Nowadays, Couchsurfing is the best thing that can happen to any traveller. It’s a whole new world filled with people with similar interests, comparable ways of thinking and the same passion for travel. This website is basically for those who want to stay with the locals and explore a particular place from a local’s point of view rather than staying in a hotel and being just another tourist.
One can find local people to host them and can also act as hosts to the other couch surfers who are travelling to your city. The idea may sound strange to some who are not used to this because living in a stranger’s house is not the first thing that comes to mind while planning a trip. I get a lot of questions asking about the risks of living with someone you don’t know, you’ve never met and never had a word with. My answer is always the same. The moment you step out of the house to travel to an unknown destination, you’ve already exposed yourself to a certain level of risk. So if you push your risk acceptance boundaries a little more, the experience you get in return is a priceless reward.
In this article, I would like to share how I used Couch Surfing not only to find hosts but also to meet a lot of new people on my trips. Within these first three trips, I’ve made more than thirty new friends from various places. So here we go:
• Make your trip ‘Public’:
Couch Surfing provides you with the option to make your trips ‘public’ so that locals from all over the city that you’re visiting, can see that you will be coming to their city. Some of them might contact you to act as hosts while some might want to catch up for drinks or show you around (Yes, nice people do exist!). I have experienced meeting all three kinds of locals and it doesn’t take any extra effort on your side.
One of the most common ways to meet more couch surfers, solo travellers and locals are to join the events that are/will be happening in the city. While you are in the city and don’t have much planned for the evening, look for local events which have been organised by others. You will be surprised to see how many people show up in these kinds of events.
This one is my personal favourite. An Event is sort of a broadcasting message which everyone in the region can see. Whoever is looking for an event in the city (second point above) can see your event and attend it, if interested. Name the event “Looking forward to meeting Locals and Travellers”; in the description. Describe your trip and what you would like to do. A lot of couch surfers might join your event. Not everybody will turn up on the day of the event, but you’ll find enough people to spend a good time with. Do get rid of your inhibitions and try it out. It has worked for me every time.
In the ‘Search’ options, look for travellers visiting the same place as you and filter the results with the dates you will be travelling on. You will get to see the number of travellers who will be in the city at the same time as you and BINGO! Ask them whether they would like to explore the city together. If not, you can always catch-up for drinks in the evening. No traveller would say ‘no’ because as I have already said, it’s a place where we all think the same way.
I hope this article inspire you to try out ‘Couch Surfing’. Feel free to connect with me if you decide to join or are a member already. Please find the link here.