The first question people ask when it comes to Couchsurfing is pretty predictable. Is that safe? Why do those people invite strangers to their home? What if they are robbers? What if they kidnap me? What’s the real point of this? Well, I completely understand because I asked exactly the same questions before I actually put myself in it.
Why are people doing it?
As simple as it sounds, people wish to meet a lot of different people in various ways. If you can’t travel the world, you can invite travelers to your home in stead, you introduce what you’ve got in your town, in your country and let them stay in your house. What’s the hugest advantage you get from this is that you’ll have so much fun hearing diverse travel stories. “Culture exchange” could be a splendid example. If you’d like to get to know a new culture, you should meet new people and learn something from them. Many people in our world enjoy giving travelers a free spot to let them sleep, local foods but what matters the most is that they like to meet new people. For surfers on the other hand, they possibly could save some money, unless you’re a luxury traveler, although I’m doubtful if such luxury travelers who only desire to stay at a five star hotel with premium cuisines provided want to couchsurf. Second, meeting locals can never be a bad idea. You eat foods just like the locals, drink local beers, walk through streets no foreign tourists know. Doesn’t it sound super interesting? Well, at least that’s what I’m fascinated with!
Ready to get your own account? Before that, you should prepare a convincing and attractive text that you are going to use on your profile. Don’t make slight of it, it’s very important. Your profile will be the first webpage that the hosts you ask will see. Some hosts don’t really take a long time to look at it but meanwhile many people carefully read it and require to answer some questions to the candidate surfers. Here are some tips that I can give you 🙂 Not being a Couchsurfing expert but I still want to give a hand for newbies.
1.Put a photo that contains your smiling face.
– Once again, it’s gonna be your first impression. You don’t want to look like a mugger, do you?
2.The more information, the better
– Be honest and write however you feel. Hobbies, interests, music, countries that you wish to go in the future, countries you already have been to, marital status, favorite beers, favorite sports…well, it could be from nothing to everything. Hosts are humans, they prefer to meet someone who have similar interests and hobbies.
– Apparently many surfers already traveling the world get so much lazy and use the same texts to all hosts. Attention right there! Hosts are not stupid, they easily recognize those slipshod requests. Being honest, I would never accept anybody doing that. Ctrl C+Ctrl V may be in fact the worst idea when it comes to Couchsurfing. Make some efforts.
How to contact them?
According to my experiences, it’s not so easy to contact the host, especially if you don’t have an internet connection with you. So, while you use the internet you ought to obtain your host’s phone number and address. Facebook or Whatsapp could be useful as well. Being directionally challenged, I always have a hard time to reach the host’s home, no matter where it is. Of note – I think it’d be a lot easier if you ask the host to come to a notable station or any places that everyone could easily find. Then he or she will lead you to their lovely house.
Be a good surfer
Not so difficult. Stay respectful and be nice to your host. Keep clean the room, the bathroom and enjoy the food you are given. Even if the hosts don’t expect you to do anything you might be able to find a way to help him/her. They will definitely hesitate but once you have found a good way to give a hand, go for it. A small contribution would be a gift for your host.
Of note – People are simple. Everyone likes gifts. If you bring something representing your country, the host will be impressed. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, just a small thing that could introduce your culture. EasyPeasy.
Another very important part of Couchsurfing. It applies to both the surfer and the host. When you already have left, you will be asked to write a reference, well, if you are a surfer of course. The thing is you are allowed to see the reference before your host writes it back. References are very important for both sides, if you have a negative one, you should probably consider to delete your account and build a new one. I’m not trying to overstate, it’s just a fact.
Are you ready? 😉
All the love,