What is Couchsurfing?
Couchsurfing is a service that connects members to a global community of enthusiast travelers. For many people who are unknown to the idea of couch-surfing it is related to letting people stay at your place during their stay in your country or city. This medium is considered one of the most reliable way to meet people from around the world. So, this article is all about being a good couch-surfing host and guest!
How To Be A Good Couch-Surfing Host?
• Be clear about what you offer as a host
Don’t exceed what you can afford! Whether it is time, money or space, just be clear what you have to offer to your guests. Be sure that you are comfortable with strangers staying in your home. If you have some problems with some guests, be free to talk to them and discuss the reason of the problem. List down the benefits and problems that might crop up when staying at your place. Be sure that all your guests have read all and agreed to everything.
• Checklist your guests
It is always better to know your guests before they stay at your place. You can learn a lot from an online profile. Read all your potential guests’ profile carefully before agreeing to something. If they have common interests as you, then it’s the perfect match! Learn to trust your instincts and gut feeling. Maybe, it won’t be bad meeting someone who is totally the opposite of their profile. I said maybe!
• Don’t hesitate to turn down requests
There can be many reasons why you want to turn down a request for a potential surfer. The reasons are endless and telling them to some trustworthy and potential surfers is not that wrong. If you don’t have the time or you’re out for vacation, then it’s okay to turn down the requests. You don’t even have to give any reasons if you don’t want to!
• Provide your guests with everything they need
List down everything you have and ask your guests if they need something extra. It is also important that you realize how much you need to do for your guests to feel comfortable. Provide them with the WiFi password and the laundry settings for their clothes.
• Be helpful
Know that your guest is new to the city, so help them by keeping a folder of the bus schedule, maps, and general information about your area. These can be tourist pamphlets, restaurant menus or even handwritten directions. You can also write down your favorite spots in the city where they can hang out. Take an evening off, then you can show your guests around.
• Don’t let your guests clean up after you
They are there to enjoy. If they offer to help you out, then it’s totally fine. Always put yourself in the place of the guests while you are hosting a couch-surfing plan!
How To Be A Good Couch-Surfing Guest?
• Create an honest profile
Be yourself while creating your profile. Don’t exaggerate in your profile! List down your likes and dislikes, don’t oversell yourself just to please the host. Send honest and personal couch-surfing requests. Be creative while giving out information about your stay! Make the host feel important and that you want to learn something interesting from them as well.
• Don’t be afraid to use more than one host
It’s okay to give chance to more than one host. Sometimes, it can happen that there is no chemistry between you and the host, so it’s better to have other options. You can spend three days at one host and other two days at the other host’s place. The bright side of this is that you get to meet more people, stay in different parts of the country and you learn different things about the culture.
• Keep your host updated
It is important that the communication between you and your host are regular. If possible, plan some day-out with them and spend the whole day with them. Let them introduce you to their city. Let them know when you are coming and when you are planning to move out so that they can plan their schedule as such.
• Respect your host’s schedule
There are times when the host has a family where most of them work, that’s why they have different schedules. So, it’s better that you respect that schedule and show your appreciation by being on time or at least informing them whenever you are couch-surfing at someone’s place.
• Couch-Surfing isn’t free
There are many people who mistake couch-surfing for being free! Accommodating strangers and serving them food is a lot for a host. So don’t always expect that couch-surfing is free and your host can bear all expenses. Be the perfect guest while staying! You can treat them if you want.
There’s more to this, keep reading till then!