Couchsurfing

October 24, 2007

Hostels, it turns out, are for suckers. I have recently discovered something better in the form of couchsurfing.com, a web-site for travellers. You go on, create a profile, and then can search for open “couches” anywhere in the world. I’ve only actually used the site twice so far, both time in order to find a place in Vienna, but both experiences were extremely positive.

For one thing, you are staying with people from the city you’re visiting, so you can get a much better sense of the culture and of what makes the city interesting. Generally, museums aren’t that interesting, or at least not so interesting that I would travel around the world to see one.

Another obvious benefit is that couchsurfing is free. People will sometimes ask for “donations,” which is only fair if you are taking hot showers and using electricity, but it’s still much cheaper than a hotel or hostel.

It’s funny when you think about how much unused space there is in people’s apartments. I feel like a hippie or communist saying this, but we don’t really need hostels and hotels when there is all this excess living space. So can’t we all, just like, get along, man?

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