After dropping off our travel partners from Munich, we headed for our next adventure in close quarters with someone we don’t know – Couch Surfing! Over the next 5 minutes, some of you will be thinking about how you can work this into your next trip, and others of you will think we are insane.
Here’s how Couch Surfing (CS) works: go to www.CouchSurfing.com and create an account. Members can specify if they have a “couch” available for “surfers”, meaning, space for a visitor to come stay with them (a couch, extra room, dog bed, patio furniture…). If you are traveling, you can visit the website (after creating an account) and search for available couches in the city you are visiting.
We found a wonderful girl in Zürich who agreed to let us stay with her and her two cats for 2 nights. She had a gorgeous flat in a great location, she was friendly & hospitable, and gave us a wealth of information about Switzerland… the kind of stuff you would never know without spending a few hours with a local.
Here’s a little more about how it works, for the “tell me more!” crowd:
The people who make their couches available are typically travelers themselves… generally outgoing, like meeting new people from different places, and know that some day the favor will be returned when it’s their turn to travel (kind of pay-it-forward-ish). For the travelers, it’s a great opportunity to really learn about the city from a local perspective. Not to mention it’s usually free, although I personally think it’s appropriate to buy your host dinner, or something to show your appreciation.