Trip Hopping FAQs
How do I get started?
There are a million ways to get started with Trip Hopping, but if you need a little inspiration, here's a 5-step starter guide. Get to 'em in any order you please:
- Fill out your profile and add pictures to get rides and hosts more easily.
- Going somewhere? Check out the Get There section to see all the travel options (buses, trains, rideshares and hitchhiking) on one map. If you need a ride, or you're driving and want to offer a ride to other hitchhikers, click on the text box that reads "details about your trip..." A box will pop up to guide you through the specifics. Click "Show me other options for a more detailed trip" to enter arrival/departure dates, your form of transit and your choice of accommodation. On the map, you can drag the line between point A and B to adjust for detours along your route.
- Looking for a place to catch some shut eye? Click the zzZ's button to check out all the places you can lay your weary head along your travel route. That means if you're traveling from LA to DC, you can check out a map of all the Couchsurfing hosts along your route. You can also look for hotels and hostels in and around your destination. Select your preferred lodging style from the drop down list. If you're looking for even more options, click on "more on couchsurfing.com" or scroll down to click "More Hostels (HostelWorld.com). Click on the names of hotels and hostels to read their reviews on Google Maps.
- Meet other trip hoppers through our Community section. Select either People, Discussions, or both, and check out nearby Trip Hoppers, Couchsurfers, and events in the area.
How do I add a profile picture?
You can add a profile picture by clicking "Add Photos" on the upper right hand side of your profile page. Go ahead and add a photo with an awesome background, a hopping photo and a picture from your travels to get started. If you're in the mood for more, hop on over to Google Picasa to add as many images as you'd like. They'll all be linked directly to your Trip Hopping profile.
Why won't my photo upload?
Larger photos take a longer time to upload, so make sure not to navigate away from the page. If you're uploading all your photos at once, it could take as much as five minutes. Try uploading photos separately if you run into problems. If that won't work and your dang photo just won't upload, chances are that the file is too big. Try a smaller file. If you're still encountering issues, hit "Feedback" (at the top of the page) and let us know what's going on.
Is Trip Hopping safe?
Trip Hopping was created to be a safer and easier way to travel, whether through rideshares, hitchhiking, or public transit. We've set up several safety mechanisms within the site to help you get to know your travel companions before you set out. Use the same precautions and awareness you would employ when meeting new friends along a road trip or in everyday interactions, and make informed decisions using members' references and public profiles.
For added security, we set up the Verification system. If you see that a user is verified, that means that we've confirmed their identity and address through a credit card transaction and a confirmation code we mailed to their official address.
Get verified to let other members know that your name and address are recorded and confirmed on the site so that there's no room for funny business. This adds an extra level of security to our network, and helps us strengthen our community reliability and trust.
Verification is completely optional and costs $25 if you choose to do so. We use the money to keep the site running and send you a snail mail letter with a confirmation code that will verify your address. That means that every penny you take out of that ragtag pocket goes straight towards the enhancement of our community - and that means you. You can donate as much as you'd like if you're in the mood to support a great site! Learn more about verification here: http://www.triphopping.com/verification
What is Couchsurfing?
Couchsurfing builds upon a global understanding of hospitality that stretches back to the beginning of mankind. It's there in biblical stories, Muslim tradition, and just about every ancient culture out there. If a traveler shows up at your doorstep after a long journey, you offer him or her a place to stay. It's only in modern times that this system has eroded, probably due to mass media fear tactics and political posturing that make us feel like strangers are more dangerous than they really are, statistically speaking.
Servas Open Doors is an international NGO that was founded in 1949 to address this issue as a "non-profit, worldwide, cooperative, cultural exchange network bringing people together to build understanding, tolerance, mutual-respect, and world peace" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servas_Open_Doors). Back in the day, Servas would publish lists of hosts around the world for members to contact through snail mail or on the phone before visiting. They were seriously organized. Nowadays, Servas operates online at http://www.servas.org/
More recently, CouchSurfing.org has popped up on the international scene. With over 3 million members from around the globe, it's an amazing network of travelers and local folks willing to open their homes to people from different cities, countries and cultures. Trip Hopping lets you easily search for CouchSurfing hosts along the road to your destination, so you can find a place to stop and people to meet anywhere along the way.
With all these tools at our fingertips, we're hoping to tip the scale back in favor of open trust and hospitality between strangers, unaided by modern technology. After a few couchsurfing and rideshare experiences on our site, we hope that your innate faith in the everyday stranger will be revived. Then we can all quit our jobs and get back to good old fashioned hospitality.
How do I map my travels?
Once you've logged in, click on the picture of the globe at the top of your page. There you should see a list of every trip you've shared so far, and a map of your travels. Use the Get There tab to request or offer a ride (click in the text box next to your picture ironically named "Request or offer a ride..."). From there, you can add your trip details and share it with the world. Click "Show me other options for a more detailed trip" to enter arrival/departure dates, your form of transit and your choice of accommodation.
How do I check out what my friends are up to?
On the top of the page, click the green icon with three people. Your friends' activities will load on the left-hand side of the page. Your closest friends' activity will be listed at the top, and all sorting is done geographically emanating from your current location. Click on your friends' names to see their profiles, and click on the map on their profiles to check out their travels.