Originally known as a web platform, couch surfing has soon become a buzzword among global travelers. It is now used as a term to refer to a hospitality exchange experience. Aside from free accommodations, couch surfers are after the true local experience. If you’ve been planning a long-term travel and thinking of couch surfing to save up on cash, it would be great if you get to experience hosting first.
1. Pump up your profile.
Ideally, you would have built your references. However, since you have not hosted before, you want to make an impression by creating an interesting profile. Entrepreneur and couch surfer Oli Norwell suggests that you use honesty and humor in your profile description. State your hobbies and interests, and let them know why you are on the platform in the first place. Share what you can offer your guests and what they can expect from you in return.
2. Offer a decent lodging.
Clearly, you are not offering bed and breakfast to your guests. You don’t have to spend a huge amount on major renovations, but make sure that you offer the basic necessities. Sure, it’s not called couch surfing for no reason, but make sure that your guests are comfortable enough. Consider calling a water heater installation company in Salt Lake City, rid your couch of bed bugs, and get dividers for privacy at the least.
3. Know your guests.
Even if you are first-time hosts, you should select and approve guests carefully. You accommodate your guests at your own risk, so do set some guidelines. Check their profiles, and do a bit of a background check. It’s not so difficult these days if you have an Internet connection. If you can’t find them anywhere else on the web — no Facebook or whatsoever — be alarmed.
4. Set rules and boundaries.
While you want to be incredible hosts, your guests do understand that they are living under your roof, so they have to respect your rules. That being said, you need to have set of rules. Timothy Chow writes on Elite Daily that you must be clear with curfews, bringing of other guests, and identifying what parts of the house are only accessible.
5. Have time to entertain your guests.
Your guests want to experience what it’s like to be a local, so make time to show them a typical day in your life. You don’t have to skip your job or communicate with them 24/7, but at least allot a schedule to tour them around. Bring them to places where locals usually eat, shop, drink, and whatnot.
Couch surfing is a unique way to travel. It’s a great way to know more people and familiarize yourself with other cultures, whether as a host or a guest. If you are planning to couch surf on your next travel, it's best you try hosting first. Do follow some tips above, but basically, the rule is: Treat your guests the way you want to be treated by your hosts.