ONLINE MAGAZINE 2
(Oct 2008) Our Future / Unsere Zukunft
Online magazine 2See all news
By Arno Engel
Da Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten oftmals das sind, was eine Reise billig oder teuer macht, ist die Suche nach Alternativen zu klassischen Hotels naheliegend. Couch Surfing ist ein weltweites Netzwerk von Personen, die Reisende auf ihrem Sofa schlafen lassen.
How can we travel?
Everyone who travels frequently knows that the costs of accommodation are basically what make a journey affordable or not. Planning a trip to England, at least someone coming from the Euro-zone will be shocked by the prices hostels ask for: dorm beds start at about 13£, in London one might even pay 20£.
A new alternative
Indeed, there is an alternative: it is possible to find people who help you out, just like friends. This system is called Couch Surfing. Typing in couchsurfing.com one finds a database of people offering their sofas to complete strangers - worldwide. To be able to participate, one has to sign up and create a profile telling something about yourself, your travels and the languages you speak and of course if you offer your couch (not obligatory).
Starting the search
Having done this, and it is indeed crucial to share something about yourself to gain trust, the search begins. Having clicked "List surfers on next page" you will find a list of surfers who live where you want to go. Clicking on one of them allows you a look at their profile with comments and ratings by former guests. To decide for this surfer you click the "Couch Surf with..." button and leave a short note along with your request. Being lucky you will get a positive answer in the next days, providing contact details and directions. Having a nice couchsurfer, you will be offered food and help with directions, mabe they even have time to show you around.