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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Couch Surf around the World

Couch Surf is probably the best example of a real world social networking site excepting online dating sites. The point is to actually meet up in person with the people you get to know. How does it work? You can sign up and search from over 100,000 members who live in places you want to visit. Then you can request to CouchSurf with them, meaning you want a place to stay while you are touring Paris or New York, to name a few places. You can try to just meet up for coffee or even ask for accomodation. The best part is that it is free.

The obvious question is safety. There are two precautions in place: verification and vouching. Verification involves charging your credit card $25 to see if your name and address are real. Vouching involves having an existing vouched-for member vouch for you. These two precautions aren't necessary to use the site though, but they might make you feel better.

With the high cost of hotels and the security issues with living in hostels, this is a great way to travel cheap and make friends along the way. It makes vacationing so much more exciting to actually interact with people in a different country instead of just touring the sites and going back home.



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