If you’re not familiar with CouchSurfing.com, head on over to their site and check it out. Couch Surfing is an invaluable single dude travel tool.
Couch Surfing was founded around the idea that if a bunch of people that are willing to let friends crash on each others couches got together and formed a loose social network, it would be possible to travel nearly for free. At least accommodation could be free which is often the most expensive part. If you want or need to travel on a shoestring budget, Couch Surfing is for you.
Perhaps though, your travel budget isn’t your problem and you feel a little bit too grown up to be running around crashing on peoples couches. No problem, but don’t write off Couch Surfing just yet. Couch Surfing is good for a few of other things:
It’s really nice, especially if you’re traveling alone, to have a few friendly helpful people to hang out with as soon as you hit the ground. Even if they tend toward being dirty hippies, Couch Surfers are nothing if not friendly and helpful. Locals or expats that have been living in a place for a while can help you out with so much from avoiding scams to finding cool places and events you would never know about otherwise.
The other great use for couch surfing is doing your homework on your destination. You don’t even have to meet up with anybody, you can just send some messages online or post some questions in their forums. This is what we did prior to our Riga trip and we ended up with a tremendous list of bars, restaurants and activities after asking a few people what’s hot in Riga.
So don’t be shy, head on over to Couch Surfing, create an account and start establishing a good reputation. Remember to add some cool photos and fill out your profile all the way. You want to come across as a cool laid back person people would like to meet and show around. Couch Surfing is not a dating service so make sure you don’t look like someone who’s main objective is getting laid (although that certainly happens). Now start meeting people and getting positive feedback, the more positive feedback you have the easier it will be to line up meetings and a couch to crash on if you need it. One more thing, if you’re a big pothead like Charlie and Raul, a Couch Surfer is going to be one of your best bets for a hookup.