Couch surfing has recently taken off in the past few years and has proven as a great way to learn about different cultures. Here are some things that only couch surfers would appreciate.
1. They know how important it is to be a good match with their host
When you are sharing such close proximity with someone you have never met, it is important to find someone who shares similar living habits with yourself. If they are very social and like to have people over often, but you prefer a quiet night at home, it is important to realize these differences before you finalize your stay with a host.
2. They know to read the fine print
It is important as a couch surfer to read all the requests that the host lists in their profile to avoid any future conflicts. If a hosts says that they go to bed early for work, but your flight gets in after midnight, then it would be ideal to find someone who can greet you and help you get settled when you arrive.
3. They know that communication is key
It is important to notify your host of any special request that you have before your arrival. If your host has a pet bird, but you are deathly afraid of anything with wings, make sure you do some research before finalizing your stay.
4. They know that cleanliness is crucial
Couch surfers know that it is important to not be a slob when you are a guest at someone’s home. They know it is important to clean-up immediately after themselves at all times and not treat their host’s house like their own.
5. They know that respect is important
A couch surfer knows the importance of maintaining respect the moment that they step into their host’s home. They realize that they are a visitor in someone’s private space. It is important to maintain that level of trust, whether it is being quiet at night, or not bringing extra guests back home without running it by their host first.
6. They know to always have a complete profile
Mutual respect goes both ways. It is important as a couch surfer to fill your profile with as much background information as possible. The last thing you want your host to do is to have to Google your name to find out basic info about their visitor. This rule also goes for any significant others or friends that will be guests with you as well.
7. They know not to overstay their welcome
Couch surfing is a privilege. It is important for visitors not to stay too long in one place. You are empathetic because you know how tiresome out-of-town visitors can be when they overstay their welcome at your home. The rule of thumb for the appropriate duration of a stay is one to three days maximum. If your hosts invites you to stay longer, than this is a different situation, but always have a back-up plan just in case.
8. They know the importance of sharing a part of their culture
One of the main purposes of couch surfing is the opportunity to learn about one another’s respective cultures. As a couch surfer it is important to share a piece of where you came from, whether it is through cooking your host a meal or telling a story about your life back home.
9. They know that there is a chance of rejection
With couch surfing being a free service, there is always a chance of being rejected by your host. This can happen for many reasons, including not being seen as a good fit or simply because there were too many applicants during the time.
10. They know the importance of bringing a gift
The number one unspoken rule of couch surfing is that you never arrive at your host’s home empty handed. The gift does not have to be elaborate, and can simply be a bottle of wine or a small gift from your country.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com