08-17-2005, 01:17 PM   #5
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When I was sharing my apartment with roomates,one of them spent the weekend in Toronto using this service, and it went very well. The host and he stayed in contact and the next year, the host at her turn came into our home for a couple of days even though we are not registered.

Another great site for free lodging : global free loaders.
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:15 AM   #6
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yep ive used it in amsterdam --- hostels are way expensive there. it was a great experience, great guy n everything.. i think if u just check it out pretty thoroughly, meet the person in a public place somewhere first and dont be too shy to bail out if u get a weird vibe. its all good baby!!!
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:03 PM   #7
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That does sound like a cool system....of course I don't even have my own place, let alone a spare couch to offer someone!!

Oh but when I do....watch out people!! I will be inviting many wandering souls to my couch!
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:55 AM   #8
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Has anyone tried this in Eastern Europe (Poland, Czech, Croatia, Hungary) yet?
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Old 03-05-2006, 03:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by JustinDT@Feb 25 2006, 10:55 AM
Has anyone tried this in Eastern Europe (Poland, Czech, Croatia, Hungary) yet?
[snapback]104297[/snapback]
I personally have not done it myself, but meet a fellow Aussie guy in Bosnia last year that had done it in Eastern Europe a few times, in places like eastern Bosnia and Serbia ... and a few other countries that i can't remember .. from what I remember he stayed with many uni students and had a great time!
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:44 AM   #10
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i have signed up for it after reading this post, and although I couldn't offer a couch to kip on as i still live at home, thought it was quite a good idea, Only problem is my boyfriend isn't keen on it, thinks it would be weird and dodgy kipping on someones couch. Bit annoying coz I think its a great idea, sociable, free, all part of the adventure, but hey, im not the sort of person to make someone do something they dont want to.
So I guess thats out of the window Shame as everything I have heard about it has been good.
Ahh well
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:53 AM   #11
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I think it would be kinda cool...as long as you are careful and know how to make a quick exit if you end up at some weirdos place...
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:55 AM   #12
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yeah i thought it would have been best to have started through getting to knwo people through emails.
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:32 PM   #13
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Since my last post in this thread, I have since used it. Stayed with a guy in Singapore and he absolutely bent over backwards for me; would highly recommend it!
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:35 PM   #14
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This is a really awesome site. I signed up already. If anyone needs a couch in East Lansing, MI (home of MSU) let me know! I'm in a dorm but you're still welcome.
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Old 03-11-2006, 07:48 AM   #15
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I am at the flat of a guy I met on couchsurfing.com RIGHT NOW. I've met up with 4 people from the site since I've been in London (since Monday). I stayed at two of their houses. It's been great so far. I much prefer it to the hostel I stayed at for one time (the generator *shudder*). I also stayed with someone when I was on a trip in Colorado and it was the best experience ever. I am really loving this site right now. The people show you so much more than you'd see if you don't have friends where you're visiting! In Vail, CO I got into the resort free, and innow London, I've seen BBC show recording, seen the House of Commons in session, and now I'm experiencing the London music scene! Ok, I'm done.
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Old 03-19-2006, 07:38 AM   #16
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I've signed up and used it a bunch since my last post. I think I decided the best course of action is to book my hostel and just meet some of these people and if they're cool I can go on the couch and if I'm not feeling it, my hostel is already booked.
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Old 03-19-2006, 07:55 AM   #17
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How far ahead do you suggest getting in touch with couchsurfing hosts??
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Old 03-19-2006, 09:24 AM   #18
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I'm going to see them in early/mid May and have been in touch with people since mid/late February. It seems to me 4-6 weeks is best because it both gives them time to be lax replying and you'll also know which exact dates you'll be there. Until I had the dates themselves instead of just a rough idea, there wasn't much help they could do to help me out and know if they'd be around/have a free couch.

It seems pretty safe though. I only had one weird person message me out of nowhere and I blew them off politely.
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Old 05-24-2006, 02:58 PM   #19
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I've done more couch surfing since I last posted here (mostly in Ireland). I think it's a good idea to try and contact a host at least a week before you try to show up but I've done it on as late as a days notice. I never plan far enough in advance to know how long I'll be staying or when I'll get there. Most people seem laid back enough and they even end up convincing me to stay longer than I intended.

It's my new favorite way of travelling. Everyone has been amazingly nice and hospitable. And you get free food a lot of the time. But its really just great that you get to meet a friend who is a local and can show you around.
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
It seems to me 4-6 weeks is best because it both gives them time to be lax replying and you'll also know which exact dates you'll be there.
I prefer it closer to the date their staying, I'm rubbish with dates and planning ahead so I could end up saying yes to 3 or 4 things.
I've never said no to a couchsurfer yet I figure I'm preaty safe, backpackers aren't going to steel your tele and their more or less stuck in the town until ether me or the bus brings them back to civilisation. The only thing is the last minute ones ralely ever show up.
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