Vagabonding, Craigslist, and Couchsurfing: the New World Order

One of the hardest parts about being a vagabonder in the first place is the expense of traveling itself. Getting there is actually pretty easy, so long as you prioritize plane tickets over paella, but the costs of buying new shampoo, finding socks, or paying for apartments can add up to a lot, even in the cheaper destinations. Especially if you have a car and need it to travel (cross-continental road-trip, anyone?), expenses mount up pretty quickly. The second hardest part is that, yeah, okay, sometimes we get lonely.

Enter the New World Order.

I’ve been traveling for the past few months without spending a penny on housing and spending a very reduced amount on gas. I’ve had meals provided for me in most cases, and provided them in others, but mostly I’ve been meeting some really amazing people. And I’m doing this by relying on Couchsurfing and Craigslist, in combination.

Most of you have probably already used Couchsurfing as a way of finding cheap accommodation and a bit of company; a network of like-minded souls with extra floor space in almost every major city in the world and a lot of the smaller ones. Craigslist is an online classified-ads site that most people use to find an apartment or sell their car; but there’s a tiny corner of it that is well-used, and a real boon to the enterprising voyager: the “rideshare” section.

As someone who owns my own car, I’ve been traveling around North America, staying with couchsurfers and having large chunks of my gas paid for by ridesharers. My accommodations have been spacious, clean, friendly, and luxurious. And free. My ridesharers have been gregarious, helpful (one of them fixed my exhaust pipe…twice), and forthcoming with gas and toll money. Oh, and I’m a single woman traveling alone, and there has been not a hint of danger.

Call it what you will, but this seems like the absolute best way to travel if you a) have transportation, and b) like meeting people.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | August 4, 2008
Category: General

2 Responses to “Vagabonding, Craigslist, and Couchsurfing: the New World Order”

  1. Alex Weber Says:


    This is an awesome article! I’m going to link back to it from my new blog when it launches. I really love this strategy.

    It might be interesting to research what type of people the different “travel social networks” (couchsurfing, global freeloaders, hospitality club, etc) tend to attract.

    Anyway, great idea about the Rideshare section of craigslist. I’ve been using CL a lot lately and finding a lot of cool people!


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