Author Topic: CouchSurfing Alternatives?  (Read 3983 times)

Threshkin

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CouchSurfing Alternatives?
« on: December 31, 2014, 10:53:42 AM »
I am looking into ways to reduce vacation costs and started looking into CouchSurfing.com since it is mentioned here.  After a little research I ran into disconcerting information that after becoming a for profit company, their terms of agreement have changed and now allow them to use your personal information for any purpose including selling it to third parties.  This is a serious deal killer for me so I am looking for alternatives.

Does anyone have any alternatives you use and recommend? 

One I am looking at is EvergreenClub.com.  It is for people 50+ and looks interesting but membership is $75/year.  The nightly cost is $25 USD for a couple.

Another one I found is Zotel.com.  It appears to be free to participate with a nightly cost fixed at $40 USD (not sure if this is each person)  Zotel's hook is that they want to establish a six degrees of separation connection between hosts and travelers to increase safety.

I don't know much about either of these groups other than a few minutes of search results.

Grid

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Re: CouchSurfing Alternatives?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2014, 10:59:08 AM »
I've only heard about Airbnb before.  I've never used it and don't even understand entirely how it works, but it serves the purpose you're talking about.  https://www.airbnb.com/  Sorry if this is something you've already considered.

takeahike

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Re: CouchSurfing Alternatives?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2014, 11:14:03 AM »
I use airbnb a LOT. We rarely use a hotel anymore.

BoulderJay

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Re: CouchSurfing Alternatives?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2014, 02:21:11 PM »
We have had good experiences with AirBnB as well and I have some friends that really like VRBO.com, but the best thing we have discovered is doing home exchanges.  We use a website called Homeexchange.com (costs little over $100/yr to join) that is set up like a dating website.  Essentially, you use someone else's home while they use yours.  You can search other states/cities/countries and even filter by only showing people who have stated that they want to come to your area.  We are on our 4th exchange and really love it.  The savings are great (spent a month in Paris couple summers ago without paying for a hotel at all) and having a whole house rather than a hotel room is incredibly luxurious.  Finally, all of the people we have exchanged with have treated our home great and been very thoughful hosts.

There are a couple of caveats though....it can take some work and flexibility about finding someone from where you want to go that wants to come to where you live.  There is no vetting process on the website, just setting up connections, so it does take some trust in humanity and being ok with relative strangers being in your home.  There is also some extra house work involved in leaving you home guest ready when you go on a trip and cleaning up after yourself you vacate the home where you are visiting.  However, if you are looking at couch surffing then these things probably won't bother you.

good luck!

LifestyleDeflation

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Re: CouchSurfing Alternatives?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2014, 04:39:28 PM »
Many former couchsurfers have moved to bewelcome.com --That said, most companies have the same terms as couchsurfing- I'm shocked other posters seem to think their personal data is safer in the hands of airbnb.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2014, 04:41:27 PM by LifestyleDeflation »

Threshkin

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Re: CouchSurfing Alternatives?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2014, 05:09:22 PM »
Many former couchsurfers have moved to bewelcome.com --That said, most companies have the same terms as couchsurfing- I'm shocked other posters seem to think their personal data is safer in the hands of airbnb.

Is bewelcome still active?  The site looks mostly dead.

JLee

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Re: CouchSurfing Alternatives?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2014, 05:49:01 PM »
Many former couchsurfers have moved to bewelcome.com --That said, most companies have the same terms as couchsurfing- I'm shocked other posters seem to think their personal data is safer in the hands of airbnb.

Is bewelcome still active?  The site looks mostly dead.

I see one person in Albuquerque - last login five months ago. Four people in Phoenix - last login six months ago. Seems quite dead.