Couchsurfing is a social network used by travelers looking for free accommodation and by hosts who want to receive travelers at their home. Couchsurfing is a great option for those who want to save on travel and meet people from different cultures.Founded in 2004, today it is the largest social network for travelers, there are more than 15 million users from all corners of the world.
How does couchsurfing work?
Couchsurfing is a social network that can be accessed by the browser or also by an application. To start using, just enter the website and create a user profile. You can use it connected to Facebook, that way it will be easier to find your friends there.
The profile contains information such as name, age, profession, languages spoken, origin and place of residence. Next, there is a description where you can tell a little about yourself, your interests and your travel experiences.
It is important to have a complete profile so that people know who you are, what your lifestyle is, your interests in traveling and your goals in using the platform.
Couchsurfing has as main objective the search and offer of accommodation . For example, if you have a sofa or bed available in your home and are interested in offering it to travelers, you can do so through this social network.
As accommodation is usually one of the biggest expenses on a trip, getting places to sleep without having to spend can make a big difference in your budget.
But besides looking for and offering accommodation, couchsurfing can also be used to meet people. There are many profiles that do not offer accommodation, but are available to show the city to the traveler or to talk about local traditions and cultures.
In your profile you can choose whether or not you are willing to offer hosting. If you want to receive guests, you can better detail the conditions of accommodation, if you have pets, if smoking is allowed in the house or if there is accessibility for disabled people, for example.
The better you detail these criteria, the more in line with your requirements you will be able to approve or disapprove guests and ensure that the couchsurfing experience is positive.
Care with couchsurfing
Like any other social network, it is important to take some precautions when using couchsurfing. When requesting accommodation or accepting a guest, carefully check the user’s profile .
In the profile, people are rated by others who have already hosted or have been hosted by that user. There is also the possibility to make references about people. Read what other people say about your future guest or host .
To be even more secure, you can get in touch with the people who wrote these references and find out about their experiences with that user.
It is also very important to keep in mind that there can be huge cultural differences , especially if you are traveling or receiving travelers from very different places. In these cases, in addition to knowing a little about the culture to avoid problems, it is important to be tolerant.
Tips for using couchsurfing
- Keep your profile complete so that people know who you are and what you can offer them. The clearer the information, the more likely you are to have positive experiences.
- Stay active on the platform and do not take many days to respond to messages and requests, this will make your profile appear to more users.
- When staying with someone, keep in mind that you must follow the rules of the house and you will not always have the comfort and privacy that you would have in a hotel.
- If you want to receive foreigners or travel abroad, have your profile in English , so you can let more people know you.
- Whenever you receive guests or stay somewhere, write references . In this way, the network is strengthened and other travelers can be safer in their experiences.