World of Couch Surfing


Always Felt Travelling and Experiencing ‘Adventure’ Creates a Hole in Your Wallet? Jasmine Chabria Shares with you the Cheap, Adventurous and Amicable World of Couch Surfing

Vacations and holidays rejuvenate the soul, body and mind; making us vroom. They work better than any spa, and so obviously lighter wallets come in trend. We await these rejuvenation highs while searching ways to spend less on accommodation; and simultaneously have a ‘Rock On’ time. The cheap, yet fun and friendly, Couch Surfing is your best partner that keeps your wallet good and heavy as you meet new people.

Coming in Limelight
The Couch Surfing project was introduced by the visionary Casey Fenton in 1999. His idea popped up after finding an inexpensive flight from Boston to Iceland. Fenton randomly e-mailed 1,500 students from the University of Iceland asking if he could stay with them. He ultimately received more than 50 offers of accommodation.
This idea needed execution. Casey Fenton along with other founders founded Couch Surfing International Inc. – a corporation based in San Francisco that offers its users lowbudget, fun hospitality exchange and social networking services. This corporation explains ‘Couch Surfing’ in a highly adventurous and joyous manner. It is a ‘practice’ of moving from one friend’s house to another (or some person’s home whom the traveller may just have met). Dozing in any space, any condition; on a floor, bean bag or couch are the other features. Couch Surfing provides travel guides and forums. Members organize activities such as camping trips, bar crawls, meetings, and sporting events.

Independent Learning Beyond Walls and Practical Learning 
The whole concept focuses on epitomic exploration and creating significant connects with the new places and people- who eventually turn into the traveller’s best buddy.

Bizzare, Novel, Romantic Meetings
Rose met Charlie while he was hiking with his co-surfer. They got married two months later, and now have a kid-lily.That’s a flowery story. Benformer banker joined the gothics after meeting his gothic host and now is happily gothic than ever before. Nishant Raheja recently returned from his couch surfing vacation and met a pregnant lady and her hubby. Nishant has come up with an entreprising idea to deliver ‘dhabas’for newly-turned moms abroad seeing that they don’t have helpers.

It’s Not Solely about Visiting New Places, but ‘Living Beyond Boundaries of Daily Routines’
This appealing trend has set the largest travel community called by the main name ‘Couch Surfers’. To this fascinating community, the world is much smaller than people think. They value real-life experiences with strangers, who quickly turn into buddies. Learning occurs eternally. This travel community is the best example for sharing; they share homes, museum passes, bicycles and a bonappetite to satisfy your hunger pangs amidst all the adventure. They give you rides between cities and aid you with mountain hikes and dazzling jam sessions. There are millions of Couch Surfers in 92,000+ cities in 207 countries. The maximum numbers of enthusiastic couch surfers come from the US, Germany, France and Spain. India too will soon be making a leading position in this new travel genre.

Enhancing Security
After the unfortunate 2009 incident when a Chinese tourist was raped after being offered free bed for the night from man on ‘couchsurfing’ website, the security verifications have escalated.
There are three methods designed to increase security and trust, which are all visible on member profiles Firstly, personal references are placed at the premier, where hosts and surfers have the option to leave after having used the service. Secondly, an optional credit card verification system, allowing members to “lock in” their name and mailing address by making a credit card payment and entering a code that CouchSurfing mails to an address of their choice. Thirdly, personal vouching system, whereby a member that had been vouched for three times — originally starting with the founders of the site — might in turn vouch for any number of other members he knew or had met through CouchSurfing, and trusts.
These verification methods are all contested within the CouchSurfing community, especially the verification system, which is the only revenue stream of the corporation. Such moves have established trustworthiness and safety for all the existent and aspiring couch surfers.

Bridging Discrimination
Couch Surfing has aided surpass the greedy concepts of noninteractions with some sidelined groups. Hunter Homeless Connect is a one-stop shop for people affected by homelessness, something that touches people of all ages, for any number of reasons. It’s sad to sideline them. Just imagine if someone isolated you and wouldn’t even give you a glance. Young Couch Surfers nowadays also surf with the Hunter’s Homeless groups. Such moves make our society better and friendlier place.

Want to Register for Couch Surfing?
As this whole concept focuses on cutting down on budgets, the registration is free unlike some travel agents. You can register either as a host or a to-be-guest. Members can also give their pictures as well as accommodations they prefer. The more information the member provides about himself, the more trustworthy the person is seen as a guest or host. The duration and nature of homestays and terms set by the host are worked out in advance mutually between the guest and the host. This is necessary before he turns into ‘ghar jamai’ or like the guest in the movie ‘atithi tum kab jaoge’.
Such innovative and viable travel tactics make travel a broader and better experience altogether. Bon voyage to all you travel-diehards.

This travel community is the best example for sharing- they share homes, museum passes, bicycles and a bon-appetite

Volume 2 Issue 3


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