I have been using the Couchsurfing.org network for more than 2 years now. It’s a great community, with more 3 million users all over the world. The system works pretty simply: there are hosts and guests. The host offers a couch/a bed to sleep in for a few days (usually, 3-4 days), to the potential guests. The travelers who want to become guests to one specific host make a CouchSurfing Request after reading the hosts’ profile, including the references left by others. The references part is quite important. The more references someone has (especially positive), the more trust it may inspire because it means other CouchSurfers (CS-ers) have had pleasant experiences with that particular individual.
Two of my friends want to become hosts in the CS system and I am glad to say I have contributed to their decision by supporting them. They have asked me to offer them some practical suggestions on the rules they should use in order to have a great CS experience. For the moment, I am not a host, because I don’t have a couch for surfing.
Anyway, I figured this might also be useful for all of you there, also.
Please note that these were merely my rules, it’s not an advice that yours should be the same. But use it, if you wish, as an inspiration. For me, as a host, they worked really well:
Analytic Vision’s (former) rules for hosting in CouchSurfing.
Smoking is only allowed in the kitchen, on the balcony of the room and on the central hall. There is no smoking allowed in the rooms.
No pets allowed.
I am busy working and cannot show people around. I can make suggestions on what to visit.
CS does not include food. Maybe I will serve you with something, maybe not. We may cook together. You may cook for yourself. I can recommend what food to buy and where from, in order for it to be cheap and healthy. You should know, coming to Romania, that the Romanian food is generally pretty bad. The Romanian food standards are terrible. Generally, don’t buy any meat or milk. If you do so, you do it at your own risk. Anyway, with a little exercise, you can buy healthy and affordable food.
I don’t go to bed later than midnight.
When I leave, you will have to leave with me. I will leave you no key.
People are welcome to come in any part of the week.
I have blankets and sheets. I prefer you bring your own towels.
The number of days is negotiable.
About the time we spend:
We can talk about places, cultures. I can give you interesting insight on Romanian culture, society, and economy if you are interested.
I have a lot of documentaries and films. If you are interested, we can watch something together.
I have a lot of different kinds of tea. You can drink all the tea you want at my place.
I can pick you up from the train station if you have heavy luggage.
I use public transportation. In the parks of Bucharest, you can borrow bikes for free.
We do not have a washing machine, but if you need to wash your things, I can recommend you some places where you can get your laundry done for 1.25-2.5 euros.
Generally, you will have access to wireless internet.
There is always hot running water and heat during the cold periods. You may take as many showers or baths as you think necessary. There is no hair drier.
1. There will be NO SHARED SLEEPING SURFACE.
2. No more than 1 CouchSurfer one time
3. My apartment colleague is not familiar with CS. All the communication will be done with me.
4. NO DRUGS of any kind. You are not allowed with marijuana, weed, or any other similar things. If you have such things, please do not come to my place. Although some drugs are legal in Romania, I am personally totally against them.
5. No parties or any noise making. My neighbors are very sensitive.
6. You may not invite anyone to my place.
7. You may eat in the room or at the kitchen. After you eat, please clean the table and the dishes.
8. If you want to take photos of me, or of me and you, please keep them for yourself. I generally don’t allow people to put pictures of me on the internet without my permission, ESPECIALLY on Facebook.
9.Please ask permission before using any of the stuff in my room.
10. I am an ORTHODOX. Romania is the country with the highest percentage of the orthodox population in the world. If you are interested, I can show you, or recommend you some Churches and monasteries to visit. If you are not interested, please respect my beliefs and do not make any inappropriate comments. I respect anyone’s religion. I do not try to convert anyone. I expect the same. For example, I don’t mind if you’re an atheist or have other religion, as long as you don’t make any inappropriate comments on MY RELIGION, OK?
Failure to understand and comply with these rules will result in early eviction. Fortunately, I was forced only once to do this.