Understand what is couchsurfing, safety and some etiquettes. These are tips to enjoy your stay with your host, to encourage a better couch surfing experience and definitely a lifetime experience that you’ll remember in your entire life.
First let me explain to you what is exactly “couch surfing”
Couch surfing is staying over at a local home while you travel for free. The idea behind couch surfing is to leverage the hospitality of friendly people around the world who open their homes to travelers.It became very popular for travelers the early 2010 and its growing massively till now. There are 2 types of travelers who does couchsurfing;
- Reduces expenses especially accomodation
- Getting a taste of the local lifestyle
Couch surfing is beneficial not just in terms of budget but your knowledge and skills as well. You might be able to pick up new languages, learn about the culture from the local point of view (which is more accurate) and discover hidden gems in the country that’s only known to the locals. Definitely a different journey compared to backpacking.
1 Advance Notice
Inform your host when you will be coming over as early as possible so your host can arrange their free time for you. To be safe, do not book your flight first. Agree on a common free time then fly over the host country.
2 Flight details & Meeting Point
Screenshot all your flight details like flight number and arrival time so your host will be prepared to pick you up from the airport. As you will have no form of communication when arrived, decide the meeting point so it will be convenient for you and your host.
3 Offer a small token of gift
Offer some token of appreciation during your stay. It can be in form of food, gifts from your hometown and etc. Usually they would decline it but at least you took the effort to offer.
4 Secure your bags
Always secure your bag when you leave your host place. Secure you valuables, passports and documents. Even though you trust your host, its better to play it safe.
5 Lifetyle Difference
Adapting to another country takes time. Adapting to another lifestyle takes even more time. It depends on your luck whether you are getting a comfortable stay or not.
Whatever it is appreciate that you have a shelter for free. Do not give any rude remarks or critic their living lifestyle as this would really offend them.
6 Do not expect too much
Do not expect your host to bring you to all the places your want to visit. Your host will be tired to fulfill them and eventually get tired of you. Best to follow the flow, let your host bring you around at his pace.
7 Do not leave traces behind
Do not mess up your host house. Wash the dishes after eating or do some tidy up. Do not give your host extra job to tidy the mess you made.
8 Do not trouble the host
Requesting or asking too much favors to your host is like troubling them. They might say the “its okay” but try your best to handle things yourself. Just ask them for advice if you need.
9 Offer a couch to crash at your place
You might ended up being good friends with your host and therefore, inviting a couch to crash at your place can mean something to them. Offering a return in favor after a great stay would be very nice.
10 Do not stay for too long
Staying over a long period of time can be really boring as you are too comfortable and don’t feel in a foreign land anymore. Couchsurfing is part of travelling and to travel is to move. It can be sad to leave your host but leaving is part of travelling.
So, are you ready for another level of travelling adventure? Plenty of learning point to be taken when you couch surf. Well, you live only once, but if you do it right, once is actually enough.