August 7, 2008

CouchSurfing
Chmeľová, Slovakia

I'm starting to build up my (our) CouchSurfing profile in preparation for Hungary, and beyond. I registered it about a year and a half ago, but never got around to delving into the subset of locals and travelers who comprise and support the community.

It sounds like large majorities of couch surfers only stay with their host for a night or two, and then move on to another city. Since travel is much slower with the family in tow, I'm looking to find advice from locals on where to stay for longer durations, or at least have an address to go to when we arrive in new town (a place to drop Tatiana and Aidric off whilst I room hunt).

As usual, Internet access and an idea of where I'm going would be helpful—though generally absent of late.

If you're a couch surfer, feel free contribute any tips you might have to the process.

Comments:

The United States

ryanluikens

August 11th, 2008

I first heard of couchsurfing way back in 2005, but had my doubts about the system. Then, one day in May of 2007, as I was bumming around Mexico waiting for VISA to send me my replacement credit cards, I gave it a shot. Man, am I glad I did. I have had so many wonderful human connections through this site, it's unreal. You are right in assuming most couchsurfing sessions last only a few days, but I feel this is due to guests feeling like a burden to the host [in fear of overstaying a welcome]. I've since stopped 'surfing, but when I did most stays ranged from 1-3 days. However, there were instances where the host[s] kept me around for more than a week, insisting I stay even longer. Granted, eastern europe isn't latin america.. but I'm constantly surprised with the hospitality of others.

http://www.couchsurfing.com/people/ryanluikens

Slovakia

Craig | travelvice.com

August 11th, 2008

Nice! Thanks for sharing your experiences Ryan.

The Netherlands

Clair

August 13th, 2008

Hi Craig Tatiana & Aidric,

I fell across your blog in the most bizarre of fashions while researching mosquito bites (you got a bad does of mosquito and other insect bites while in bangkok and it came up in a search I did this morning) and began reading bits from there.

What you are doing sounds amazing and very unique.

I take part in the Couchsurfing community and host in Amsterdam (a very popular city) - Adamchick, is my profile name. I tend to host for 2/3 days mostly but sometimes someone comes along you click with and are happy to have them stay on for a week or so. I never agree to have anyone stay for more than 3 days at first request as you don't know if you'll get on with them and in a one bed place that can be hard.

I have to say I've always enjoyed it, as a non native of the city its a great opportunity to view your adoptive city in a new light (every time a different view) and make some really cool friends.

Anyway… thats my 2 cents….
I really hope you continue to enjoy your travels and your beautiful family.

Clair

Slovakia

Craig | travelvice.com

August 13th, 2008

Thanks Clair — it certainly seems like an interesting community of individuals that become hosts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

…and yes, those bed bug and mosquito bites were quite excessive. Yeesh. No fond memories of that particular experience.

The United States

jia en teo

August 15th, 2008

wow with family in tow! good luck!

I've never tried couchsurfing, but will probably use peer-to-peer short-term rental sites like Roomorama.com so I can sleep in a room with a bed! This is not free like couchsurfing, but still a great way to live like a local.

Slovakia

Craig | travelvice.com

August 15th, 2008

Thanks — that's a neat site, and we're always in need of a kitchen. I wish it had more cities/participation though.

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