UPDATE 2020: **Spend Christmas in Soho London!**
I’m happy to host max 6 CSers this Christmas and New Year! Minimum £20 donation towards food and drink www.paypal.me/travelmakerkai – still have to send a request so please read this blog post I’ve taken the time to put together. Thanks!
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…
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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!
Follow my trail on social media:
A very detailed profile you have clear and concise. It’s quite weird when people use couchsurfing as a means for dating or sextuality advances when it’s not welcomed.
Sending a personalised message makes a big difference. Also when so many men send me requests when I clearly state I only host females. I did however received a generic copy paste from a young cs and opted to reply back to her as she didn’t have a reference, I wanted to help her and I wanted to coach her about cs. After a few messages she seemed nice I accepted to host her and she turned out to be such a lovely person someone I connected well with.
I’ll send you a request and hope for a response.
Thanks for your advices I’m working on it right now to send you a lovely request. Fingers Cross we got the golden ticket to your temple.
Have a nice evening
Marine and Baptiste
Just saw your message at the HOME SWAP group.
Your profile on CS and your blog made me smile a lot. 🙂 We really have several things in common!
Would you like to visit Lisbon?
Send me a pm if you are interested.
Ola Maria! Thank you for your kind message. Ah I’d love to visit Lisbon (I have found memories from previous trips!) How can I get in touch? Do you mind to send me a message on Facebook or by email email@example.com. Muito obrigada
Gurrrllllll, where do I begin!
First off, thank you for taking the time to write this post, its amazing! I am so intrigued by your travels. I see that you spent a lot of time in South America and I would love to know more about your experience.
Also, I came across your youtube video on Panteras Negras in Bahia and I am so in Awe. I spend most of my time time discovering music as it relates to the afro diaspora and Black Femmes!
Even seeing your love for Carnival I can relate because I admire Brazil Carnival from a distance and being from New Orleans we have Mardis Gras which correlates.
Anyhow! Be expecteding CS and a request from me soon. Hope it works out.
Thank you for your kind words (and your patience for my late reply!) Really looking forward to connecting with you in London!!
Wow…it’s just impressive…the whole thing…about you, your travel experience, blog, Instagram account, CS profile…i’ve never read before such a captivating profile….like a book! I will consider myself super happy, if we can meet in person and I can share with you my travel stories and good mood!
Hello Kai ! Even though you’re less and less in couchsurfing, the type of blog article like yours make me guess you were in a time hospitality through a webpage was something to enter a journey. I can feel it by the way you wrote compared to the usal “digital millenial nomad” style I read everywhere, which is a bowl of fresh air!
Hi Kai! You’re truly inspiring and very interesting. After reading your profile and a bit of your blog, and written the request (I’m a bit slow so it took quite some time haha) it almost feels like I know you a bit, and I’m really hoping it could be possible to meet for real. But of course I understand if it’s not possible since it seems like I’ve chosen one of London’s most popular (and with good reason) CS hosts haha. Anyway, you’ll have my request in a sec.
Hope to hear from you!
Hello Kai! I can not explain how excited I am to have found you in couchsurfing! I’m going to send you a message right now! Congrats for such an amazing job you have been doing!
Thank you Ana! Apologies if I take a while to respond I’m currently away with limited internet connection. Speak soon!!!
Hello Kai, I love your blog and your life philosophy! I agree with everything you write.
I already send you a CS request, unfortunately I didn’t use it for a long time, that’s why my profile is a little bit old, but you can ask me everything you would like to know.
Unfortunately I don’t have anything for Italy with me to give you, so I can only offer you a good Italian meal or a portrait/drawing. Check my Fb page “Lo Specchio delle Idee” if you want to have a look to my drawings.
Even If you can’t host me I will be very happy to meet you during my stay in London and share our experiences and our stories.
Take care ❤
Hey Kai. I just sent you a couchsurfing request. Looking forward to hopefully meeting you in London (or Amsterdam)
Hey Kai. I just send a request on couch surfing, and hope we’ll meet when I’m in London or you’re in Amsterdam 🙂
I just love your description!! You’re like the ideal person I’m searching for.
CS it’s not a hotel so I can only sleep and leave. It’s about sharing cultures, languages and what else we have.
I woul really love stay with you in London. Please check your CS account, sent you a request
Just send you a request on couchsurfing..
so happy to realize that we’re totally on the same page when it comes to having a good Couchsurfing experience.
Hope that we’ll meet in London!
First of all I’m impressed by all the work you put into this and I’m seeing your hustle flourish.
This was an entertaining read and it’s cool to see that hosts care about connecting with their guest and letting people know who they are.
I’m hoping you are available in May because I’d love to get to know you.
Not in a creepy way of course 😂
Love your work and will recommend you to my sister friends 🍀
It was lovely meeting you Florence!
It is actually nice to know about you before requesting to be your host and have an idea about your expectations.
I tend to spend considerable time thinking about what to write in a CS request because it is difficult to resume one’s self in few lines… but I’ll be very glad to host you in Turkey and Morocco even if you won’t be available to host me and my friend.
hi Kai! I’ve read it all and like your vibe! I’m staying in London for a month and would love to spend a few days with a Cs companion… just for the feeling! to share part of my trip. You sound like a good one 😉 I can improvise some pasta cooking for you and see what happens(hope you’ll like it). I’m sending you a Cs request in a few. Ciao:)!
Ciao Valentina! Send me a request – let’s explore London together and eat pasta 🙌🏾😅
I feel like it’s only fair to request that people take the time to read a little about what you expect from CS and totally on your page! Honestly I can only imagine what it must be like to be offering to take people into your home living in London. I live in Munich which is tiny compared to London and I get SO MANY copy and paste requests it’s almost ridiculous! (:
Thanks for the comment Christina – looking forward to meeting you!
I like your honesty and blunt, but courteous, attitude about who you will share your home with. I am new to this and very interested in CSing. I am glad I came across your profile. It is giving me ideas and hopes for a future in hosting and surfing myself.
Hi Lauren, thanks for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful experience hosting/surfing on CS!
You are very interesting and I will definetel send you CS request
Thinking about creative gifts 😂😂
Hello Kai! I’ll write a request for you tomorrow. I read your profile and I loved your Humour and independence! So, I wanna cook some Brazilian food when I’ll visited London.
Hi Ana, sorry I can’t help this time. I get so many requests! Sometimes I need a break from hosting. I hope you enjoy London anyway!
The kind of profile we’d like to see more! Hello Kai 🙂
I just read your blog and I already know I’ll send you a request even if I didn’t read your CS profile yet ! I am not so good at cooking but please let me try (if you have a smoke alarm only, just in case, we never know…)
You’re funny! But yes, I have a smoke alarm in my kitchen 😅😅😅