Special Report: Couchsurfing
The 1960's. It was a time for free speech, free love and free rides. And even though hitchhiking is history, loyal travelers like guillermo gomez are keeping the free spirit alive in a very groovy way.
Traveler Guillermo Gomez: "I found out that there is actually a whole network of people."
What guillermo found was an online hospitality network called the couchsurfing project. Instead paying for a hotel, he become a guest in someone's home.
Guillermo Gomez: "You're basically staying somewhere for free. You're saving a lot of money."
Saving money, and creating a community
Dan Hoffer: "Couchsurfing is a brokerage for adventure."
Hoffer is one of the founders. He says couchsurfing a great way to see a city through a native's point of view.
Dan Hoffer: "Basically, it's a cultural exchange opportunity for people when they are traveling to instead of staying at expensive hotels really get to know the local culture wherever they go."
There are hosts in 150 countries. U.s. alone has over 8 thousand members.
Dan Hoffer: "We have college students and we have people in their 60's people who just like to travel or host people from all over the world."
Joining the site is free. Members can be both hosts and guests. But before you pack your bags, make sure check the person's profile, establish an email relationship and use common sense.
Dan Hoffer: "We do have a system in place to verify people's identities using credit addresses and passport information to help minimize the risk."
For Guillermo, his experience couchsurfing has been very rewarding. But the best part all is discovering unique places and faces he would never find in a guidebook.(Copyright (c) 2005 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)