Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Traveling Social Media Style

When the end of the semester creeps up I am tempted to run away to some exotic location and forget school ever existed. It is not realistic I'm almost done with college and although I LOVE Athens, I want to experience the world.

I have the travel bug, but never really gotten the chance to act on it because I'm a poor college student with lack of persuasion skills to convince my parents to finance international trips.

After a night of watching Samantha Brown travel around South America on the Travel Channel. I went to their website. If they can seem the poorest nation in South America (Nicaragua) sound like fun, I need to see her itinerary. However, I never got to the actual trips because I found a website called couchsurfing.com. BINGO.

Couchsurfing.com is a social website where people post profiles, link to friends, join groups, participate is discussions, however it offers a special feature: it connects people who might be traveling to people who might have an open couch. It's myspace/facebook for the authentic travelers. Instead of forking over $200+ a night for a hotel or even the $30 a night for hostels you stay with a local who can expose you to a the REAL city you are visiting.

It does sound too good to be true, there are after all plenty of crazies on the internet. The website has built in safety checks to help alleviate any apprehensions someone might have about staying with a stranger.

I love this idea. From my experience I have so much more fun with locals of the city I'm in than I do just staying with fellow tourists. You can learn more about a place if you know the people who live there. Here is one more social networking site for us to follow.

1 comment:

Christina said...

I, too, have the travel bug, and the idea of traveling and not paying housing expenses is enticing. But I think this Web site may be better in theory, especially for college-aged women traveling without male companions.

I don't know how comfortable I am trusting the built in "checks" this Web site offers for safety and allowing myself and my belongings to be subject to a stranger in a foreign country!

I do agree that the best way to experience a foreign country is with the guidance of a native. The idea behind this site is exciting, but I would proceed with caution.