Interesting US Inaugural Tidbit “Couchsurfing”

It has been a great week. But as it draws to a close, I’m definitely ready to welcome the weekend! Yes—for me the excitement lies in the fact that I am renovating, which has forced me to go through the fun-filled exercise of temporarily packing my worldly goods into bland cardboard boxes. And as I do this, I keep reminding myself that I will survive the Chaos! I will maintain a positive outlook, damn it—despite the fast approaching tsunami of plaster, dust and paint!

So as I took a quick sanity break—perusing my mail and pondering post topics as the week winds down—I came across this new tidbit, which I thought was fitting as I am in the midst of sprucing up my own home. “Couchsurfing”.

“What in the world is “couchsurfing”?” I thought.

And with a little bit of online exploration I came across this article in the Washington Post. has a section called Inauguration Watch which is where I found yes an article about this phenomenon. Washington expects 4 million people to come watch Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. Some residents are trying to rent their homes on Craigslist for thousands of dollars for the weekend. Within the free world of democracy there are those that are continuing the mantra that the campaign began called “change” and are part of what is called the CouchSurfing Project. This is a free internet service that connects travelers with hosts around the world who offer a free place to crash.

According to this article, “Requests for couches during inauguration week have flooded the D.C. CouchSurfing network, members say.

“I got 20 the day after the election and at least two requests a day after that,” Barge said. “I finally had to put on my profile that I was booked the whole week of inauguration, but still people are asking. Unless people are willing to camp in my backyard, maybe put a tent out there, I’m booked.”

“Local couches are still available. Here are some tips from area hosts about how to find a place to crash:

  • Make sure you create a full profile. Post pictures and information about yourself, and try to get references. Potential hosts are looking for reasons to trust you (or not).
  • Try the suburbs. Many couches a bit further out – but as close in as Alexandria – are still open.
  • Be prepared to write more than 10 requests — but don’t send mass-produced messages. Surfers can tell when it’s a copy-and-paste job.
  • Read a host’s profile before requesting. Some surfers have special codes that let them know if a traveler has read their profile — if a traveler doesn’t mention “Captain Planet,” for example, Hemnani doesn’t respond.
  • Check out these tips for how to request a couch.
  • Ask to stay for only a few days, not the whole week.

Finally, start searching now. Expect couches to be booked by December.

I wonder if there is an internet community geared towards home renovators in need of a couch for the night?

Have a great weekend.

Best Nicole


One Response to Interesting US Inaugural Tidbit “Couchsurfing”

  1. tyfn says:

    If I can get the $$ for the flight, I will be travelling from Vancouver. You should add your name to the Inauguration tweetup. It’s going to be fun.


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