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-   -   Disappointed with WarmShowers and CouchSurfing (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1185033)

ricrunner 10-10-19 04:40 AM

What is Couch Surfing all about?, I don't follow, this type of accomm.

staehpj1 10-10-19 04:56 AM


Originally Posted by ricrunner (Post 21157612)
What is Couch Surfing all about?, I don't follow, this type of accomm.

I was hoping someone could clarify what the cs vibe is. It is in some ways similar to warmshowers, but with no cycling connection. My understanding is that cs sells itself with more of a social networking angle.

If I remember correctly the cs host of the two brothers mentioned that the hosts in his town got together for social dinners at each other's homes. I got the impression that they were pretty posh.

3speed 10-10-19 12:39 PM

I have No experience with couch surfing personally, but from what I've read, the guests tend to be pretty all over the board. You might get someone great who's traveling from Europe and making their way around the US. You might get some unshowered hippy who's just traveling just because he doesn't like to work to maintain an income and place to stay, and who you can't leave alone for two seconds because he'll probably smoke a bowl in your living room and not understand why that's not OK. It seems to be all over the board from what I've read. I've also read that there have been problems with hosts trying to get girls drunk and pressure them into sex. It seems like it's probably something that started out as a good idea, but due to complete lack of monitoring, became a potential **** show.

raybo 10-10-19 04:15 PM

I used Couchsurfing (CS) long before warmshowers came on the scene. I've even stayed with the mother of one of the founders! Before couchsurfing, I used something called Hospitality Exchange.

There are a couple differences between CS and warmshowers. The obvious one is that warmshowers consists mostly of bike tourists. So, the hosts have a very good idea what bike touring is all about and what kinds of things a bike tourist might want to have. This is a huge plus.

A second difference I find is that warmshowers hosts tend to be more responsive that CS hosts. Much of this has to do with warmshowers purging of members if they aren't active once a year. CS keeps people in their listings for ever, as far as I can tell. While it might take 3 or 4 warmshowers hosts to find a place to stay, it may take a dozen CS hosts before you even get a response.

CS hosts tend to be younger people with small accommodations. I've slept on floors, couches, in RVs, and, once, in a shared bed. These days, I only look on CS for people with separate rooms available and look for hosts over 30.

Warmshowers assumes people will spend one night and move on. CS hosts often bristle at guests who only want to spend one night.

When I am planning a tour, I always check warmshowers first for a place to stay. If one isn't available, I check hotels (booking.com) next. Once I find an acceptable hotel, I check to see if there are any possible CSers. CS hosts are a rare find for me and often I don't even bother checking its site.

DanBell 10-11-19 02:37 AM

CS is also a for profit enterprise. As such the last I saw of them they were pushing some 'premium' account nonsense saying that premium account holders had an easier time finding places to stay or something along those lines. I have a real issue with trying to monetize something that started from a place of just wanting to help out fellow travelers out of the goodness of your heart so I appreciate that WS has maintained that they will continue to operate on donations alone, even though that means the tech might lag a bit behind.

I think raybo hit the nail on the head though. The main difference, as far as we are concerned, is that WS is aimed at cycle tourists, and the hosts are people who understand the specific needs of cycle tourists.


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