The numbers don’t lie. 15 million people use www.couchsurfing.com in well over 200 000 cities across the globe. Couch surfing is a combination of bucket listing and adventuring and has become a great way to travel, exchange culture and meet new people. It’s also a way people get to see your home and for you to leave a great impression of your country to tourists.
But to make the most out of the couch surfing experience you need some basic tips and gear. We have both for you. Read on and discover the best way to explore the world via a couch!
Firstly, you are going to need to create a good image of yourself.
First impressions last, right? So, you need to make sure any contact you have with your soon to be host should be well mannered and respectful. Create a great profile with good reviews, if you are a newbie couch surfer, you are going to need to work on it! Fun pictures with friends and testimonials are a good start. Also – make sure your biography is interesting but honest. The keyword here is transparency!
Leave copy and pasting for a word document!
Yes, it is a pain in the butt to write out requests but if your host sees it – then they may see you as being lazy or shady! Avoid it! Read through the request and make sure you take it all in. Make sure you tailor each request to each person correctly.
Couch surfing is the ideal way to become a guide. Think about it. Who knows the area they live in better than the host? If you can, go out with them and explore, you may find something that isn’t in the travel guide!
Show up on time
Punctuality is key to ensuring that everyone is happy. Don’t be that person who lets the host down at the last minute. Plans do change and that cannot be avoided or predicted – but the key is to give your host as much of a heads-up as possible!
You are a guest in someone else’s home, remember that. It isn’t a mass commune and you have to abide by the host’s rules and regulations regarding guests and arrival and departure times. The odd breakage may happen, but you really don’t want to break all the lamps and personal belongings. Common sense is a must here.
Hangout with mates
This is gold. Exchanging of cultures and getting to know another person from a totally different background is something you cannot and should not miss out on while you are couch surfing across the globe!
It happens more than you think. The answer is not always clear; how long is too long. We suggest you ask upfront and make sure you stick to the parameters. This is especially important if the host is busy. If you say 2 nights and agree on it, make sure it’s 2 nights! Also, with that, know the limits of your stay and don’t be afraid to decline things if you are uncomfortable with a request.
Share and give back
It’s a free service but it does come with the responsibility to also give. Bring a gift from home or offer to cook a meal or even better, leave a parting gift. A host will love the fact that you are thinking about them too, regardless of the size of the effort or gift. This also means you should try pull your weight as much as possible.
The most Important thing to remember is FUN. It is all about adventure, exploring and getting to know other people and their cultures. Take it all in, obey the basic rules and make memories for a lifetime!
We have a range of items which are great for crowd surfing. They are reliable, great for moving from place to place and provide convenient packing and ease of use: