CouchSurfing – A platform to travel, socialize and learn languages
CouchSurfing, the online platform where you can connect with people from all over the world with the main purpose to either provide accommodation to travellers or search as a traveller for a (free) place to stay with locals. Now don’t get the wrong images in your head of unsafe travel and staying with crazy people because that is CouchSurfing absolutely not. It provides an authentic and unforgettable experience for each traveller and host, with a lot of benefits. Let me tell you why you should immediately create an account on CouchSurfing!
First of all, CouchSurfing is not just a platform to facilitate help in finding accommodation, it is much more than that: and interchange of cultures and a way to meet new people. The experience of CouchSurfing is that what makes your journey more unique.
What do you mean with more unique?
The host (couch provider) makes sure the traveller has a place to stay and helps him or her with whatever he or she needs. This on the other hand does not mean that the host and the traveller need to be together 24/7 during the trip or that the host needs to entertain the traveller the whole time. The host might take the you the traveller out for some exploration or just give him or her some tips where to eat and what to see. Either way, staying with a local who can provide some travel tips will add to the travel experience of the traveller and as well have a lot of benefits for the host.
Meaning that both parties involved benefit from CouchSurfing! In what way?
As already slightly mentioned, it is an interchange of cultures and a way of meeting new people. Both the host and the traveller can prepare meals typical to the countries of origin, talk about their travel experiences and travel plans and most importantly learn languages by doing a language exchange! When you travel for example to Spain with CouchSurfing, you probably stay with a native Spanish. Perfect chance to practice the language, isn’t it? Maybe he or she wants to learn your language as well! A win-win situation.
Besides, if you are a bit shy and not a pro in meeting new people, the benefit of CouchSurfing is that you already have met someone new by staying with a “stranger”. The host can then introduce you to more people and there is also the possibility to go to the monthly CouchSurfing evenings which are organized in almost every large city. The CouchSurfing community finds it important though that you try to avoid the word “stranger”, because you have friends all over the world, you just haven’t met them yet.
But sleeping on a couch does not seem too attractive to me…
Don’t worry, only because the platform is called CouchSurfing does not mean you always sleep at a couch. Sometimes the host offers a complete room, an air matrass or a place in their yard for a tent. You can find what the host offers on their profile page.
It still sounds a little bit unsafe for me...
CouchSurfing is definitely a trustworthy interchange platform! The founders of CouchSurfing devoted close attention to the creation of a trustworthy system. Each person needs to make a profile before being able to use CouchSurfing properly. This profile contains personal information, ideas, travel plans and experiences. Besides that you need to verify your name and address to prove that you are who you say you are.
Furthermore after each visit as well the host as the traveller are asked to write a reference on the profile page of the other. In this reference they need to tell about their experience with the other person and how he or she is by mentioning for example some funny characteristics. By sharing and writing references people can know in advance (a little bit) who they are dealing with and make sure they feel comfortable when making their choice.
To end this story about CouchSurfing I only want to mention that you can also use this platform to just meet new people in a city where you do not know many (or any) people yet. This platform can help you start making friends!