CouchSurfing 101: CouchSurfing Basics
Why I love CouchSurfing.org
- It’s Free
- The people & community are friendly and knowledgable
- Have couches everywhere – 5.5 million people, Â 95K countries, across 207 countries
- Safe & reliable
It’s Not As Scary As You Think
The first thing that everyone asks me about couch surfing is “Aren’t you scared that they will be psycho rapist murders who will rob you?”. Although I’m not that attractive, rich, or other qualities psycho’s look for, the great thing about CouchSurfing.org is that it is like Facebook in that you can look at the persons profile and really get to know them. To give you an idea of Â who hosts couch surfers, check out the people that we stayed with when we traveled through Canada.
Look At Who We Stayed With In Canada!
What To Look For On A CouchSurfing.org Profile
- A fully filled out profile – Just by looking at this you’ll get a good sense about the person.
- References – Look to see if they have references. I usually don’t stay with anyone unless they have a few references. Make sure to see if the references are left by people who actually stayed with them. (On couchsurfing.org You can leave a reference for people that you just met in public.)
- Pictures – You can tell a lot by looking at a photo of where you will be staying. If they have a photo it is definitely a bonus.
Getting Started With CouchSurfing.org
The first thing you need to do is create a profile. Some tips for setting up your profile are:
- Fill it out your profile as much as possible
- Be personal, creative, and unique and you’ll be more likely to get responses
- Add lots of photos
After you have your profile set up you need to start building your references. Just like how you are less likely to pick a host with no reviews, same goes for hosts picking surfers. Here are a couple of ways to get
- Get references from friends ( Hit me up )
- Meet people at CouchSurfing events in your city.Â Â They are often doing fun activities, happy hours, or touring the city which are great opportunities to meet other “Surfers” and build your references.
- Get references from hosts after you’ve stayed with them
How To Treat Your Hosts
Another big question I get asked is how to act around your hosts. It’s an interesting experience because you’re not in a hotel where you just come and go as you please, and every home and culture has different rules & customs. The biggest piece of advice is to kind and respectful of their home. Here are some ways that I connected with our hosts:
- Offer to pay for meals, laundry, etc.
- Help out with dishes, cleaning, folding up your sheets & blankets etc
- Schedule time to be with them like meals, shopping, events in the city
- Leave a reference!
- Give them something to remember you!
- Magnets from your city – We gave out magnets of Philly landmarks which people seemed to really enjoy
- Post cards from your city
- Leave them a Â thank you note
- Get creative – I made some balloon animals for our Quebec City hosts, which was really fun
Helpful CouchSurfing Links:
What Questions Do You Have?
I’ve answered the questions that my friends have been asking me the most, but what other questions do you have? Let me know in the comments and I would be glad to answer them!
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