Couch surf – the basics

If you're a traveller looking to save money on accommodation, you may want to consider Couchsurfing. This is just one website among many that offer hospitality exchange services, but it's a popular choice. To use Couchsurfing, all you need to do is create a profile on, complete with a photo and some information about yourself. Then, you can search for hosts at your next travel destination. It's a great way to connect with locals and experience a new place from a different perspective.

Find free accommodation —> couch surf

To find a suitable host for your upcoming trip, you can search for the specific country or city you will be visiting. This will allow you to browse through the profiles of potential hosts in the area. Each host's profile will provide important information such as their age, gender, a brief description, and references from previous travelers who have stayed with them. This will help you make an informed decision when choosing your host.

Budget travel

If you're a traveller who also happens to enjoy hosting others, you can easily switch between the two roles on the site. By changing your settings to “yes” or “maybe,” you'll show up as available to hosts who are searching for a place to stay. If you need to hit the road again, simply change your status to “I'm travelling” and you'll no longer appear in search results as a potential host.

Creating an online couch- profile allows you to register for free and either be hosted as a couch-surfer or host other travellers. However, to verify your account, there is a non-mandatory annual payment of $25. Rest assured that the site remains fully functional without this payment, and you can still have access to all its features without any limitations.

While there are no set rules about paying your host for their hospitality, it is always appreciated if you offer compensation for any expenses they may have incurred during your stay, such as cooking meals or purchasing for you. Additionally, it is customary to bring a small gift for your host as a gesture of gratitude. Consider bringing something unique from your home country or a souvenir from your previous travels. These thoughtful gestures can help show your appreciation for their kindness and make your stay more enjoyable.

Couch Surf

Couch surf – While you are at your host's house

If your host is available, it's recommended to spend some time with them during your stay. Keep in mind that hosts might have busy schedules and other obligations, so don't expect them to be available at all times. Once you arrive, it's a good idea to ask your host about their plans and availability. If they offer to show you around the city, take advantage of the opportunity to gain local insight and enhance your experience.

Couchsurfing is a unique experience that offers more than just a place to stay. Unlike hotels or , your host wants to engage with you and learn about your background. They may take you out to explore the city, spend quality time with you at home, or even share a meal together. It's important to plan some time to connect with your host during your stay.

When staying with a couch surfing host, it's important to be respectful of their hospitality and cultural exchange. Avoid engaging in behaviors that are more suitable for hostels and hotels, such as going on late-night sightseeing tours or bar hopping. Instead, take advantage of the opportunity to gain insight into local life and immerse yourself in the cultural exchange with your host. This will ensure a more enjoyable and meaningful experience for both you and your host.

How to stay safe while couch surfing

If you want to gather information about a host before booking your stay, it is highly recommended to read the reviews and references left by previous travelers who have stayed at the same host's place. These reviews can give you a clear idea of the host's hospitality and the quality of their accommodation.

To ensure your safety and privacy, it's recommended to keep your personal information, like your phone number and email, confidential when using the platform. Instead, utilize the secure messaging system provided on the website to communicate with potential hosts.

It is important to have a backup plan in case your host is unable to accommodate you at the last minute. You should research nearby hostels or hotels and keep their addresses handy. This can prevent you from being stranded without a place to stay. Additionally, having a backup option can ease any discomfort or stress that may arise if your host's accommodations are unsuitable for your needs.

For solo female travellers who prefer not to stay with male hosts, a useful option is to search for female hosts or opt to stay with families. This provides a safer and more comfortable environment for female travellers who may feel uneasy in male-dominated settings. By utilizing these search options, female travelers can have a more enjoyable and stress-free trip.

Social Couch Surf Activities

Couch surfing social groups can be found in numerous big cities worldwide. These groups organize a wide range of activities, including meetups, pub crawls, and trips. Additionally, they occasionally hold meetings. To stay informed about these events, the Couchsurfing website offers a search function that allows hosts and surfers to locate upcoming events in their area.