by: Katrina Hatchett
When you first start Couchsurfing, you may not know how to be a great guest. After a few stays, you will get the gist of what you should do to have the best surfing experience, but here are some tips to make your trips amazing.
The best thing to do in your profile is to be honest. An incredible profile may be impressive but you need to be honest if you want to earn the respect of your hosts. If you lie, you are setting yourself up for a lot of trouble and inconvenience. If you say that you are an extrovert but you are really an introvert, people are not going to like that.
Make personal couchsurfing requests
When sending requests, the easiest thing to do is just copy and paste the same information. But this is not the best way to handle things. You are going to spend a few days with these people and you need to share what it is specifically that attracted you to them. You need to say why you are interested in someone.
Use more hosts
While your host may be awesome on paper, you two may just be awkward together. Sometimes it just doesn’t work between people and they don’t connect at all. This is normal. The best thing to do is to split the time in a destination between two hosts. You will meet more people, stay in different parts of the town, you can learn more this way and you can avoid that awkwardness.
Stay up to date
Inform your host about the itinerary and where you will go. This is a minimum requirement. Your host needs to know when you are coming, when you are leaving, if there are any delays and so on. You can email, call or text to let your host know if there are any changes. Send a follow up email as well.
Stick to their schedule
You may be having the best time ever hitchhiking around the globe without caring for what time it is when you wake up or eat, your host is living their real life and they often may have a schedule that they need to follow. They may have work or family obligations and they still find time for you. So, try your best to match your host’s schedule. This shows appreciation.
Remember it’s not free
While this is a free accommodation for sure, the utilities you use are definitely not and it has to be paid for by your host. You should be respectful of the fact as it can mount up to a lot of costs. Thank the hosts by being a good guest, buy food, coffee or make lunch. Take them out for a drink or pay for their ticket for that club.
Share food and talk with them
“Eating with other people is fun and cooking meals together is too. You should be open to this since the food is one of the main parts of any culture. You can make your own meals or learn from your hosts,” says Helen Bell, a lifestyle blogger at Britstudent and Australia2Write. These are great talking points and you can go from there.
One of the worst things you can do is be a messy guest. When you come back from a day of trekking, you should clean up after yourself before you enter the house you are staying in. You should clean up after cooking, mop the bathroom after showering, clean the tub or the shower and so on. You should also shower often and stay clean.
Don’t waste water or power
Never shower for longer than you have to and don’t leave the appliances on when you don’t need them.
Leaving your stuff all over the place is not fair to the host. Keep your stuff tidy and don’t take up a lot of space.
Keep your hosts home safe
“Ensure that you follow the rules of the security for your host’s home. You need to make sure that everything is safe when you leave and that you don’t create unnecessary danger for your host,” says Fred Lockley, a couchsurfer at Write My X and Next Coursework.
Don’t bring people over
Your host may have invited you but they are probably not going to be as welcoming to a whole bunch of people who you have just met. If you want to hang out with your new friends, do so outside of your host’s home.
Be mindful of your host’s life
Your host has their real life to attend to. So, you need to be mindful of that. It’s easy to lose track of that but you need to work around it and find a way not to interrupt it.