Your Couch Can Earn Cash And Support A Band
By now, anyone interested in budget travel has heard of CouchSurfing, a website that helps connect travelers with benevolent strangers in cities and towns around the world. The concept has hit the mainstream, even approaching trend status, best evidenced by a recent television commercial featuring a couch surfer armed with a particular brand of cell phone.
Of course, CouchSurfing has obvious advantages for travelers looking to meet locals and save money, but it can also be fun for hosts as well. Having a foreign guest, especially one eager to visit your town's tourist attractions with you, can almost be like taking a trip yourself. If you are trying to learn a foreign language, or even an international language, hosting a couch surfer is a great way to get some practice. Simply hearing someone else's stories can make for a memorable evening. Certainly, there are many reasons to participate in home stay programs, even if you don't plan to take a trip in the near future.
If you are considering becoming a host for couch surfers, be sure to check out these two, slightly different, opportunities.
AirBed & Breakfast
The basic premise of AirBed & Breakfast is familiar: travelers search for hosts listed in an on-line database, booking a night or two through the website. The significant difference is that, as a host, you can set a price for your accommodation. This means that, in addition to the less tangible benefits of hosting a guest, AirBed & Breakfast can help you make some extra money as well. The program is open to everyone, whether you have an extra room or simply a couch available, but the amount of money you can make clearly depends on what you have to offer and where it is located.
Better Than the Van
Another interesting alternative to hosting a couch surfer is to host a band on tour. Better Than the Van is a website designed to facilitate just such an arrangement. Though the thought of having a band crash in your place may be a bit frightening, it is a great way to support independent music and up-and-coming artists. If you are a fan of music, this could be a great way to meet some musicians.
What is your experience with couch surfing? Ever hosted a stranger? Let us hear about it in the comments.