Hello, boy and girls! Today we’re delving into the wonderful world of CouchSurfing. I’ve been a “surfer of couches” for about five years now, and have had a chance to fine-tune my couch-request practices over the years. It wasn’t always easy for me to find couches to sleep on, though. Things were a little rough at first! That’s why I’ve decided to impart some knowledge and help readers off to an easier start than I had. So, without further rambling:
1. Choose a Good Profile Picture
This should be the first thing you do. Pick a picture that shows your face, and something that says “hey, I’m not a serial kiler!” It doesn’t hurt to add several different pictures to your CouchSurfing profile. Think fun and light-hearted! Which brings me to our next tip:
2. Be a Fun Person!
Nobody wants to hang out with a “Debbie-Downer” or some weirdo. Your profile description, couch request and everything you do on CouchSurfing should portray an aura of awesome. Don’t overdo it or anything, but make sure it shows that you’re an easygoing person who loves to meet new people. After all, if you aren’t on CouchSurfing to meet new people, you should find another method of travel!
3. Bend The Rules To Get Your First References
This is the hard part for most people. It’s very hard to get an approved couch request without any prior CouchSurfing experiences to back you up. That’s okay though! Ask some friends to create a CouchSurfing profile (if they don’t already have one) and leave you a positive review. It’s important to still remain honest here and divulge how you know each other. This just shows potential CouchSurfing hosts that you do have friends and are a normal, non-wacko person. We’ll grow those references with the next tip:
4. Always Be Respectful
Always, always, always. I stayed with a very beautiful woman in Heidelberg once. As much as I wanted to turn that story into a romance novel, I didn’t make any moves for fear of disrespecting or offending her. Also, always clean up after yourself when staying with a CouchSurfing host. Follow the rules and be kind and courteous. This is the best way to build up good references on your profile. You should be doing this anyways!
5. Link To Your Facebook
I don’t do this anymore now that I have plenty of references, but it was great at the beginning. The reason I recommend this is because it’s a great way to show potential hosts that you’re a normal person. If they can scroll through your Facebook and see that you’re easygoing and that you have plenty of friends, it will go a long way.
If you’d like a LOT more Couchsurfing tips (including a detailed step-by-step guide to reaching out to hosts), making money while you travel, getting places to stay for free, and stuff like that, please consider grabbing a copy of my book Two Bucks to Timbuktu on Amazon.
Or, if you’d like to read the hilarious journey of my friends and I attempting to vagabond our way around the world, check out my book Planes, Trains, & Broken Strings!