How do Couchsurfing's and Airbnb's size and scale compare?

Airbnb, founded in 2008, connects people in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries worldwide. Their widespread inventory boasts over one million listings. Couchsurfing, founded in 2004, supports a global community of 10 million people in more than 200,000 cities worldwide. They do not have standard 'listings', as hosting is optional and voluntary.


Photo Credit: thetravelingadvisor.com


Can I only reserve a homestay on Airbnb and Couchsurfing?

Guests can find three types of spaces on Airbnb: shared rooms, private rooms, and entire homes or apartments. When booking a shared room or private room, others will be present in the accommodation. When you book a private room, you'll have a bedroom to yourself. Entire homes/apartments are the best option for travelers seeking complete privacy. With Couchsurfing, the host will be present; there are no private units to reserve.

Airbnb Couchsurfing
Are others present? You choose Always

How do I reserve an accommodation using Couchsurfing or Airbnb?

To arrange a stay through Couchsurfing, one must first create a profile. Guests contact Couchsurfers who have indicated that they'll host guests to inquire about and arrange for their stay. Because there are no official listings on Couchsurfing, there is not an official booking and payment process, as there is on Airbnb. To book on Airbnb, guests must also create a profile. Like on Couchsurfing, hosts and guests can communicate using Airbnb's platform. After a guest submits a booking request, the host has 24 hours to accept it.

How do I become a host on airbnb or couchsurfing?

Couchsurfing Airbnb
Step 1: Fill out a profile that includes info about your lifestyle, mission and values. Register yourself as a host and opt to go through their verified ID process.
Step 2: Attend Couchsurfing events near you, or contact other Couchsurfing hosts to learn about the hosting process. Create a detailed, accurate listing, including your chosen list price.
Step 3: Set your couch status to "Yes/Maybe" under couch information on your profile. Choose a check out method, set guidelines for who can book your place, and set your listing to public.
Step 4: Engage in communication with potential Couchsurfers to find a compatible guest and host dates. Communicate with guests on Airbnb for safety, and respond to inquiries quickly.

Is it safe to stay with hosts when arranging a stay through Couchsurfing and Airbnb?

Both companies encourage guests and hosts to be very cautious and have published a list of safety tips on their respective sites. Those using Couchsurfing can contact the Couchsurfing Safety Team with any questions and concerns, while those using Airbnb can contact their support team, which is available 24/7. Through Airbnb's Verified ID process, guests and hosts verify their identity by connecting their Airbnb profile to their social networks and scanning their official ID or confirming personal details.

What are the fees associated with using Couchsurfing vs. Airbnb?

Being a part of the Courchsurfing community and staying with a Couchsurfing host are free. While creating a listing on Airbnb is free, there are fees for both guests and hosts once a reservation has been made. Those hosting or listing their space pay a 3% service fee once a reservation is confirmed. Guests pay a 6-12% service fee upon completing the booking.

How do I get in contact Airbnb and Couchsurfing?

  • Airbnb: Download the Airbnb app, access the support center online or contact a team member by phone: 1-855-424-7262
  • Couchsurfing: Download the Couchsurfing app or contact them online.


Airbnb Customer Support

Airbnb FAQs

Airbnb Fees

Airbnb App

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