One of the people I was in Ecuador with, Kristin just started her own blog knmelody8.blogspot.com Kristen made a decision to travel for a year- and after being on the road, she learned all about couch-surfing. I also couch-searched in Ecuador and met some wonderful people!
Wikipedia says: The CouchSurfing Project is a free, Internet-based, international hospitality service, and it is currently the largest hospitality exchange network. The project was commenced in 2003 and formally launched on Jan 1, 2004.
As of October 2008, it had more than 780,000 members in 232 countries and territories. According to their own published statistics, 40% of their members are currently offering their couches to host travellers (with another 22% saying “maybe”, and others who are travelling at the moment). . According to Alexa it is currently the most visited hospitality service on the Internet, averaging more than 30 million daily page views in July 2008.
Members use the website to coordinate contacts and home accommodation (or “surf” others’ “couches”) with other network members around the world. The website allows the creation of extensive profiles, and uses an optional credit card verification system, a personal vouching system, and personal references to increase security and trust between members. The site offers other features such as discussion groups, events and meetings, and live chat.
Tips for CouchSurfers concerned about the environment. The Earth is a finite environment with limited resources which are being consumed at an unsustainable rate. The deterioration of the biosphere is an increasing cause for concern globally. Our mission to build a better world includes a commitment to encouraging behavior that protects our environment. CouchSurfing itself is a big step in the right direction by reducing demand for hotel rooms, which in turn reduces the consumption of building materials and energy for constant climate control. This is even more important in the developing world, where hotels are regularly built in ecologically sensitive areas like beaches, forests, and wetlands. CouchSurfing alone, however will not save our planet. We live together on the same small rock and every action counts. Here’s how you can help build a sustainable world and a healthy environment.
I just Gotta Tell Ya
- Hotels use between 100 and 200 gallons of fresh water per occupied guestroom per day. This averages out to about 36,500 to 73,000 gallons of water per room per year.
- Approximately 1.3 tonnes of glass is collected each month from the hotel.(Sheraton Auckland)
- Number of shampoo and conditioner bottles used per month 3,500 Waipuna International Hotel & Conference Centre
Top 13 Couch Surfing Resources
- Couch Surfing.com
- Couch Surfing.net
- Couch Surfing. org When we incorporated CouchSurfing International, Inc. as a non-profit, we filed our official mission statement as:”CouchSurfing seeks to internationally network people and places, create educational exchanges, raise collective consciousness, spread tolerance, and facilitate cultural understanding.”
- Couch Surfing Camp-
- www.globalfreeloaders.com An Australian hospitality network, with the antipodes particularly well represented.
- www.hospitalityclub.org One of the web originals, aiming to “bring people together”. Duration of stay and specifics (such as food) are set out before your stay.
- www.stay4free.com A global “free accommodation network” based in Holland.
- www.travelhoo.com Another of the early web outfits. Also offers a travel partner-finding service. Sign up to surf
- www.roomft.com RoomFT (‘Room For Travellers’) unique FREE website that matches the needs of travellers with a desire by homeowners (hosts) to let out room(s) in their home.
- Better than the Van-www.betterthanthevan.com, Better Than The Van is a couchsurfing social network for touring bands and musicians. We think it’s a great way for bands and music fans to connect with each other for a practical reason. You’ll meet new people, discover new music and help make touring a little easier. If that sounds like a good time, sign up and give it a try. You can help spread more music to more places.
- Host a Tourist www.HostaTourist.com is a worldwide network of homeowners who want to earn extra cash and tourists/visitors looking for cheap rooms to stay in when travelling.
- Air Bed and Breakfast AirBed & Breakfast is an online marketplace for peer-to-peer traveling. Enable people to earn money by renting out extra space, and offer travelers a viable alternative to hotels.
- Warm Showers– for bicyclist The Warm Showers List is a list of Internet cyclists who have offered their hospitality towards touring cyclists. The extent of the hospitality depends on the host and may range from simply a spot to pitch a tent to meals, a warm (hot!) shower, and a b