If you are thinking of becoming a Couchsurfing host, well done. You are already paying back to the traveling community and it thanks to you.
Couchsurfing is a great way to make new friends and expose yourself to other cultures from the comfort of your own home. The experience, however, has to be one that is pleasant for the surfer as well. It is with this in mind that we at Travset together with our partners who themselves are Couchsurfing hosts have created this list of tips on how to be a good Couchsurfing host.
1. Ensure your house is onboard
If you are looking to host Couchsurfers, it is best to let all those who are living with you know as it would be uncomfortable for the surfer you host to feel unwelcome.
2. Be clear about house rules
It’s always best to include as much information as possible on the house rules you expect guests to follow as it will help potential surfers to know if you are a good match and reduce the hassle you might encounter as a host.
We recommend inserting details on the accommodation types available (separate room, couch, yoga mat), preferred arrival times if you have pets and the amount of time you can spare for guests once they arrive.
House rules, of course, are dependent on one’s preferences but it is always wise to make sure all parties are clear on them prior to arrival.
3. Be picky about who you expect
The spirit of Couchsurfing is the exchange of cultures, experiences amongst locals and foreigners. Some surfers, however, misuse this and think of Couchsurfing as a platform for free accommodation and are not considerate. It is therefore wise to evaluate the accommodation requests you receive carefully and pick those who you think will match your interests and can learn from.
Some Couchsurfers have been known to spam many hosts with identical messages in the hopes of getting free accommodation fast. We recommend inserting a safe word within your host bio and requesting those who would like to be hosted to include that in the request to avoid spammers.
4. Don’t be afraid to say no
It is perfectly acceptable to decline a request if you are not feeling comfortable or is unable to host. Do however let the Couchsurfer know of the same as they could continue to look for alternative accommodation options.
5. Clean up
As cost-free as Couchsurfing is, no one likes being hosted in an environment that is smelly, dirty and looks unhygienic. It is therefore important that you make an effort to clean the area in which the Couchsurfer will be spending time in.
We also recommend keeping valuables under lock and key in order to avoid any potential for issues.
6. Be considerate
Couchsurfers, when they arrive, will most like be weary and tired to the boot as they arrive. Offering a beverage and maybe a hot meal would, therefore, be much appreciated.
It would also be considerate to let them use the WIFI and offer any help they would need to get around the city.
7. Give them space
Everyone appreciates their privacy and the Couchsurfers would appreciate a certain degree of privacy once they have arrived. Staying at a foreign location at times s rather daunting for some and require time to get used to.
We highly recommend keeping the interaction cordial without any unwelcome advances to preserve a sense of mutual respect between you and the guest.
8. Leave a review
Couchsurfing is a platform built on trust and leaving references for Couchsurfers negative or positive allows future hosts to welcome those that are genuine and steer clear of those who are not.