Couch Surfing?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Melrose, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #1
    So I've been toying with this idea for a couple years now, of taking a vacation around northern Europe (Germany, England, Scotland, France, et al) and would need to do it cheap (very cheap).

    In a travel article I read about CouchSurfing.org.. they have verification and identity checks and all that.

    Does anyone have any experiences using this or something similar?
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    Not sure I would ever want to do that, but that is just me. Good luck.:)
     
  3. MasterDev macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    #3
    I've used this before... It's really fun and you get to meet all sorts of cool people.
     
  4. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    I think it's a really cool idea and I've heard good (and bad) things about it. I haven't done it myself mostly out of paranoia of winding up with a predator of some kind (a girl has to think of these things) but perhaps I should look into it further. :)
     
  5. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2000
    #5
    I've used a similar site (airbnb.com) before. If you're up for an adventure go for it!
     
  6. Melrose thread starter Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #6
    Thanks for the replies. :) I realize that staying with a complete stranger would be dangerous if you got some real scumbag, but the site let's you screen people pretty good and leave feedback. It's kind of cool how complete strangers show that much trust and get to know each other.

    It wouldn't be a while yet but I'm starting to put ideas together and see where it takes me.

    I'd prefer married couples sans kids, they seem more settled and safer. :D
     
  7. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #7
    I did Couch Surfing during my trip this summer. It's pretty cool and, like you said, the site helps you screen people because everyone has feedback from others so it's pretty safe. I say you should go for it. :)
     
  8. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #8
    a friend of mine traveled couch surfing....his worst experiences were when the hosts left him stranded without a place to stay a couple of times. In one case the host-to-be had basically vanished, later explaining that they had decided to go on a last minute vacation. The other time, he arrived in the city and called only to be told that the host had changed his mind and wasn't going to host couch surfers.
     
  9. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #9
    ^^ Well, you should always have a backup plan, either another couch or a hostel, because things happen. You could even not get along with your host. In any case there's always the "last minute couch" forums at the Couch Surfing website for these situations.
     
  10. chstr macrumors 6502a

    chstr

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #10
    VERY popular in europe, where people are more communal. Not so popular in the states. I had a girl stay in my place in NYC last year and she was a little unappreciative, but nice otherwise
     
  11. creator2456 macrumors 68000

    creator2456

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #11
    When I was planning my vacation to Seattle this year I looked heavily into couchsurfing. I didn't end up staying with anyone I met through the site as I was staying for two weeks and nobody could accommodate me that long, but my experience of the site and their system was very good.
     
  12. tofagerl macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #12
    Heard about this before, but I never had room. Now I have an extra half-floor (dunno what it's called in english, basically it's an extra ceiling over one room with a bed on top.) so I signed up :)
     
  13. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #13
    That's really cool of you. I's a great way to meet people from different cultures when you can't go out and travel yourself. I did couch surfing this summer and I now I'm going to host some people too. :)
     
  14. tofagerl macrumors 6502a

    tofagerl

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #14
    Totally doing this out of self interest, I need more cool foreign friends ;p
     
  15. Melrose thread starter Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #15
    Yeah, I noticed there're a TON of couch surfers/hosts in Europe. The US is too independent and non-communal for stuff like that to be popular, sadly..

    The people I bookmarked (or even just bothered to read their profile) had good reviews and seemed well put-together. I'm wary of profiles that say "dudez..........check in. have mattress. i luv to party." And a backup plan is a good idea. Weirdly I didn't even think of that :confused:
     
  16. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #16
    Yeah, I always choose people that, other than good feedback, have filled their profiles all the way, that write a lot about themselves and have lots of pictures.

    I suggested a backup plan because I was in a situation where I needed one. A friend of mine, who is also in couch surfing, recommended me someone for me to stay with in Paris. Unfortunately we didn't plan things properly and when I got to his place he was at work and had forgotten his cell phone. I didn't know what was going on and if he had backed out so I just found a hostel to stay in that night. Later he called me and apologized and I stayed with him the next night and it went great.

    So even though it was scary for a moment, since I was on my own in a strange city with no place to sleep, it was actually good that this happened because I had a great time at the hostel and met some amazing people there.
     
  17. Melrose thread starter Suspended

    Melrose

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #17
    How pricey are hostels over there? And how do they work, you all sleep in an open room with communal showers? I've always been confused by the whole hostel thing.
     
  18. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #18
    It depends. Most hostels have different types of rooms from private rooms with showers, to multiple-bed dorms with showers outside on your floor. I stayed in a hostel in Bruges where you had to go through the usually busy bar to get to the showers.

    As for prices it depends a lot on the cities. In Paris I payed 26 euro a night with breakfast included and no wi-fi. In Bruges I payed 16 euro a night with breakfast and wi-fi included. In Vienna I payed 18 euro a night for the best hostel ever.

    But you can check prices here: www.hostelworld.com
     
  19. Melrose thread starter Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #19
    The only hostels I've looked at before are the ones in US, and they were pricey. Thx for the link :) I'd really not care for sleeping in a room full of other people snoring, farting, twitching, etc. all night. I'd pay more for a private room. Showers it's not a huge deal, but the bed has to be secluded.

    ...now I need cheap airfare. Transatlantic flights are so flippin' expensive :rolleyes:
     
  20. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #20
    Well, private rooms are always pricier. The prices I told you were all for dorm rooms, a private room in a hostel can (sometimes) be as expensive as a hotel room. But you can check the prices on the website I told you.
     
  21. Melrose thread starter Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #21
    I've also considered renting an apartment for a week (which can be cheaper than a hotel).

    I've checked around on that site for prices. They don't seem too bad, really.
     
  22. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #22
    Me and my sister actually thought about renting our grandfather's apartment (which is where I live) once in a while for some extra cash. It's in a great location and I can stay at her place if we do it.
     
  23. Melrose thread starter Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #23
    But you don't have any Apple stores in Portugal... :D
     
  24. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

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    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #24
    *cries* :(

    That's why I want to move to London. :p
     

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