10 tips to help you get a couchsurfing host

As something of a veteran on couchsurfing.com . I ‘d like to share some tips that helped me find hosts in the past. The basic tips (fill out your profile, write a good request, etc) you can find them on the CouchSurfing website, these one are a bit more advanced.

  1.  Most active hosts usually know what’s going on tonight or tomorrow, so asking them if you can stay with them tonight instead of next month is a sure way to get a host, or at least a reply.
  2. Hosts need to know when will you arrive, so If you are unsure of your arrival date because you are traveling on foot, bicycle, hitchhiking, etc it’s better to tell them an exact date and then change it later if you need to.
  3. To avoid awkwardness always ask for 2 nights, no more. Later if you get along well you can ask them to stay one more night, or they may offer you to. Asking for just 2 nights is perfect because of the low-risk commitment it offers the prospect host. If you are annoying, messy, smelly, cheap, snore too loud or something like that they will probably be able to tolerate you for 2 nights, but they don’t want to get stuck with you for longer just because they had already agreed to. If you need to stay let’s say 6 days in a place consider finding 3 hosts for 2 days each instead of asking one person so host you for 6 say.
  4. If the host hasn’t logged in for a month or longer feel free to send them a copied message otherwise you need to write something personal, assuming you have the time and internet for it.
  5. Ordering by newest users will also greatly increase your chances of getting hosted, they have low expectations and probably won’t even mind you sending them your template.
  6. On the other end, there are people who write some kind of keyword or a password on their profile that you have to mention on your request. They are people who have probably hosted a lot before and have a huge ego because of that. Their profile reads like a novel and there’s probably no way they would understand your plans have changed, or you have 10% battery left, or  15 minutes of internet left and a million things to do besides reading the story of their lives. If you do have the necessary time and energy to write them make sure you compliment them a lot and follow their rules and guidelines to increase your chances.
  7. Be aware that people living in big cities get a lot of couch requests every day from  European backpackers in their 20’s, so what makes you different? Looking for a couch it’s a bit like looking for a job, if you say the exact same thing as everyone else you will get rejected, you need to stand out. Unless you are sending requests to an unpopular non-touristy destination, then you can just say the same as everyone.
  8.  Let your host know that you travel with your own sleeping bag and mat, even if it’s a tiny one, this tells the host you are flexible, independent, can sleep anywhere and won’t makes their blankets dirty.
  9. Avoid cliches and phrases like “I like traveling, music and movies, I’m friendly, open-minded, I like meeting new people and experiencing new cultures, etc”. Everyone likes traveling, everyone considers themselves to be friendly and open-minded, also open-minded people don’t feel the need to tell others that they are open-minded. Make sure your host knows you are not a robot, tell them something about your dreams, about your allergies, weaknesses, quirks, something really different or strange about you.  Tell them something they  have never heard before. He probably already knows you like traveling.
  10.  Mention something special you could share with them or do together, for example, some years ago I used to travel with a frisbee and would mention in my request that I would like to play with them. And I’ve met people traveling with a football, a chess set, some card games, a hair cutting set, a musical instrument, a special food or drink you brought from abroad, or things like that.

Also don’t forget to always bring a gift, souvenir or cook something for your host, it’s just the right thing to do.

And welcome to surf my couch in El Calafate.

Bruno.

 

 

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