From its humble beginnings in 2004 as a small passionate project to unite fellow travellers, the world of Couchsurfing has grown dramatically into a happy go lucky worldwide family of adventurers now totalling over 10 million members in close to 200,000 villages, towns and cities including the sunny Costa Blanca. The concept is all about travelling as far and wide as possible, meeting and sharing a home with people of different cultures and above all, learning and expanding ones horizons.
Forget expensive hotels where nobody gives you a second glance or backpacker hostels where you need to sleep with one eye open and get out there, sharing life experiences with other like minded members who will offer you a roof over your head and a friendly smile for the princely sum of maybe cooking a meal or doing the dishes; it really is that simple.
How Couchsurfing Works
The process is just as simple as the concept. Firstly log into couchsurfing.com, sign up and then create a profile about yourself, your hobbies and interests, the places you've travelled and still wish to visit, the kinds of food you enjoy etc. Go into as much detail as you like as your profile will be a reflection of yourself and will give other members an idea of what makes you tick, and possibly an indication of whether they think you may be a like minded guest or host. Don't forget to add photos or maybe an introductory video about yourself.
Once you've browsed the site you will get a feel for how things work and you can then select whether you are able to host (this can be anything from a spare room to a blanket on the floor) or are looking for a host. Look at members profiles in countries you would like to visit and always remember that the cultures and beliefs in certain countries may clash with your own so be sure to respect cultural differences and above all your host.
Bear in mind, things can go wrong, plans can be cancelled or the accommodation you expected just wasn't for you, so always have a back up plan and enough ready cash for alternative lodgings. As I have mentioned, couchsurfing is a way of travelling without the accommodation costs but it is always a nice gesture to offer a gift on your arrival or departure and help around the house, and also do your best to give back, even if it is just a blanket on the floor.
The Social Scene
Once registered, members looking for possible hosts in Costa Blanca can browse all members profiles in the area and also look at any upcoming couchsurfing events that may coincide with their travel dates. This offers further chances to meet Spanish and expat members in any one of a number of the Costa Blanca's towns and cities. Thousands of events are held annually around the world to encourage keen travellers to share their lives, and homes with a new friend 🙂