In this post I’ll highlight 3 things I hate about Couchsurfing, as well as some solutions to frequent problems I see in this travel community
Couchsurfing is *probably* the one of the largest “communities” in the travel industry. Couchsurfing has multiple faces, but the most used aspect is the hosting side of things. Anyone can simply fill out a profile, list their sleeping arrangements, and then accept/decline offers from potential guest.
It’s funny. I mean, my opinion really means nothing at this point (considering I haven’t even traveled on my own yet), but I have noticed way too many things that have rubbed me the wrong way on Couchsurfing, and I’ll include some suggestions on how to avoid the same issue in the future:
- Expecting hotel service in crunch situations:
In this case these people were upset with the communication between them and their potential host in Lisbon. Regardless of when or how often you contact someone it isn’t reasonable to expect that they will be sitting on their couch waiting to take you in with open arms.
If I am ever taking a flight that is slated after the early afternoon, you can bet I’ll be booking a hotel/hostel/Airbnb for at least the first night. Not only does this take pressure off of your hosts for hosting people fresh off the plane, it should make your landing a lot more easy and less frantic. The problem with evening flights is that it can only take 1 delay to throw you back hours into the evening. It should be a general rule:
If you are ever flying somewhere, unless you personally know the people you are staying with you should be booking into somewhere, not seeking free accommodation.
Next thing that totally “pops my penguin”…
2. Unpleasant Exchanges
I don’t even have to describe what happened there, but it’s an embarrassing argument between two members. In fact, both are from the same city and are attempting to bash each other after a Couchsurfing event. If you ever encounter someone like the guy in the first bit, I would suggest ignoring them completely. Just by responding to their idiotic comments you are making yourself look bad, and I would probably never reach out to either of them if I was in Munich (no matter how many people have reviewed them). There will always be people that expect way too much out of this community, and they will go out of their way to make you look bad when you don’t impress them, sadly.
I don’t need a visual to describe the third group that really “chafes my charlie”. This group is the creepers. Nowadays, it’s almost a guarantee that any online community will come with users looking for mayyyyyybe something different than what the community is for. I’m talking about strange people, people that will get in your head or people that are just using Couchsurfing to try and hook up abroad. ***If you really want to do that, there is an app for that…it is called Tinder***
You can probably weed out the creeps quite easy. If they don’t have any references and they’ve been on the site for a while, there is probably a reason for that. If they have any negative reviews about them being “different”, that is probably a red flag. If their request to you seems a little off to you and you get a weird feeling reading it, go with your gut :p Also, never have someone meet at your place. Always offer to meet someone in person before you invite them into your home…
Please don’t be any of these people listed above :p
Dresden, Saxony: Day 2- Wednesday