If you ever decide to take advantage of the wonderful world of Couchsurfing while you are living abroad, make sure that you take the time to put together a profile that really represents you. Couchsurfing is a great opportunity to travel cheaply and meet awesome people, but it will take a little bit of investment even before you travel. As someone who has hosted 50+ people, I can promise you that an interesting profile is a way to catch someone’s attention.
What do I look for when I am going to let you stay in my private space? Here are my top three tips:
1.) I want to know that you are someone who cares about the platform enough to fill out information AND upload some photos. I want to ‘hear’ about who you are, but I probably want to ‘see’ what you do too. I have never (!!) accepted someone on their physical appearance, however, pictures make me feel like a potential Couchsurfer is more interested in being part of the community. On my personal profile, I have four photos of me and friends. They are all captioned with my location, but without any specific details of who the people are.
2.) Take time to fill out things about you. On the old Couchsurfing platform there was a bunch of information that they prompted you to include. Now the outline is much simpler, but consider including sections: about me, philosophy, why I am on Couchsurfing, one amazing thing I have done, what I can share with my hosts, countries I’ve visited, etc. These sections help a host understand stuff about you before you show up on their doorstep, and more than once have made me decide between accepting someone or not (especially things like ‘my philosophy’ and ‘why I am on Couchsurfing’).
3.) Add friends. I want to see that you have some references and/or friends. Even if you only have references from friends, it gives me an idea about who you are and what is important to you. I have been know to host people who are on their first Couchsurfing experience, but more often than not, I will go for people who have a little bit of experience (you don’t need 50 references to stay with me, but asking a friend or two to write a personal reference about you goes a long way!).
So there you have it! Three tips to keep in mind when making your Couchsurfing profile. I would also recommend that you be honest throughout your whole profile and have a little bit of fun with it! Couchsurfing is a great way to meet people and see a new city, but understand that the person on the other end is letting you into their home and might be choosing between you and other guests. This is especially important if you are trying to Couchsurf in places like Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Sevilla, or other cities where hosts can get 20+ requests a week. It may seem like I am exaggerating, but the reason I can’t always set my profile to “hosting” is not because I can’t host people once-in-awhile, it’s because I don’t have time to go through all the requests! Hosting is fun, but it also takes energy, so make it worth it for the guy or gal who is making room for you in their life. Check out this article to see how to be an awesome guest.