I use CouchSurfing since 2010. When I introduced CS to my friends, they always have difficulties to find a host. Hope my tips will help you to find a host easier.
How to Build Your CS Profile?
1/ Have a complete profile with profile photo
No one want to host a stranger who don’t want to spend time on making profile.
2/ Have at least 1 reference from your friend
So your host could know more about you from 3rd party. If you did host people in your home, it is even better! Ask your guest to write a reference for you. It shows that you already offer your place to someone, it means you know how to play this game.
How To Write A Host Request?
1/ Write your host name in front of your message is important
Without writing their name in front, giving host the feeling you are just copy and paste your msg.
2/ Tell them your desire period in front of message
In some famous destination, normally hosts have lots of request per day. Just like HR get lots of CV, these host they are reviewing your request just like HR. They are looking for the guest they could trust. After they feel they could trust you, they will check their possibility. Therefore, writing your request date in front of message is noticeable.
3/ Password in Host profile
To confirm you did read host profile, there is some famous host put some password in their profile. If you are keen to be hosted by them, please don’t forget to put password in your message.
4/ Make friend with host
It is important to give host the feeling, you really want to make friends with them, not just look for a free place to stay. Therefore, it could be rude if you just write about the room possibility, but not mention anything about making friends with them.
5/ Separate your paragraph
Write long or short message, it doesn’t matter. It matters when host read your msg, if they feel easy to understand your msg. Whole sentence mix together, giving host the feeling they difficult to find your points.
6/ Feedback kindness to host
Telling what you could feedback to host for their kindness is important. The easiest way is to cooking your home cuisine for your host, because normally no one can refuse exotic food. 🙂 If you really don’t know how to cook your home food, any pasta I believe it shall not be a problem. My way is traveling with host, and took beautiful photo for them, after leaving their place, I always send host my photo, they normally are very happy, because not everyone have big camera 🙂 or buy something special from your home country, they are always happy.
How to Find A Host?
1/ Find new host
I prefer to find new host without reference more than experienced host. Because normally they feel very fresh about CS, and they experience everything new with you. I like that feeling. 🙂 They tend to accept guest more than host with experiences. To achieve this search, select “Join Date”, when you search host. But if you are afraid of safety, still recommend you search host with many positive references.
2/ Find active host
Actually, there are many hosts in CS isn’t using CS at all, and they didn’t login for a long time. To find the host really using CS, select “Last Login Date”
3/ Female vs Male
Female is normally accepted easier than male, because normally host feel female is more clean and trustful. I have many female friend they are afraid of safety, then find female host.
4/ Alone vs Couple
Single is normally accepted easier than couple, because space is easier to accommodate. But I have some nice experiences when traveling CS as couple, because we could find a room to stay easier than sleeping on the couch. But when I travel alone, I get more couch than a room.
5/ Rejection rate
Depends country, I got too many acceptance in India, because hosts there are so friendly compare to other countries. But still recommend to send more requests than you can get, because sometimes, host really host people already or they are just busy, if you get rejection, please don’t give up, you will definitely find a host who would like to host you.
6/ Create a Public Trip
On the top of host search, there is an option you could create your public trip, this allows host to find you based on your travel period. My host in Delhi find us this way, it is also our first time try it, it turns out to be really good host! 🙂
7/ Last Minute Emergency Couch
In every city, there is such a group, when you search group, use “Emergency” to find such group. This is for really last minute and no host situation, be specific of your request date in the title will help host find you easier.
1/ Mobil and Address Confirmation
Even the host said they will host you, without host mobile and address, it isn’t the confirmation. Please make sure you have host contact information before your arrival. Also to know where your host stay, it will help you understand if their place is reasonable location for your travel plan.
2/ Backup host
When I have more than 1 host acceptance, I normally keep the rest host contact as well, in case my original host have some plan change.
3/ No cash
CS isn’t about money exchange, it is about friendship and cultural exchange. I have some experiences host ask for money when they accept my request, especially when I request Mumbai, they said it is the fee for the servant, you could buy your host a dinner or cook a dinner for them, I believe it will be reasonable.
Good luck! 🙂