What’s going on with the new pay couchsurfing? Recently this accommodation system is growing very fast however with the difference that now you have to pay for it in many cases. Couchsurfing has been a traditional free way of getting accommodation, or in some cases such as Australia you could get it in exchange of working in rural areas.
Therefore, my question is, what is driving people to book these kind of accommodations? What are the real characteristics of these accommodations? In the beginning the couchsurfing was created as free, however we can observe that since it has become a payment system it is getting more and more famous. Travelers connect with people from the house, and through the desire of helping those who don’t have that much money they offer a cheaper price. Travelers on their behalf find in these houses a host who help them and show them the more interesting places of the city; and also the better party places. That is a very valuable help for travelers because unless you know the city a tourist will end up in the more touristic places. On the other hand these accommodations offer another advantage, you get closer to people from the city as you can see their houses and their everyday life. That is something that will hardly happen if you do not have friends in a new city.
Otherwise, we have to be careful with the house we are going to. As it has become quite fashion and people is getting profit from renting their houses, many people is taking advantage of this system and forgetting the meaning of couchsurfing. You can end up in a house where you won’t even find your host; or situations where your room it is a simple hole where someone has put a bed on it just to make some money out of it; or that people who is renting is very cold and they are not interested in what you get from your travel, forgetting the real meaning of couchsurfing.
Then, if you are planning to do couchsurfing take into consideration all the good points but be also aware of the problems you can find on your reservation.