Couchsurfing - A Free Alternative To Travel Accommodation

Couchsurfing is a community that allows you to stay for free when you travel. So if you're a student, or just looking for a free place to stay, Couchsurfing is a great option. 

What Is Couchsurfing? How Does the Community Work?  
The basic idea behind Couchsurfing is that this is a Community (sort of like giffgaff) where you build up your public profile by hosting other Couchsurfers and receiving positive reviews, as well as staying with fellow Couchsurfers abroad and receiving good reviews. The Community aspect is cool as you can view different profiles, photos, etc and decide based on their profile and feedback who you would like to stay with, or who you would like to host. If you host couchsurfers, it is entirely your choice to accept or decline requests to stay. 

Some of the cool aspects of Couchsurfing include: having local hosts show you around, give you tips on what to see, where to eat, etc, and giving you a different experience than a hotel / hostel / apartment experience. 

Personal Experience: 
I first heard about Couchsurfing from friends who were staying all over Europe with random people. Sometimes they ended up staying in a flat with their own bedroom, other times, they were sleeping on a couch or on a mattress on the floor. One of my friends has hosted a number of Couchsurfers, and I've been out with them at nights in London. They are basically young, friendly, normal people trying to reduce their travel costs and looking for adventure. 

Couchsurfing vs AirBnb: 
Couchsurfing is different than AirBnb in that you need to pay to rent an AirBnb flat or room, while Couchsurfing is free. Couchsurfing and AirBnb are similar in that they are both Community based, and your profile is visible to all the other members, which helps ensure trust and safety. 

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