Want to travel the world and surf, but don’t know where you’ll stay or shower or even grab a bite to eat? Worry no more… Enter CouchSurfers.
CouchSurfers is a non-profit organization that started in 2004. “Hosts” are those members who open up their homes to “surfers.” Even if hosts don’t have a place for them to sleep, they can still offer things like a warm shower or meal.
The mission of CouchSurfing is “A world where everyone can explore and create meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter,” according to their website. Students and people around the world are making that happen one couch at a time.
As of January 2011, there were over 2.4 million persons who were registered with Couchsurfing. Couchsurfers represent more than 80,000 unique towns in 245 states and territories. Around 20% of the couchsurfers had registered their country as being the United States, with Germany, France, Canada and England also registering large numbers of participants. The city with the largest number of resident couchsurfers was Paris. The average age of participants is 28.
CouchSurfers is able to stay as a non-profit through donations and an optional verification process members can go through. It costs $25, and the website will verify the address listed and do background checks.
Check out www.couchsurfers.org for further information.