I was a member of Couchsurfing since 2007, I think. But, I never got around to really make use of it. I think my greatest deterrence was fear.
- what if I don’t like the person
- what if there aren’t any conversation
- what if the person is not a nice/dirty/inconsiderate/aggressive/etc
for example an experience of other couchsurfer: http://travelogue.travelvice.com/hungary/enduring-a-passive-aggressive-couchsurfing-host/
- what if, what if, what if……
- and, I had a few couchsurfers who asked to surf at my place back in Malaysia but, after making the arrangement, they never came nor attempting to contact me to explain what happened.
My, oh, my……..thinking back…..now…I felt so childish. Isn’t that part of the experience? I need to learn to believe, let go and just do it. Which I did …..
I had some quite good experiences so far, hosting in Dunedin. And, not only I have learnt to review and eliminate couchsurfer’s profile effectively but also I have learnt more about myself. What I am capable of and what I cannot tolerate.
What I have learn from Hosting and how I Do it –
- Review their CS references. Look for more positive references on CS profile before agreeing to host. I usually go thru roughly on their references before deciding. In saying that, it doesn’t mean I would not host to those new members of CS without references. If they have no references; then their profile would be helpful for me to decide. So, if you are not bothered in writing your profile – then, I’m too, not bothered to host you.
- Again, I think the CSer’s personality is important in their profile. The more I can read on their profile and have some idea how the person is, the better for me to decide. And I need to always remind myself that I Do not need to feel obligated to host a person just because he/she contacted me.
- Oh, I like to look at one’s “CouchSurf requests replied to” rate, as well. It somewhat gives me an indication on how you reply.
- Last but not least, photos. I would appreciate if CSer would put more than 2 photos. It helps too, in deciding.
- Oppss….that’s not the last …… the way you email me to request for a couch is also an important element. So, word your request nicely! LOL!
Oh, gosh! Don’t I sound picky! Oh, well…it’s better to be picky than to endure a bad CSer.
Let’s see. I have not surfed before. But, I think I should say it would be the same as what I expect my CSer to be like.
The Golden Rules would be
- Communicate travel plans in detail.
- Be independent.
- Be Courteous.
- Leave a minimal footprint.
- Respect your hosts and surfers.
Read on Couchsurfing SURF/HOST tips. They provide a real good guideline for you to get started if you are interested — http://www.couchsurfing.org/tips.html