For many of us, including The Inbetweeners, your gap year is all about meeting members of the opposite sex.
Some backpackers are happy with an occasional hostel liaison with another gapper, but there are others who want to try their luck with the locals.
I found her on Couchsurfing.org, an Internet community recommended by a friend for travelers and hosts to exchange camaraderie and couches free of charge. Based on her photo, she seemed like a kindred spirit, a young traveler who spoke English.
Milena’s profile skimmed the basics: She had not posted a description of herself, or written anything in the category “One amazing thing I’ve seen or done.” She had no references. I figured I might even walk away with a new international friend, someone who could potentially accompany me on future travels.
Some people use Couchsurfing directly as a dating service, but you shouldn’t make it a pick-up contact.
Online ‘travel communities’, which enable you to explore both your own city and the rest of the world, meeting likeminded people along the way, are becoming more and more popular.'Couchsurfers' are able to stay on a host’s sofa or in their spare room for free, and the host will often show the surfer round the city and welcome them into their daily life.
Various websites exist which facilitate contact between would be surfers and potential hosts, and all you need to do is sign up.
In this post I’m going to discuss the ins and outs of couchsurfing.
We will look at Why I think every traveler should couchsurf, How to couchsurf when you’re traveling and how to Host when you’re at home.