How it all began
It began in 2004 as a project built by and for a passionate community of travellers from around the world whose goal was to meet like-minded people in order to foster cultural exchange and share a wide range of experiences.
Currently, the community is made up of adventurous travelers around the world from ages 18-80. People from all walks of life and all kinds of lifestyles.
What makes it possible is the deep desire in people to connect with others and have richer experiences when they travel.
Before Couchsurfing, there was really no mechanism by which people traveling could reliably meet locals without starting random conversations in hostels, hotels, pubs and the like. In some places, it’s impossible to break into local culture without an introduction from someone inside it.
As it's free, it facilitates travel for many people who would not be able to travel as broadly, were they paying for accommodation.
However, accommodation is really a side benefit of a network that is, essentially, a global community of friends you just haven’t met yet. Upon using it, people quickly become aware of the meaningful connections that are possible.
Becoming a member is simple and free. You can either sign up with your name, valid email address, date of birth and location OR by logging into your Facebook account.
You are encouraged, but not required, to complete an easy verification process, a security measure that confirms the identity of the person creating a profile.
Once the profile is complete, you can choose to send Couch Requests to find a place to stay in the location you plan to visit. Members are never obligated to host those who have hosted them (or anyone for that matter), although many do based on their experiences gained as a result of their interactions.
The United States, France, Germany, Canada, and UK have the largest number of Couchsurfers, but you will find hosts in every country in the world.
Fill out your profile completely and include photos.
Write personalized couch requests to people with whom you’d like to stay, it yields the best results.
Check out the Couch Information section on each profile, the host explains what they have available, and it ranges from couches to guest bedrooms to your own cottage.
Check out our How It Works section for all the tips you’ll need on using the Couchsurfing site: https://www.couchsurfing.org/n/how-it-works
For those looking for other mature matches here’s a link to the 50+ Travelers Group: http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=2164
“This is the best invention for travellers! Because of it I get absorbed into the lives of strangers who become dear friends, embraced by their genuine hospitality, showered with homemade meals, meeting their family and friends, and enjoying the comforts of home in just a matter of days, seeing more than most tourists see in weeks, and definitely much more than guide books can fathom.
My experiences have given me faith in human kind again where trust, kindness and the gift of sharing proves to exist exponentially through this site. Thank you.” –Peggy F.
“CS is a great way to promote peace and friendship across the globe.” –Elsha B.
“Everyone I have hosted has taught me something valuable about life. We all benefit from cultural exchange - but as an older person, I find the inter-generational exchange just as fascinating. Sometimes, my only regret is that they can't move in permanently! My couchsurfers bring me joy. Merci a tous. Thanks to all of you!” -Larry G.
For more information link to www.couchsurfing.org
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