Inbed.me is an online social networking site that helps users to share and access locations to hostels and places to crash while visiting different towns and places. It helps bridge the gap between the virtual social networking and actual physical real-world networking. Most importantly it helps travelers to experience the most “local” experience that is possible.
A relatively new site, Inbed.me was created early in 2011 (during the Startup Weekend, New York) by a few nomadic traveling enthusiasts (Diego Saez-Gil, Alex Torrenegra and Chris Piazza ) realized the need for an online information exchange tool provided by hosts to help out clueless travelers. It started off during a competition in New York between entrepreneurs who were interested in forming new ventures. It now has links in over 700 cities around the world. However, there is always the chance of risk of running into an unsafe situation with strangers. And that is one major reason that makes InBed.me lose points.
On the downside, InBed.me does not seem radically innovative. It seems like a new web site that offers a pre-existing concept. InBed.me comes across as a rip off of Couch Surfing and given the current scenario, it would only make more sense to sign up on CouchSurfing.org instead of InBed.me given the size and reach that CouchSurfing has over any other hostel site. In comparison to CouchSurfing, InBed.me’s security measures do not seem to be strong enough, that raise doubts about the safety that goes along with it.
Even though InBed.me does not use flash, the layout and the virtual environment of the webpage is very aesthetic and user friendly. The site is offered in English, Portuguese and Spanish, so that is an added advantage. They also offer assistance should you get stuck at any point of time.
You can sign in using your Facebook account. Alternatively, you may provide your details and an email address to sign up for their services. In case you have been referred by a friend, they require you to mention his or her name. Also, you are encouraged to upload a valid photograph of your face. The fact that they do not ask for any serious identity validation details raises concerns.
You can use the application free of cost if you want to, but that gives you access to limited features. Their referral programme helps you make some money through the bookings they may make in the next three years.
InBed.me is ideal for people who are frequent travelers and do not really have places to crash in the cities they are headed to. It is also good for people who are looking to make new friends and meet new people and have a better time in a new city. However, it is advisable to be aware and check for escape routes and carry a pepper spray with you.