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People love Couchsurfing. The evidence is in the numbers. More than 10 million people crash on couches all over the world. It’s an amazing resource for anyone wanting to do more on their travels. And it’s even better when you actually crash on a couch.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Many people find it difficult to find hosts or people willing to help on their travels.
— Couchsurfing (@Couchsurfing) May 29, 2016
Well, I’m here to tell you that you can always find a host. All you have to do is read and find out more!
Boost Your Couchsurfing Experience
To find hosts and have more fun on your travels, the first thing you should do is boost your profile. And thankfully, there are a number of ways to do so.
— Couchsurfing (@Couchsurfing) June 16, 2016
Here are some sure fire tips to enjoy Couchsurfing.
Add Better Photos
As the tweet above explains, adding pictures is a necessary first step to find hosts. And because this is a travel site, including pictures from your travel adventures is a great idea.
Be sure to also include photos that are bright and clear, fun and full of personality. A friendly face goes a long way.
— Needimages (@Needimages) December 21, 2015
Couchsurfing only allows GIF, JPG, or PNG photos. If that perfect picture of you isn’t in the right format, be sure to convert your photo online for free. Try not to include blurry photos, as guests with these types of pictures are more often rejected.
In addition, your profile should always include at least one photo of you, so that guests can get to know who they’re meeting.
Detail Your Experiences
Your About Me section should be personable and informative. It should also include your traveling experiences and interests, as these are more than often what people notice first.
— KitsuneJey (@KitsuneJey) August 31, 2015
Countries you’ve visited are also nice to include, and really informs your host more of where you’ve gone and what you’ve done. Be fun and fill out your experiences!
Send Better Messages
Which runs into my next tip: Send better messages.
A personable message about what you want to do, why you want to be hosted, your travel dates, and what you can share is best. And remember: Never send inappropriate messages!
— Couchsurfing (@Couchsurfing) June 26, 2016
Use Message Templates
Message templates are great for sending information about yourself when finding hosts. You can create a template in any message and save it for later use. But don’t forget: Personal messages work best, so be sure to write requests that are unique for each potential host.
Also note: People who live in popular cities often get many messages, so you’ll most likely have to send multiple messages to potential hosts, which is why message templates can be helpful.
Use Multiple Languages
Including translated messages in your messages and About Me section can be helpful for hosts.
If you’re requesting to stay with someone who doesn’t speak your language, be sure to translate your message with Google or another service. Including English and your native language on your profile is also a good idea.
— Couchsurfing (@Couchsurfing) September 23, 2015
To do this: You can use a wide selection of online translation services, many of which have gotten better and better over time. For me, Google Translate works fine. But there are others that are just as good.
Write (Good) References
References are essential. They’re great for potential hosts who want to know more about you and your past Couchsurfing experiences. They give other people a chance to read about your personality and know more of who you are.
Check out my awesome CouchSurfing review!
'Healthy' ? pic.twitter.com/sLmOlzEf8a
— Bert (@smuffie) April 17, 2015
The more references you have, the better chance you have of getting hosted again.
#Couchsurfing Tip of the Day: Leave references promptly while your visit is fresh in your mind.
— Couchsurfing (@Couchsurfing) June 28, 2016
Write (Bad) References
Unfortunately, not every experience is good. If you’ve had a negative encounter, be sure to write about it. Every reference you include, even negative one, will help the Couchsurfing community.
If you’ve noticed an unwanted review on your profile, you do have the option of submitting it to Couchsurfing’s support team, who will look over your request.
Use Filters to Find Hosts
When finding hosts, you have the option to filter people you’d like to meet. There are a number of filters, including Join Date, Language, Interests, Age, Gender, and Radius, to name a few. All of these will help you match with a host more likely able to help you out during your travels, so be sure to use it.
Couchsurfing isn’t a Dating Website
Last but certainly not least, Couchsurfing is not a dating website. It never has been and it never will be. If someone is wanting to crash on your couch, they want to crash on your couch. If someone contacted you on Tinder, OkCupid, or another dating site, then yes, they might want to date you.
Use Couchsurfing as intended, and I’m sure you’ll have more fun.
@_kayv For couchsurfing or for dating? CS is absolutely not a dating website. If you're looking for a date don't use CS.
— Couchsurfing (@Couchsurfing) September 23, 2013
Travel and Do More!
The very last tip: Travel more!
#Couchsurfing Tip of the Day: Check out the CS community when moving to kick start your new social life!
— Couchsurfing (@Couchsurfing) July 27, 2016
By doing all the above, you’ll find that your chances of getting hosted will improve. If you’ve done everything and still can’t find a host, remember to be as active as possible in the Couchsurfing community. Go to local events, meet people via Hangouts, connect your social media channels to add your friends, and be active on the discussions page. One more thing: Host! The more you host, the most chances you have of getting hosted!
What problems have you had with Couchsurfing? Do you find it difficult to find hosts? Tell us your thoughts in the section below.