Couchsurfing is a way to travel for free, and a way to meet lifelong friends on the way. This is how you do it: you make a profile on the website, and fill out your information. After searching the country and city where you are going, you then explore the hosts listed in that specific location. These people’s profiles are available for you to view, so that you can see their photos, their “about me’s”, and what other people have to say about them. Once you have read through the references of these potential hosts and decide that they most likely aren’t serial killers, you contact them. Basically, you tell them a little about yourself, why you want to couchsurf at their place, and what you plan on doing in their city during your time of stay, and how long you would like to stay with them. While I couchsurfed for a month and a half, I would cook dinner for the people I was staying with, or when we would go out together, buy a couple of rounds of drinks for them. Here are the 10 scary, and exciting stages of couchsurfing::

When your friend first suggests that you two couchsurf on your journey:

couchsurfing hell no

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But then they somehow convince you to do it anyway:

couchsurfing can't wait omgg

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When you realize the couch your supposed to be sleeping on for the next three nights is actually a blanket and pillow on the floor:

couchsurfing confused

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When you wake up in the morning and realize your host isn’t a serial killer:

couchsurfing hig hfive

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When you realize you have locked your host out of their own home for a few hours, because you had their only pair of keys:

couchsurfing facepalm

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When your host won’t stop with the American jokes:

couchsurfing eyeroll

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But then you really don’t mind, because they get you extremely drunk on some extremely cheap Croatian wine:

couchsurfing drunk

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When your hosts tells you that the dinner you cooked for them came out good:

couchsurfing wink

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When you don’t have to hire a tour guide, because your host is a native and gives you an authentic tour of things you actually wanna see:

couchsurfing happy

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When it’s time to say goodbye, and you realize you may never see the people you stayed with ever again:

couchsurfing crying

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Have you ever gone Couchsurfing?

feature image via thinkstock

Shane Autumn is currently a senior at The University of Tampa, pursuing a degree in Communication, a minor in Spanish, and a certificate in International Studies. When this travel-obsessed, adventure junkie isn't out exploring the world, she can be found feeding her unhealthy addiction to chocolate chip cookies. Shane Autumn is an avid human rights and animal activist, and plans on starting her own non-profit organization someday.


  1. Shane, that is absolutely hilarious and very accurate! I have couchsurfed quite a bit in the past, and a bit recently, and I totally agree with most of what you said. I would have to say my favorite thing is “When you don’t have to hire a tour guide, because your host is a native and gives you an authentic tour of things you actually wanna see”. A local guide makes a trip so much easier and insightful, because they cater to your exact needs/wishes.

    An alternative ending could be “Your host comes to visit you in your hometown. Start back at #1”. I’ve had this experience twice and it was amazing, plus it has allowed me to maintain great active relationships with my hosts/hostees.

    One thing that I would add after agreeing to surf is “Racking your brain for hours trying to think of something to share from your culture that is unique and likable”. As an American living in Belgium, I used to try to take Belgian chocolate or speculoos with me, only to discover the rest of Europe has access to it as well. Relying on American products has served me well, like Krispy Kreme (there’s actually one in the UK) or Lucky Charms.

    Great article and keep up the great ideas.


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