After my recent post on couchsurfing.com, I found this USA TODAY article pimping out a few more options for finding a place to crash for little or no cash:
A number of websites have sprung up to help pair travelers searching for a place to crash and hosts with a spare couch. Sites like hospitalityclub.org, couchsurfing.com, globalfreeloaders.com and place2stay.net are often free, serving only as middlemen and offering tips on how to find successful matches….
Also of use on the topic, USA TODAY provides these helpful TIPS FOR SMOOTH COUCHSURFING:
Besides the couch, hosts in couch-exchange programs often offer travelers a home-cooked meal, sightseeing tips or a new ear for stories.
But be careful not to abuse or become dependent upon the hosts’ generosity, seasoned travelers say.
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Eric “Rico” Lesage said that when he travels, he’s “not looking for someone to take me around all the time. I’m looking to share at least one meal or coffee and discuss philosophies of life.”
He also has set a general three-day limit for how long people can crash on his couch.
“It was up to one week at first, but then I had a couple too long one-week experiences,” he said. “Sometimes people became too dependent, and you feel like you’re responsible for their happiness.”
Jim Stone, a 29-year-old west Texan who has been couchsurfing for more than two consecutive years, said the beginning is often the most difficult time for a couchsurfer.
Novices haven’t built up any positive references yet, an essential part of building a reputation in the community. Veterans will naturally be wary of someone with no references, Stone said.
He suggested newcomers search for others within their own city and meet for at least a cup of coffee. That way, rookies can begin to build some positive recommendations without even setting on a couch.
“Go out and get your feet wet,” he said. “Meeting people, that’s the easiest and most fun way.”