Ever heard from experienced travelers about how they loved couchsurfing in other people’s house wherever they go? You might be wondering what it means.
Well, couchsurfing is literally crashing at other people’s place with the couch as your bed. In exchange for their accommodation, you can agree to host them should they decide to visit your homeland. A nonprofit organization then picked up the term and launched a site about it in 2003. Today, Couchsurfing.com has become one of the largest social networks for travel hosting in many parts of the globe. What makes this accommodation option preferred by many is the fact that there is no monetary exchange involved. You can however offer food, services or other goods as payment.
Now, if this is your first time to couchsurf, there is basic etiquette you should follow.
Give your host an advance notice.
It’s rude to show up at someone’s door without prior notice in some countries, so make it a point to confirm your schedule with your host. This should give them enough time to prepare the place.
Offer a small gift to show gratitude.
Although this is not customary, it would be a kind gesture to bring a gift or memento to your host. This shows that you are thankful for their hospitality.
Offer reimbursement for any goods consumed.
You might have consumed a few tea bags, coffee sachets, soaps or bottled waters. Or the host might have offered you a few meals and drinks. Although they might refuse any payment, it’s nice to offer at least. If they still won’t accept your cash, why not offer to do something for them, like buy groceries for them or clean the house for an hour or two.
Inform the host of your schedule.
If you’re planning to be up and about most of the time, make sure your host knows about it so they can adjust their schedules as well. This will also ensure that the host knows when you’ll be coming and going.
Blend in as much as you can.
The best thing to do to show a host your gratitude is to socialize with them. Talk to them, ask them about their culture and stuff. And when you’re offered local dishes, don’t ever refuse as that would be an insult.
Leave no trace behind.
Be sure to make your bed, clean the dishes and throw any trash before you leave your couchsurfing host’s house. That way, they will be glad they hosted you because you have been a great guest.