How to Travel with Couchsurfing

We’re on a mission to connect the world, one couch at a time. By building connections, we learn to respond to diversity with curiosity, appreciation, and respect – all while having a blast! Couchsurfing will change your perspective of the world and the way you view travel – but first you have to find a host. Ready to get started?

Fill Out Your Profile

You know you are awesome – help hosts see it too. Make your profile shine! If you are not sure if your profile is complete, take a look at experienced host or surfer’s profiles to see how they’ve filled theirs out. At a minimum, it’s great to have a few different photos that clearly show your face, and a good summary of who you are and what a host can expect when they meet you.

Tip: Look at your profile and think “Would I feel comfortable and excited about inviting this person into my home?”


Ask Friends and Family for Personal References

The reference system is the backbone of the Couchsurfing community and help both hosts and surfers make informed decisions. A Personal Reference from friends or family vouching for you will make it easier to find a host.

Tip: Most people know at least one person who uses Couchsurfing – you can connect your account to Facebook to see who in your network has a Couchsurfing profile. If you don’t know anyone in your network who uses Couchsurfing, consider going to a local Couchsurfing event to make friends before your trip. 


Search for Hosts

Search for hosts in your destination, and filter your results to meet your own criteria – through filters, you can find hosts that share specific interests with you, are pet-friendly, and more. Scroll through the list of hosts and select several hosts that you’d like to meet.

Tip: Use the date filter to only view hosts who are available during your stay.

Read Profiles

Now that you have a few hosts selected, learn more about them. Read their profiles and references thoroughly to get a good picture of who you want to meet. Couchsurfing isn’t about having a place to stay – it’s about creating connections and lifelong friendships. Find a host you can’t wait to meet!

Tip: It’s crucial to both your and your host’s safety to learn about each other before you meet. Be sure to read every reference and the information about your host’s home, in addition to their profile, before sending a Couch Request.

Send Couch Requests

Once you have a list of hosts you’d like to stay with, it’s time to ask them if you can stay!
Write them a Couch Request, introducing yourself to them. It’s a good idea to include a little bit about yourself, about your trip, and most importantly – why you want to meet them. Keep in mind that non-Verified members are limited to 10 Introductions a week, so only send Couch Requests to members who are listed as available, and who you’d like to meet.

Tip: Always tell your host why you want to meet them! Mention specific sentences in their profile that interested you or that you’d like to learn more about.


Create a Public Trip

If you’d like to let hosts and other travelers know that you’ll be in the area, you can also create a Public Trip. Hosts can read about yourself and send you Couch Offers, and you can connect with other travelers to explore with.

Tip: Create a Public Trip even if you already have a host! It’s a great way to let people know you are in the area, and to find people to explore with. Just be clear in your Public Trip that you do not need a host. 

Meet Locals and Other Travelers: Hangouts and Couchsurfing Events

Enrich your Couchsurfing experience even more by immersing yourself into the community. Check out the local Couchsurfing Events and use Couchsurfing Hangouts to meet up with both locals and travelers. If you’re traveling alone, Hangouts is particularly useful to find other people to explore the area with.

Tip: Most major cities (and even a lot of smaller towns!) have weekly Couchsurfing meetups where the local community and other travelers get together to swap travel stories and learn about each other. You can find these meetups by searching for Events in your destination. 

Have Fun!

Most Couchsurfing experiences are not only positive, but downright life-changing. Many Couchsurfing guests become lifelong friends with their hosts. There’s no better way to travel than with a local by your side – we know you’ll have a great time!

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