What is Couchsurfing and How to Use It?
People like us, who love to travel, first find affordable flight tickets in the countries they are going to, and then start looking for affordable accommodation. Free accommodation is a form of accommodation that most of us prefer. But is it possible to stay for free abroad?
This is where Couchsurfing comes into play. Couchsurfing translates into Turkish as couch surfing. Its main purpose is to give a bed to people who voluntarily open their homes. When you go to another country, you can stay in the home of someone who opens their home, in the same way you can open your home to a person who is visiting Turkey. Staying in someone else’s home gives you a lot. For only 150$ for a bed, you can travel more and do more environmental activities.
What is Couchsurfing?
So far we have talked about free accommodation, but this system has a much bigger function. Couchsurfing is one of the best ways to get to know different cultures. While exploring the city you are visiting, you discover a family’s culture, living spaces, local cuisine, and flavors you have never seen before. It is a system that revolves around hospitality and adventure that turns online acquaintances into offline ones. There are millions of people using Couchsurfing around the world and if you make a good profile impression, you can also benefit from this opportunity. Couchsurfing is not just about accommodation. It can also be used for various events, traveling or just sitting in a cafe and chatting. The important thing is to get to know people and cultures.
Even though you are staying in someone’s home, you should always remember that it is not a hotel. For example, if you come across a house where noise, drinking, smoking, etc. are to be avoided, as a matter of decency, it is necessary to avoid behaviors that may disturb the host. Keep in mind that the host sets the rules. If you come across an employee, he/she may ask you to be outside while he/she is at work or may even leave you the key.
Is Couchsurfing Safe?
Whether someone you know through Couchsurfing is safe or not can be understood by adding a little intuition through the Couchsurfing account. Couchsurfing makes you safe with the references and comments of the people staying in your home. You can also check the references of the person you are going to stay with to see how safe they are. This means that if your profile is trustworthy, people will send messages to stay with you. The best way to ensure this is to make sure that the information in your profile is personalized to you. A few well-worded sentences and a few profile photos will be enough to tell the other person who you are. You can also verify with your phone number and ID to increase your credibility.
How to Create a Couchsurfing Profile?
The people you invite and want to stay in their homes will look at your profile and decide accordingly. A solid profile is very important. So how to create a profile?
First, open an account on couchsurfing.com and fill out the About section thoroughly. Decorate your profile with as many photos as possible. Upload photos of yourself, your home and your vacations. There is a marker that shows what percentage of your profile is complete. Try to make this as close to 100% as possible. Verify your account with your phone number. The more trust your account gives, the easier it will be for you to find the person who will come to you or the house where you will stay.
How to Find a House on Couchsurfing?
Use the system’s search filters when choosing a place to stay. The more advance notice you give, the better your chances will be. Also, if there is a house you cannot go to, do not forget to send a message in advance that you will not be able to go. Also, research the profiles of the people who open the houses you will be staying in. It is very important that you have similar sides and this will turn the situation into an advantage.
What if things don’t work out?
When you are going to stay in a house you find on the Couchsurfing system, it is useful to know the alternative hotels or hostels you can stay in the neighborhood in case of a possible situation. Because the host may have a very urgent job. We had a couple from Pakistan who were staying in a place that didn’t answer the phone and asked us if there was anything available because we had messaged them beforehand.
Couchsurfing also has a mobile app. With the Couchsurfing Travel App, which you can refer to in case of sudden changes of plans in the places you visit, you can look for another host.