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Random couches? A good idea for a young, adventurous couple?
June 17, 2007 11:33 AM   Subscribe

Should my b/f and I attempt the couchsurfing experience for our upcoming roadtrip, or do you have any tips regarding the process?

My boyfriend and I are planning a Pacific Northwest 9-day roadtrip this August, and we were considering couchsurfing to save some money, meet some new interesting people and perhaps talk to some inside sources on the key places to visit along our route.

In general, is this a good idea, or would we be better off staying in economy motel-type lodgings along the way? If we do contact various folks to try to schedule a night on a couch should we do anything for thanks, say, cook a great meal for the host(s)? Anyone with direct experiences welcome!
posted by Asherah to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I had some great people come stay with me in Morocco, and one thing I appreciated was that they brought a little souvenir from their hometown.

The best thing to do is sit down with each host and find out the level of interaction they're comfortable with - some just provide the couch and a few sightseeing tips, others (like me) are willing to show you around all day.
posted by Liosliath at 12:34 PM on June 17, 2007


related
also related
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:41 PM on June 17, 2007


and also related
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:44 PM on June 17, 2007


What about camping? It handles the saving-money part. BLM land and National Forests are generally free to camp on.
posted by salvia at 1:51 PM on June 17, 2007


I've hosted a number of people through Couchsurfing at my place in Iceland (see my profile here). It's been a really great experience. I haven't done any surfing on my own, but I plan to use Couchsurfing when I go traveling later this year.

A couple of guests have given me something to show their appreciation. One cooked dinner, one invited me out to dinner, and one gave me a bottle of wine. I would definetely do something to show your appreciation. Cooking dinner for example would be really nice.

If you're thinking about Couchsurfing just as a cheap way to travel, then I would reconsider. What I think is the most important part is that a lot of times you end up meeting and hanging out with some really cool people. A lot of people list on their profile if they're willing to do anything with you. For example, some people take their guests sightseeing, and I've taken some guests with me to check out the nightlife in the city. I don't feel obliged to do that, but if I connect with the surfers, then that can be a lot of fun.

Oh, and please don't send out emails to a lot of people asking if you can stay. Look at the profiles and then find someone you like, and write a personal message. Then if they don't answer in 2-3 days, write to the next one on your list.

And if you do this, complete your profile, write something about yourself and post photos. I don't even look at requests from people who haven't even spent 10 minutes doing that.
posted by einarorn at 2:33 PM on June 17, 2007


Einarorn: Thanks for the firsthand experience and advice...we are looking at the experience as a well-rounded way to get to know the areas we are visiting a bit better (less touristy, more intimately), but we are also travelling on a budget and of course we are hoping for modest accomodations. Our aim is not to take advantage of the lodging and then run, but we are on a timeline as well so I'm hoping we can make some sort of scheduling compromise with the various hosts we stay with. A definite goal would be to meet some unforgettable people with a knowledge of their respective areas and possibly extended friendships!
posted by Asherah at 11:00 AM on June 18, 2007


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