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July 13, 2009

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Lois

Sorry - I certainly didn't intend to denigrate couchsurfing in the least. However, swapping homes seems a much better choice for people like the couple whose home exchange request is featured in this post who, from their description, plan to stay some time in a location (not one or two nights only) when they spend several months in the UK visiting friends and family.

I agree that couchsurfing or hospitality exchanges enable travellers to connect with other cultures and people. But again, in this example, the ex-pat and his wife are already familiar with the UK and are using home exchange as a way of visiting without imposing on family and friends.

Kathie

Couchsurfing is not as bad as you paint! There are lots of CS'ers that offer a 'proper bed' and it works really well when you only want one or two nights at a location. The big plus over homeswapping in these circumstances are that your host genuinely 'hosts' you - i.e. taking you out, sharing their family meal etc. It's all part of 'connecting' with other people and cultures and making the world a smaller place.

Lois

That's a v. good question that deserves a little thought (I'll do some research and write a Q & A post shortly), although there's no easy answer. If there seemed to be a large no. of swine flu cases being reported nearby, it seems right to relay this information to exchange partners but without unduly alarming them.

hobiej

Do you have any thoughts on upcoming exchanges now that swine flu appears to be approaching epidemic proportions in the UK? I'm starting to wonder if we should warn our exchange partners although we do not live in a part of the country that is a "hotspot" at present.

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