App of the Week: Couchsurfing

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Summer is winding down which means you have one more chance at that spontaneous road trip you’ve been telling yourself you’d take forever. Like most of us you probably already spent all of your summer-job cash on back to school clothes or getting new gear for the first day of that new job, but with the app that I found you will be able to do both. The app “Couchsurfing” will allow you to save money on hotel cost and help you avoid sleeping in your car at bogus rest stops along your trip.

How it works: The app can be found in the iTunes app store under the “Travel” section and is compatible on iOS 7 or newer operating systems on the iPhone 5, 6, 6 Plus and iPads. This app can also be downloaded in the Android app store. Once you create an account and fill in your profile you can search for places in the States or across the world and see who is hosting visitors. You can also select the option to be a host yourself and have visitors stay with you.

The app service is completely free and host usually don’t charge for guest to stay with them for a while with advance notice. Once you have found a destination you can read through host profiles and directly message the ones you would be interested in staying with. This is a great way to save on travel cost, make new friends, visit new places and have a free tour guide to show you around the area.

Still a little sketched out by staying with random strangers? There is an option to have your account verified through a simple background check and view other profiles who have also been verified. The background check is a small one time cost for an entire year of verification. Still not enough? You can read through references previous visitors have written about host and their living conditions. This will for sure help you be able to make a well informed decision about who to stay with.

You can search your location and see what events local travelers are hosting to potentially meet travel buddies or learn more about couch-surfing through other people’s experience. You can plan trips in advance and post them on your trips so host will see your visit and potentially offer to host you. With all this help there is no reason for you not to gas up the car and hit the road.

I would rate this app five stars because it is very easy to use, convenient and safe. The current version has had most the bugs worked out and the app runs fine.

Would you use this app to stay with strangers? Tell us what you think of the “Couchsurfing” app using the hashtag #GlamorousPaper or in the comments below!

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