I am thinking about starting a forum of couchsurfers and I wanted to know if anyone on here has ever had any amazing or horrible stories of couchsurfing?
My husband and I have been couchsurfers since 2007. I highly recommend it. I recommend attending local events in your city so you get to know other surfers. You can get references and build your profile. Then when you are ready to travel your profile is more complete and people will feel more comfortable about hosting you. It is always more difficult to find a host in a large city but not impossible. Just send out more than 5 requests. Read the profiles and request to stay only at places that have positive references. Read their entire profile. You can tell quite a bit about the individual by reading about them. Sometimes you can get a bad vibe. As a single woman I would recommend only requesting to stay with couples or other women. If you request to surf with a man read his profile carefully. If it says he is only interested in hosting women then I would stay clear(red flag). A true couchsurfer shouldn't be a predator. We have hosted and surfed many times and have never had a bad experience. I always learn something from my guest and I feel richer for the experience. My new favorite way to travel is using Airbnb. The experience is almost the same as couchsurfing but you are paying and always end up with a much nicer space. Start building a profile and give it a try.
I've tried to couchsurf pretty much everywhere I've traveled, but have only been successful in Cork. I had such a great time that I wish there were more couchsurfers available in other areas/the demand wasn't as high. The people my friend and I stayed with were Danish and living right in the center of Cork- they were so nice and even took us to a BBQ their gym was throwing that night. Admittedly, this was and Irish "BBQ" so it was actually burgers/potatoes/etc. all served by staff in a fancy hotel. Definitely culturally different than what I'm used to, but it was great. We met a bunch of people, everyone was incredibly friendly. The only downside to the whole trip was the disgusting bathroom those guys had- I've never seen anything more toxic, hahaha, but these are the risks you take!