I don’t know how many of you readers have heard of couchsurfing, but if you haven’t – well, it’s time for me to praise it like I should in return of all the travel opportunities it has given me. Members of couchsurfing.com can travel and stay for free virtually anywhere in the world provided they are willing to put up with staying on someone’s couch and deal with other minor inconveniences.
Personal experience? My history with couchsurfing includes four nights in the centre of Moscow (with a set of keys and a beautiful bedroom) and a night in Vienna in one of the most retro-styled apartments I have ever seen. Everyone I have ever met through this website was welcoming, well-traveled, and honest. This is not to say that I would necessarily be ready to do it on my own with any given member, as this gives a lot or room for error, but I think that if you’re traveling with a friend and find someone who has a very good record – well, for me it’s a why-not kind of thing. When I first used this website I was (and still am) completely taken aback with people’s ability to open their homes to almost complete strangers. I find it truly remarkable that so many people from all over the world have created a network of give-and-take of trust and hospitality.