I’m back in London from a life-changing trip in South America, and more than ever – I’m ready to give back (to the universe for good karma) by hosting travellers and visitors to my city London! Although I’m using CouchSurfing (CS) less and less, opting for the freedom for Airbnb, this recent trip has re-kindled my passion for meeting other travellers, making new friends and sharing life experiences…
That said, I’ve never been more particular about who I host, after all, CS is about trusting strangers into your home – so not just anyone will make it past a request. 2019 marks 10 years since I joined the CouchSurfing community; eager to explore the world and create lasting connections. As well as travelling, I’ve also been able to use the platform to host guests (I stopped counting however you can see from my references I’m ‘the hostess with the mostess!‘) – a notion my friends can’t understand; “you let strangers stay in your home, for free?” The simple answer yes. However the more complicated answer is, not just any stranger!
When you’ve been hosting for as long as I have on CS, you start to notice certain No-No’s like copy-and-pasters (send personalised request please), the freeloaders who just want a free place to stay not caring about cultural exchange, and those who make themselves totally vulnerable by having no money for their trip (what’s the rush? Always have money for a backup plan like a hostel, hotel or Airbnb incase a host cancels or plans change).
Tips to write a great CouchSurf request (specifically to me because I’m super fussy about who comes into my home)
As I’ve written on my CS profile, my home is my temple. Not just anyone comes in. If you want me to host you it starts with a good request. So I thought I’d give some tips on what I can’t refuse!
- Show you’ve read my full profile by referencing something in it (or even in this blog post!) If you can’t take the time to read my profile, why should I take the time to accept you into my home?
- Humour – add some humour in your request (if it fits your personality, but please don’t be a clown)
- Be independent, but personal as though you’re coming to visit a friend. Sure do your own thing, but please don’t use my home as a hostel/hotel. Even if it’s breakfast or dinner we share together – there has to be some interaction as though you’re coming to visit a friend!
- Offer a gift (Please be more creative than offering chocolate), drinks, social experience (theatre, concert etc) or dinner – you’ll get my attention if you can cook something from your country (please note I’m vegetarian or pescatarian)
- Offer to host me in your home in return. Host-for-host is a great exchange idea, and means we can build on our friendship. Skills exchange also works if you’re unable to host for whatever reason (I always need a photographer and videography for my freelance work!).
- Show you (kinda) know me! Check out my social media (Instagram, Facebook page, YouTube – and follow. Show initiative if there’s some we have in common (or something you’d like to learn more from me, or can offer to teach)
And finally, comment below so I know you’ve made an effort and read this post!
If you’ve read this far and you don’t think I’m asking for much – I like you already! If 6 simple tips sounds like too much – I’m not the host for you and I wish you luck finding a suitable host!
Follow these basics steps (or the ones applicable) and you’re likely to send a CS request I cannot refuse! P.s It goes without saying – I do not use CS as a dating site, nor am I seeking any sexual attention. If this is your intension you have the wrong host and I won’t hesitate to write a negative for any sexual advances towards me.
**Please note following these steps does not guarantee being hosted. Sometimes it’s not you, it’s me(!), and it’s maybe just not a good time for me to host hence why I decline.
Let me know your thoughts!
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