What is Couchsurfing?
Couchsurfing, or to be called for short, CS, is an online organization which everyone can resister as a member for FREE. CS member can be a ‘Surfer’ who lives in other member’s home for FREE or be a ‘Host’ who host other member in their home for FREE. The date of arrival and staying time are discussed by both host and surfer. Food is NOT included in Couchsurfing but it is always fun to cook with the host;)
CS surfers are not necessarily had to be a host before they start to surf or after they finish surfing.
All hosts have not been investigated and hosts have NO obligation to host anybody. Surfers can just gave a ‘negative comment’ to the host on the CS website if any unpleasant accidents happened. That’s why a backup plan is really important. Surfers should find a backup hostel and note down (or secure a bed by paying a small deposit) its name, address and telephone even if the host is confirmed the staying request. Then surfers don’t have to stay on street helplessly even if the host has some emergency accident and can’t host the surfers in last minutes. Surfers should leave the residence immediately in a safe circumstance if the surfers feel any suspicious (the host is drunk/be asked to pay money) and would be glad there is a backup hostel.
Surfers should read through the host profile especially the comments of members who had stayed with the host are the most valuable information.
There are ‘female’, ‘male’, ‘other’ (more than one person in a residence) filter in the CS webpage but all the info are filled up by members and there are NO investigated. In a nutshell, Don’t have a thought to harm people and Do bear in mind to defense yourself. Must read the confirmed host’s profile and comments by other member and make a trustful decision for yourself.
There are lots of activates/events on CS website to join and every member can host events in their own city. Everyone can enjoy CS without being a host or surfer.
I am never a CS host but is a CS surfer in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. I have met lots of kind-heart good people and we go for a little trip together and cooked and tasted each other home cuisines. I experienced the most authentic exotic experience with local people and save up lots of hostels rent. The hosts have a better understanding of Hong Kong/ China/Asia through me too. We both gain something as a host and as a surfer. But there are always someone I can’t get along no matter how hard I try but I really appreciate they open their home and host people from a far country.
There is a long list of personal interest, travel history…etc. questionnaire to fill in to be a CS member. I always thought people who have patience to finish it all must have some expectations on CS and wish to know new friends. We are all best friends we haven't met yet：）