Couchsurfing is the best way to make the most out of your travel experience without breaking the bank. Staying with a local at your destination is a simple and great way to meet someone new and an even better way to get acquainted with the local culture and customs.
Signing up for the platform is simple. But successfully Couchsurfing can be an art form in and of itself. You need to balance your expectations and safety all while applying for the same hosts as countless other people.
If you want to join the community and meet travelers and locals from all around the world, keep on reading! Here are our tips for a successful Couchsurfing experience:
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Put Effort into Your Profile
Sure, you can just fill out the basics, choose a nice profile picture and call it a day. Chances are, however, that you will neither receive any hosting requests nor would most hosts accept yours. The Couchsurfing community is huge, and while this is one of its main selling points, it also means you need to stand out somehow.
Take some time and really put effort into your profile. Choose multiple current pictures of yourself doing what you love. Carefully write a description of yourself, your favorite past-times, and what you’re looking for in a host or guest. Your profile benefits from having references, even if those are just from your hometown friends and family. No one wants to trust someone they know nothing about with their home and personal belongings!
Be a Part of the Community
Couchsurfing offers so much more than merely a place to spend the night. A big reason we love it so much is for its community. Take part in the events organized by other users in your hometown or destination and meet the locals and your fellow traveling enthusiasts. These events cover a wide variety of activities – from simple meet-ups in the city center to group activities such as hiking.
Solo Travelers, especially, can benefit from these activities! Particularly Female Solo Travelers often rave about the platform, as it offers them a simple and safe way to get in touch with the locals at their destinations.
Choose Your Host Wisely
Safety should always come first, so trust your gut when requesting a host. Signs of a good host are positive references from other travelers, but also having updated pictures of themselves (and their couch!), as well as lengthier descriptions on their profile. Choose a host whose living environment might be a good fit, i.e. don’t necessarily request to stay with a family with young kids if you plan on partying every night.
Be honest with yourself about what you are looking for, but don’t dismiss someone too quickly. Often the people we think we have nothing in common with can have a huge impact on your experience. Challenge yourself to stay in a different environment than you are used to to get the most authentic insight into the local way of life and to expand your horizons in a way that is extremely rarely possible.
Talk about yourself and your interests on your profile! The more you tell prospective hosts, the more likely you are to match with someone you’ll get along with.
But don’t stop with your profile. If you’re staying on someone’s couch, you are looking for insight into their life and culture. But remember, the host is most likely looking for a cultural exchange with you as well. Bring something meaningful from your hometown or home country as a thank you gift for the host, show them pictures from your life, tell them about your prior travels or explain your culture’s festivities to them!
Couchsurfing is so much more than just a free place to stay. Couchsurfing is a community, a way to get talking, an opportunity for new friendships, and a place, where cultures and people connect.
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