Couchsurfing is a social networking website that provides a platform for members to connect with locals and other travelers while exploring a city. You can either look for a host for a homestay in your destination city or you can host other couchsurfers in your home city. There is no money exchanged between hosts and guests so the service is completely free of charge. However, you may verify your profile by paying a small annual fee if you wish to send an unlimited amount of messages to potential hosts.
The registration is quite simple and very similar to other social networks. You can build your profile by filling out the various sections: age, education, interests, skills you can teach other couchsurfers, photos, and what type of lodging you can offer to potential guests.
Once your profile is all set, you can start your search. While looking for hosts in a particular city, members can use a variety of filters on their search: location, age, gender, interests, type of accommodation (private room, public room, shared room, etc.), and your preferences (smoking/non-smoking, pet-friendly, etc.). Members also have the option of publicly posting their travel plans to see if there are any offers from other members to host or meet up. Once a member offers their home for lodging, all the other details are worked out between the host and the guest, such as the duration of the homestay or meeting arrangements. The most important thing that hosts and guests are encouraged to do is to spend time together and share their travel experiences with each other.
Couchsurfing has a mobile app to make it even easier for you to explore options as you plan your next trip. If you aren’t looking for a place to stay, there are plenty of social events organized by couchsurfers in cities all over the world, such as language exchanges, group hiking trips, and parties. Couchsurfing is one of the best social networks out there to make the most of your travel experiences.