|Image Credit: http://nortonanalog.blogspot.com/2010/05/couch-surfer.html|
If you are a travel fanatic like myself a great way to save a little money and help the environment is to couch surf. If you are not familiar with couch surfing, it is the practice of sleeping on someones spare couch (bed, air mattress, hammock, floor) for free rent most often. In fact I recall a story about a man that lived in New York that did this.
If you want to take part in this glorious act of mooching http://www.couchsurfing.org/mapsurf.html is a great website. You can find couches available all over the world. This website requires couch owners and couch seekers alike to register. This is very key to ensuring that both parties can stay safe. Once someone has stayed at a persons couch they can also verify that it is as advertised, as you will notice with the verified notifications next to the majority of listings. Some listings may require that you pay some rent or contribute to dinner, most often many of the couch owners are looking to meet new people.
This is a great way to meet new people, and reduce your impact, and stay in different and local residences.
Surfing couches reduces your in a couple of ways, you are occupying space that would normally otherwise be vacant (the heating load per person in that residence is reduced etc.) There are vasts quantities of spaces just begging to be used. Also since you are not staying at a hotel there is less of a perceived demand for hotel rooms that would sit empty the fast majority of times. Hotels also have very high standards of safety and sanitation and thus will most likely wash towels and sheets regardless of their state of cleanliness.
Well anyways happy couch surfing!