Couchsurfing

Thinking about next year’s holiday ? Of course the following are not guaranteed to be Transitioners, but there is a good chance that some are.

I have stayed on people’s couches, but I have never used the online matching services. I thought I’d take a look, at what is on offer. As usual, there are a variety of offerings, some entirely voluntary and free, others commercial.

The idea has been around for some years, and www.couchsurfing.org was the original, founded in 1999, and is probably still the largest. They have  fairly recently changed status, from ‘not for profit’ to a socially responsible company. Intended to engender cultural exchange, there is no obligation to ‘host’ others before you go surfing on couches, and whilst a gift or a bit of help is welcome, no costs for staying.

As a result of their move to company status, another breakaway site has been created www.bewelcome.org Largely with the same ethos (and some of the same hosts).

There is then www.globalfreeloader.com This one is free, but does expect you to host others in exchange for being hosted.

As always with a good idea, there are commercial versions.

http://www.u-exchange.com/ is free (and not just holidays), but funded by adverts on screen.

Crashpadder charges £3 to book a room, and 10% commision on the deal. The room owner sets the price.

Similarly, parkatmine allows you to rent out a car parking space by the hour, day or week.

If you’ve tried any of these, and think they’re great or otherwise, why not share the experience.

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