How To Use Couchsurfing?: A Detailed Guide

So, you have heard about Couchsurfing but haven’t figured out how to make the best of it. Or you used but did not successfully get any host or meet-up.

How to use Couchsurfing?

This article will give you a complete guide on using Couchsurfing for free accommodation.

What is Couchsurfing?

Couchsurfing is a useful travel application that connects travelers and locals to those who may not know about this. It’s based on the kindness of the host or the enthusiasm and open-minded attitude of users.

Couchsurfing is an alternative way of traveling on a budget because it’s not only about offering a free stay but also about cultural exchange.

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Things to do with Couchsurfing

1. Stay at a local’s place

Couchsurfing is a great way to travel on a budget because you can save money on accommodation.

You can stay at someone’s place after sending the request to them and get accepted. Depending on the host’s house description, you may sleep on the couch in the┬áliving room or have a private room.

You can cook with your host during your stay and hang out with them if you’d like to.

You can save a lot of money by making use of Couchsurfing. Imagine that you visit Switzerland, you can save at least 40 Euros per night!

How to get your Couchsurfing Host to say YES? – A Successful Request

Many people said they had no hope of sending a request for a host. Maybe it’s time to look back on your request. Here are ways to make sure you will get a “Yes.”

  • Read the host’s profile carefully.
  • Ensure the host requests something to include in the request, such as any keyword or questions.
  • Don’t use Couchsurfing as a freeloader; use it for cultural exchange. If you consider Couchsurfing a free hostel and don’t want to communicate with the host, no one will host you.
  • Don’t just write “Can you host me on…” and stop. It will low your chance.
  • Tell the host why you want to stay with them.
  • Tell about yourself and your trips and plans. It will be helpful to include the time/day that you will arrive.
  • Tell the host if you would like to do something with them together, such as cooking/ exploring the city, so that they will find your request more interesting.
  • Write a request in a friendly manner.
  • Create public trips so locals can find and offer to host you!

2. Host travelers

If you’d like to meet travelers worldwide, why not offer a place for them to stay?

It is an excellent opportunity to meet many people and make new friends. Also, hosting travelers is the best way to contribute to a Couchsurfing community!

You can earn three months of verified membership by hosting travelers. So don’t hesitate to open your door and share your lives with others.

3. Meet new people

Are you traveling alone? No worries! You can meet up with locals or other travelers easily by Couchsurfing!

Specifically, you need to search for hosts or travelers coming to town and send a message to meet them in advance.

Also, you should public your trip so others can contact you easier. Many locals offer to show new people around their city in their free time. So take that chance and get to know more people!

4. Attend events

You can search for events in the city you’re visiting, or it will automatically appear when you public your trip. There are several Couchsurfing events, such as weekly meetings, discovering the urban area, etc.

5. Hangout

If you use the mobile version of Couchsurfing, you can turn on your location and use the Hangout function.

Just choose “Become Available,” then fill out what you want to do.

You can see the distance between you and others and what they would like to do. If you’d like to contact them, press “Hello.”

Choose Hangout Now

Then “Become Available”

What would you like to do? Type and then press My availability

How to use Couchsurfing successfully?

  1. Create an account

The first step is to create a Couchsurfing account. You can either use Facebook or log in to your email. It will only take 1 minute to set it up!

2. Upload pictures

I suggest you to at least 3 Couchsurfing pictures on your profile. If you want to host travelers, it will be better to upload photos of your place.

3. Add friends

Your profile will look suspicious if you have no friends or just 1 or 2 friends. If your account is connected to Facebook, you can send friend requests to your friends on Facebook.

4. Fill up your profile

It’s essential to let users know more about you, such as your interest, reasons you are on Couchsurfing, or countries you have visited.

Write some interesting information about yourself that will increase your chance to get hosted or host someone!

5. References

Many people don’t like to host or ask someone to host if that person does not have any references. It is essential on Couchsurfing because it shows the valuation and reliance.

If you start using Couchsurfing, you can first ask your friends to write some references for you.

Having references will prove that you’re trustworthy!

6. Host/ Find travelers

Start to use it! Yes, you are ready to begin :)

Create a trip/ Host a Traveler/ Browse Events – Many things to do!

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  1. Abigail Sinsona says:

    When I first heard about couchsurfing, I was concerned with the safety. But as I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about it, I have come to take a few tips to increase safety. This is one of the best concepts to be ever introduced for backpackers. Such a handy way to not only get accommodation, but also to meet lots of new people.

    1. Ha Truong says:

      I totally agree that it is one of the best concepts for travelers. I traveled alone and used it multiple times, and happy that I try!

  2. Couchsurfing is something I haven’t had the chance to experience! Definitely, its popularity among travelers keeps growing and growing over time. I couldn’t agree more – a complete profile is very important if you want to get the attention of fellow travelers. Good quality pictures, complete descriptions, and good references are very important to influence potential guests decision. :) Looking forward to reading your next post regarding Couchsurfing & safety! All best, Mariella.

    1. Ha Truong says:

      Thank you for stopping by! I’m happy that you find the article interesting and useful :)
      I will finish the post about Couchsurfing safety soon. Stay tuned ;)

  3. To get mixed with local culture couchsurfing is the best way to travel. But due to security reasons I sometimes doubt on this option but after reading your tips on what to consider, couchsurfing looks safe option too. I will try out by registering to this online site.

    1. Ha Truong says:

      Yay! I’m glad that you want to try out after reading my post :)
      I will have more safety tips about Couchsurfing in the next article. So stay tuned :)

  4. I agree with everything you wrote about CS. I did it 2 years ago and loved it. The events are really good fun especially if you’re travelling alone. I never saw the hangout option, it must be new.

    1. Ha Truong says:

      I saw that option since I started using Couchsurfing at the beginning of this year, so maybe the developer just made it recently. You should try it out!

  5. What a fun post! I’ve just started hosting and it’s been so fun to connect with other travelers and hear their stories. I think it’s a great way to make friends, help someone out, and hangout!

    1. Ha Truong says:

      I love hosting people too! It’s interesting to help and hang out with travelers, right? :)

  6. Tatum Skipper says:

    Every single time I go to use couchsurfing, something pops up! I have actually contacted some people before but they were all out of town the time I would be there. I am really wanting to try and explore this more as a option, just sometimes I need my own space! Great tips!!

    1. Ha Truong says:

      I hesitated for the first time as well, but you need an urge to try it out! Just contact me if you have any concern about this app.

  7. Thanks for all this information. I love the idea of couch surfing but would be worried about safety for women traveling alone. In theory, I think it’s a great way to meet people and get to know a culture better.

    1. Ha Truong says:

      I totally understand about the safety of using Couchsurfing. I heard about creepy stories from other travelers as well, so it’s definitely something to concern about. However, don’t let fear stop us from using such a useful concept for traveling.

  8. There are a few features of couchsurfing here I was not aware of. I didn’t kknow about the hangouts option but I will try it when I go to travel next month. The other feature I was not aware of was the events. This is a great tool to meet people whilst traveling.

    1. Ha Truong says:

      Yes you surely should try hangout and event options in Couchsurfing. They are really useful to meet new people :)

  9. Great breakdown of couchsurfing! We’ve never used it before. We’ve never been interested in the staying with people portion, but I’ve always considered signing up for the hang outs–they sound like fun!

    1. Ha Truong says:

      Participating in the hangout and events are really fun too! Sometimes I did not stay at people’s places and just met up other travelers in those ways.

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