AirBnB vs. CouchSurfing

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Difference between AirBnB and CouchSurfing

Traveling around the world is a lot easier nowadays than it has ever been, although finding accommodations remains a bit of a hassle most of the time. Thankfully, the proliferation of services that help you find a place to stay can make things considerably easier. Among some of the most popular are AirBnB and CouchSurfing, both of which have made booking accommodations a relatively easy task. Let's see what both companies have to offer.

AirBnB
CouchSurfing

Profile

AirBnB is an Internet site that allows users to offer accommodations in their own homes. Options for accommodations include standard beds, airbeds, and even entire homes.

CouchSurfing is a similar site in that it offers a variety of hospitality exchange services. At present, CouchSurfing has nearly 2.5 million members in 245 countries around the world, and the site itself has an Alexa Traffic Rank of 2,500.

What Each Is About

Most accommodation options on AirBnB are of the real bed variety–as opposed to airbeds–along with plenty of options for private rooms instead of shared rooms. The site has only been operational since August of 2008, but it already offers extensive accommodation options in hundreds of cities in 74 countries around the world. Most of the locations are in the United States, although it is also possible to find accommodations in countries such as Yemen and Pakistan.

CouchSurfing for its part offers free registration, after which members may provide personal information and pictures, along with details of the sleeping accommodation offered. The site also employs a reference system, in which the safety and trustworthiness of offers can be verified. CouchSurfing also allows users to search for accommodations by age, location, gender and activity level. In addition, the site provides a number of travel guides that may be edited by site users, as well as forums where members may look for travel partners and ask or provide information about travel related concerns. The site also has a searchable database comprised of hundreds of events organized by site members.

When To Use Them

CouchSurfing is the better option if you don’t really have a strict itinerary for your trip. The site is ideally suited for those looking for more informal travel accommodations, and those eager for exploration, meeting local residents and getting a feel for the local culture.

AirBnB on the other hand is better suited for those with a more organized travel plan, and those who are after a more "business-like" living arrangement.

Similarities and Differences

AirBnB

  • An Internet site that allows users to offer accommodations out of their own homes
  • Options for accommodations include standard beds, airbeds, and even entire homes
  • Better suited for those with a more organized travel plan

CouchSurfing

  • Offers a variety of hospitality exchange services and opportunities
  • Has nearly 2.5 million members in 245 countries around the world
  • The better option if you don’t have a strict itinerary for your trip
  • Ideally suited for those looking for more informal travel accommodations

AirBnB and CouchSurfing Video

 
 

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