How to host couchsurfers

The couchsurfing movement is changing the way young people travel, and involvement is continually increasing. While we don’t all have the means (or wanderlust) required to travel constantly, hosting couchsurfers who are passing through your city can be a great way of getting involved in the travellers lifestyle.

People cite various reasons for not wanting to host surfers, though I think these can be worked around with relative ease. This article attempts to provide solutions for the two reasons I’ve heard used most by would-be hosts: cost and security.
The most important thing to remember here is that couchsurfers don’t (or at least shouldn’t) expect more than a couch to crash on – making the decision to couchsurf often means willingly valuing the opportunity for interaction over the expectation of comfort.


Of course any additions will be appreciated – popular things among couchsurfers include: their own room, a proper bed, and perhaps some storage space so they can air out their stuff. If you’re thinking of setting up a spare room anyway, you can pick up a cheap bed from, some cheap bedding, a second hand storage unit, and you’ve immediately got a couchsurfers dream space.

The most important thing to remember here is that couchsurfers are traceable through their profiles, and a stringent verification / reference procedure is in place. Checking references of couchsurfers who send you requests is a good place to start – most of the time they’ll be full of other hosts singing praise about them. If you don’t like the look of them, you’re free to decline. No information about your address or contact details are made public so there is no opportunity for further contact once you decline (or even ignore) their request.
If you’re worried about your valuables disappearing, simply put these away while the surfer is there, and let them know that they’ll need to be out of the house while you are (most surfers are happy to do this, and respect that you may need to go to work or have previous commitments).

This is a great opportunity to meet new people with interesting stories, have a good time, and maybe even make long-lasting friends. There’s always the possibility too that they’ll reciprocate your generosity in hosting through cooking a meal, buying you a drink, giving you a gift from their travels (though this shouldn’t be expected!).


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