Ask Couchsurfing: New Members

Ask Couchsurfing: Where we answer your questions about CS and traveling. Check out our Instagram and TikTok weekly to watch Mike from Couchsurfing HQ answer the question, or read the responses here!

How can I gain trust and get a profile with many references? Any tips for new members?

Jason from Connecticut:
The best way to build your profile when you are new to couchsurfing is attend CS meetups and/or host one yourself. Don’t forget you can even organize a meetup when you are traveling, it’s a great way to meet other Couchsurfers in the city you are new to. Try surfing in your own city/area, explain you are new to CS and looking to learn about it locally. Last tip… PROFILE.. PROFILE… PROFILE… be sure to put as much info about you & your interests etc. The more you offer of yourself the more comfortable people will be to host or surf with you.

Carli from Memphis:
The easiest way to start out is to attend or host meet ups to gain references from active members. I would also recommend completely filling out your profile, have photos of yourself and your travels, and to personalize each message you send. We were all new at couchsurfing once, so active members are always willing to help new folks who are interested in the community gain references and experience.

Anu from Chandigarh:
Have a well written profile. Include every details about yourself in the profile which you would want to know about others when you let them in your house.
Attending events and writing references for those who you connected in the event is a great way to earn references yourself and make ur profile more credible. I started my CS journey by attending an event.

Couchsurfing Mike: When I first joined Couchsurfing, I connected my Facebook and then texted my friends who I saw were on CS and asked them to write me personal references to prove that I was a real person and although I hadn’t Couchsurfed yet, I knew Couchsurfers and they were vouching for me. Many active Couchsurfers, don’t mind if you don’t have a ton of references (or even any!) as long as your profile is filled out and they can get an idea of who you are as a person from your ‘about me’ and photos. Just take some time to explain what you like, whey you’re on Couchsurfing, and how you plan on contributing to the community and you will be fine. Also, if you’re planning on surfing as your first activity, make sure you spend TIME on writing Couch Requests. Many new users write very short “Hey, I’m coming to New York. Can I stay with you?” Which is not really in the spirit of Couchsurfing. Some hosts don’t mind a short request, but many want to see that you have read their profile and have a reason why you want to stay at their place specifically. More than, ‘you live in a place I want to go’ they want to know why you think the two of you would get along and what common interests/experiences you share that they think will make you a good match.

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