Couchsurfing is a hospitality service and social networking website which provides a platform for members
- either to stay as a guest at someone’s home,
- or host travelers,
- or meet other members,
- or join an event.
Unlike many hospitality services, Couchsurfing is an example of the gift economy because there is no monetary exchange between members and there is no expectation by hosts for future rewards.
It looks like a cheap way to travel and discover the world as well as an attractive means to meet new friends and integrate new cultures.
However it may not be without danger as it is operated through an Internet platform. You learn about the people you have not yet met only from what is told on a profile. You should thus be aware that they may have posted fake information, either as a host or as a guest. What’s more, you must also think that such a way to travel may lack privacy and comfort. It all depends on who welcomes you as a host or on who is to be received as a guest!