Hosting Couchsurfers: An Exotic New York City Staycation

Photo: Caroline KeyzorPhoto: Caroline Keyzor

Things you love about traveling: delicious new foods, beautiful new landscapes, fascinating new cities and enchanting new people. The only problem: planning a trip overseas can be an overwhelming job, and it usually requires a good chunk of time off and an even larger chunk of cash. Solution: think about bringing a vacation to you, right here in New York City!

Couchsurfers from all over the world make their way traveling by relying on the generosity of people just like you to host and show them around the secret nooks and crannies where you live. The bonus for you: playing host to visitors from foreign lands and meeting perspectives from another culture (or three!) might be just what you needed to make up for not having that new stamp in your passport.

Some experiences waiting for you:

Italian Feasts. Play host to a native Italian, and in thanks he might present you with a Sicilian feast! Try a real Italian meatball, and then do some comparison dining together on Mulberry Street in Little Italy.

Tales of Heights. Take a visitor from Sweden to the top of the Empire State Building at night, and listen breathlessly to stories of skiing in the Alps and what it's like to have real snow.

Fresh Liquid Dining. Visitors from Germany are the perfect opportunity to sample one of the many beer halls popping up in NYC. Get some reviews from a native who knows a think or two about beer! Plus if it's a hot day, you might find out what a Radler is.

Latin Tastes. Argentinian visitors combine South American intrigue with Spanish taste in food and wine. It might also be interesting to learn what it's like to have a woman as President…

Urban Meditation. Visitors from Buddhist countries like Thailand (95% of whose population is Buddhist) might be able to teach a New Yorker like you a thing or two about finding inner peace.

Host enough Surfers this summer, and it will be even easier to find a couch of your own to stay on when you next get the travel bug. And what better way to explore a new city than with someone who knows it intimately?

Need ideas for some more adventures? Visit the Store n' Split Adventure section on our Manhattan Mini Storage blog for "what if" adventures through Alaska, New Zealand, Italy, and more.

Photo: Caroline Keyzor