Couchsurfing has been a huge part of my travel life. I have met countless amazing people on this platform over the years, both as a host as well as a guest. There has been some rapid Couchsurfing changes in the last weeks though, which caused a revolt in the community, potentially splitting it up between Couchsurfing and its competitors BeWelcome and Trustroots. Check out this post & video to find out what’s going on!
As of May 2020, Couchsurfing started to charge their users $2.39/month or $14.29/year (US prices, vary per country/region). This is a really small amount considering the sums you can potentially safe by using the platform. However, the way Couchsurfing decided to roll out the changes really enraged the community. From one moment to the other, everyone was logged out and greeted with the message that they are not able to log in again unless they immediately pay the fee. Would they have made an announcement and give a deadline instead, the change would probably not have been much of a big deal since its a small amount and its okay for them to try monetize their platform a bit better.
Tip: The video also contains a short explanation of how Couchsurfing works, just in case you have no idea what I am talking about 🙂 Feel free to check it out!
Many people are very upset with the sudden change in Couchsurfing and decided to move over to the other platforms. While my video above provides further details on the entire topic and I would encourage you to check it out if you are interested in the topic (and also for a general intro on Couchsurfing), I wanted to provide links to the current Couchsurfing alternatives. BeWelcome on one hand has been around for a long time, but always struggled with a relatively bad website. The site has now been updated and looks much better now, so I am expecting a big increase of their user base going forward. The other alternative is actually founded by the people who originally came up with Couchsurfing: Trustroots. They offer a great map as well which allows you do pinpoint hosts in specific locations. Going forward, I expect that people will use a mix of all websites as Couchsurfing still has the strongest user base (even if many will leave now). Let me know in the comments what you thin will happen once we are able to go travel again and hopefully make use of these websites to meet locals and new friends around the world!
The video has been recorded live during my travel show – join the next interactive session next Monday 20:00 CEST! Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel as well for future episodes.