Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to be a good host for Couchsurfers

Ok my dear dears: Welcome back! I am very much longing to host again myself. Here are the things I would do for my guests to make them feel comfortable.

1) When you get a couchrequest, reply asap if you want to host. Tell them what to expect (if you will be busy with work or not) Its good to give your address. Some give it in the first answer already, some in the second. For the traveller its better to give the postal address early, so they can check on the ma. However I understand some people only share it when reconfirmation has arrived. Try to be clear in your message about where and when to meet and what to expect.

2) I would fetch them from a place in the city/nearby if living on the countrysite that is easy to find. Probably plain simply its the place where they arrive. I don´t want my guests to get lost on the way to my place. Sometimes it is not possible (for example when they hitchhike) then I would give them the closest/easiest busstop to find nearby and fetch them from there once they arrive.

3) When you have arrived, tell your guest immediately where his designated spot is. For example, inform where to keep the backpack and where he/she will be sleeping. 

4) Don´t be a prick! Offer your guest a drink (Tea, water whatever you find nice) They might be dehydrated from the journey. Offer some snack too maybe, they might be very hungry.

5) I usually show my guests around the house/apartment, show what rooms are what, the garden, etc.. so they know where what is. I found that along my travels my hosts often didn´t do that. It was pretty annoying because then I wouldn´t feel well going inside the other rooms. 

6) Inform your guest about food and about paying of food. It is probably best to do that beforehand in your email. When I travel, I never know where I am at and if I have to get my own food or not. Therefore its better to tell your guest. 

7) Inform your guest about your daily routine and plans for the day. Don´t just disappear, but tell them you need some time for yourself now and how long that will be. 

8) Include your guest into your day: 
I usually take my guests around if I have time. If I work, ok then I cannot do that but then I would still try to spend some time with them. When you go out on the week-end, include your guest and take him/her along. Let them participate in your life. 

9) Offer a towel for your guest. Too many hosts forget that detail. Don´t require your guest - who has been on the road for soooo long and been using the same towel for weeks without being able to wash it - to use his dirty towel. At least give her/him a fresh one.

Thats all folks, let me know if you do more than that for your guests.


toortoth said...

very useful indeed.
That's right that hosts don't always know what's absolutely necessary to make clear.
Even I as a traveller, when I host I often forget one of these simple things. That's cool to have a reminder, or a list at hand to check we informed the guest about everything so everything is clear and nobody will feel uncomfortable!

Tanja Wanderlust said...

Thanks for your comment Xav. Yes sometimes I forget too. Its human. But many hosts who have not much experience, or have never surfed themselfs have no clue what a "traveller" needs. I hope i made a nice list