What’s the Next Real Thing for Local Hosting Travelers after CouchSurfing? So now that CouchSurfing is almost officially garbage and overrun by undercover tinder users, what’s the next real thing for locals hosting travellers? solved 0 Travel Pearline 25 Answers 3832 views 4 CouchSurfing Answers ( 25 ) Juwan Renner 6 Reply Our group highly recommends Trustroots.org… It does not have so many members yet, and hosts are travellers as well, so might not be actively checking page, or be at home… But if more people from here would join it, and give some time for it, it will become more active. And it is made by the same team who does hitchwiki, trahswiki, nomadwiki. So, it fits our group mentality as well. 🙂 Best answer Jalon Sipes 0 Reply There’s still a lot of nice people on CS. We have a wonderful Couchsurfing community here in Münster, Germany, where I live. And you should use the references to find the right people, and report all those making any abuse of CS! Nicklaus 0 Reply Don’t be so harsh on CS. Yea, it takes a lot of time to find a nice host, especially if you are male, but – for all good things in life you have to put in some effort. Pearline 0 Reply I would say it’s harder for females…. you know not trying to get s**ually assaulted by strange men… Nicklaus 0 Reply yep, didn’t take that into account. Ugh. Pearline 0 Reply But I guess you mean people are reluctant to host a single male? I get that! Nicklaus 0 Reply A lot harder for men. Anyone will host women but almost no one hosts men. Pearline 0 Reply People are eager to host women because they think they’ll get laid! I only stayed with someone once on CS. He was a lovely host, and went above and beyond for me. I tried to set up stays with other people in Europe, but it almost always turned s**ual, so I stayed in hostels instead. Susanne Bonnin 0 Reply So sorry for your experience. There are thousands of nice hosts, pity you got the jerks. As for me, eventually I almost always find a host, but you have to scroll through literally tens of pages of people who have reference only from women.. thus hosting only women.. especially in big cities. And, there are too few female hosts. Like when I was scrolling Paris, I went through 20 pages, and not even a single female host. Jana Hilpert 0 Reply I’m traveling for 2 years on Couchsurfing and it is amazing. I hosted many people before I left and had no issues. I know it is hard for females but that is not Couchsurfing fault. People are d***** regardless of the platform. What makes you think another app will be different.? The reference system works well. Murl Hegmann 0 Reply I’m also happy with Couchsurfing and will use it next month. It is true that it takes time to find a good host, but it’s worth it. I’m still in touch with most of my hosts. Clara Green 0 Reply No matter what if you aren’t a bad looking girl and put up a message to be hosted you will get messaged by more men than women to host you, and it is a lot of work to try and find and filter out the ones you won’t have to lie and say you have a boyfriend or try and fight off if you don’t want to sleep with them. Susanne Bonnin 0 Reply my God what a terrible tragedy. If not a bad looking guys posts a public request, he will get 0-2 replies. So um – you can refrain yourself from making public trips and just write direct requests. Or that’s too much effort? Jana Hilpert 0 Reply Yeah, it is way more unfair for females. Do you leave negative references? I know it takes ages to filter the people but that is the only way it works. Clara Green 0 Reply always leave negative references yes 🙂 Otilia Hamill 0 Reply Try setting filters for only female hosts. I did that, and it worked great. Kenneth Lehner 0 Reply I’ve had almost all great experiences on CS, and I’ve surfed about 10-15 times and hosted about 30+. Granville Stehr 0 Reply Yes me too man but the messages I’m getting lately are mainly hey can I date you / can you be my hotel because I don’t wanna pay. so it sucks ): it got more mainstream and full of people that don’t get the experience behind it. that’s at least my humble experience and opinion (: Kenneth Lehner 0 Reply Well, I’m pretty picky about my hosts and surfers. I usually don’t take surfers without references, I don’t take surfers without a complete profile, and I don’t take surfers without at least 2 pictures. This weeds out a lot of them. My next criteria is that they have to interest me somehow. I tell them to let me know if they share one of my interests. Carter Swift 0 Reply is not true at all… CS is only a site where you can find good or not good person.. try to see their feedback. Obviously, unfortunately, a lot of people use CS, not to make new friends but only to travel free… Icie Emard 0 Reply Being a female on cs is a very different experience than being a male. Being a female on this planet is a very different experience than being a male as well… Bryce Reinger 0 Reply What’s it mean to be an undercover tinder user? Bernita Kreiger 0 Reply I’m guessing they mean people that are only looking to sleep with you. Jordon Schmeler 0 Reply Yes I have friends whose host tried to get with them in the bed… Kari Trantow 0 Reply “Tinder users” is a euphemism lol it’s more for pure creeps… Livia Murarikova 0 Reply I have no problem finding nice hosts and guests, but it’s true you have to sift through many useless profiles in many places (Italy…). But in others it’s great, Russia, for example, is full of “old school ” hosts. Mariah Bartoletti 0 Reply CouchSurfing Is still great if you know how to filter your search and how to create a genuine dialogue between your host/surfer. It’s having good people skills and using common sense to get a positive experience. I’ve had mostly overwhelmingly amazing experiences in CS, but you have to put the effort in. Lawrence 0 Reply The best advice I can give you as a host is to put a password on your profile. This will filter out the copy-pasters. Vallie Parisian 0 Reply How to do this? I have been receiving tinder-like msgs. I choose my guests well, only those who are travelers and I have been lucky to host amazing people! But it is annoying to receive msgs and requests with dubious motives. Lawrence 0 Reply Just, somewhere on your profile say that people need to use a sentence with a specific word, and state that otherwise you won’t even look at their request. Marta Fay 0 Reply I’m disappointed too… Now that I live closer to Amsterdam I get tourists messaging me almost every day… Waaah… :/ I put a ‘password’ in my profile to make sure the person messaging me has actually read my profile, but no-one seems to read it… 1 in 40 or so uses the password.. the rest just states that they are in Amsterdam for this or that and if they can stay and have a tour. I clearly state on my profile that I’m not interested in tourists and being a tour guide. I want to meet nice travelers, the adventurers, hitchhikers, cyclists, and nomads… Not the tourist people taking planes everywhere. Norbert Skiles 0 Reply The worst are the ones asking to stay for two when the profile says you have one spot. It is like, “do you even read?!” Just accept this one out of 40 🙂 The rule of “95% of the population are idiots” applies anywhere, no need to get upset because of that 🙂 Marta Fay 0 Reply I will accept 1 in 80 maybe 😉 non-idiot is still not enough for me to spend my time, attention and personal space. But you are right, I should feel easier about just clicking the decline-button… Zoey Gottlieb 0 Reply I live in Utrecht and get request where they aren’t even aware I’m in another city than Amsterdam. I only host on WarmShowers nowadays (for cyclists only). Always amazing people! Joyce Strosin 0 Reply That garbage just simply amazing nowadays: 1. Offering their hostel/ guesthouse & chasing you for tour guide service 2. Some just from nowhere & start adding you like an old friend but never talk & meet 3. Some just hunting for “special service” what the hell?? 4. Accepted couch request but some funny people didn’t show up… Earline Kilback 0 Reply I have a few times asked hosting for two from a host whose profile lists only one. Some hosts think they should provide a comfortable bed for every guest, and if they just have one guest bed that’s the number they put on their profile. My wife and I are fairly thin and usually carry sleeping bags => we can easily sleep on the floor too. (Of course, I indicate in my request that I’ve read the profile including the “number of guests” section, and won’t push it – but I don’t think to ask politely is wrong.) Jeffrey McClure 0 Reply If you live somewhere popular, and you have your profile set to “hosting”, and you shave a good response rate, you’ll get a lot of requests. Don’t feel bad for declining them, if you don’t feel like hosting or if you don’t feel like you would like there’s person. You’re allowed to be choosy. Scarlett Hickle 0 Reply Can you provide some more details of why it is ‘official garbage ‘? There are a lot of really good and open people on Couchsurfing. Duane Beier 0 Reply The people are there but the website is not supporting them in any way, that is why it is officially garbage. I know that The Hague is not the only city where nobody uses the groups anymore or comes to or creates events, this is happening all over the world and it happens mostly because Couchsurfing has done everything they can to destroy the community since they erroneously felt that the community was against them, because they see critique as opposition. Jana Hilpert 0 Reply Sorry, I’m struggling to follow. How is the website not supporting them.? I’ve never used events but I’d say it is not the primary purpose of Couchsurfing. Same with hangouts. Are you saying the people that run Couchsurfing are idiots and are purposely trying to ruin it and force people to other platforms.? Interesting theory… I’m traveling for 2 years and use it every week and the experience has been amazing. As I said before, there will be bad eggs on all platforms but if you use the references as a guide and as a traveler host people as well, you be reward with good experiences. It is much more unfair for females. And that sucks big time. Unfortunately. I don’t see it as ‘official garbage ‘. hence the question. Joanny Cummings 0 Reply Couchsurfing asks money from members to verify. If they are verified, then their profiles pop up in search first; if they have problems help center will help them first / faster; a lot of people do not host people who are not verified, and Couchsurfing is promoting stories “I do not host anyone who is not verified”. So the awesome, moneyless travelers don’t get seen so much. And I hear/read bad stories all the time, and I never hear any story that the CS community would have done anything about it. Also, there have been situations when verified members just contact CS to remove references- and it happens. Officially they say that it does not happen, but I have high doubts. Jana Hilpert 0 Reply I don’t see verification a bad thing.. Especially with all the creeps on there. From what I remember it is not that expensive especially for the rewards of Couchsurfing from the experience and cost perspective. Doubts are doubts. Going to need evidence I’m afraid. Though I can’t see why Couchsurfing, as a moderator, shouldn’t be allowed to removed references. That seems fine. Ie. I could give someone a fake negative reference out of spite… Those should be reviewed by Couchsurfing if requested. I’d be surprised if Couchsurfing removes references that are genuine. Negative or not. That is dangerous. But again, if you have evidence. Let’s see it. Yes, there are a lot of bad stories. People suck. That is not Couchsurfing’s fault. Same on Facebook and other platforms. But with references and verification, it does try and weed out the creeps. But it is not perfect… But it is not officially garbage either. Joanny Cummings 0 Reply I get the point that moderators could remove references, but they should talk to both sides then. And asking money from people, so they could use your website, so they would be able to travel on a budget seems wrong to me. What if we suddenly start asking money from people to be a member here? Information about what goes through it also saves a lot of money for some travelers, so it would be also cheap “especially for the rewards from the experience and cost perspective”. Promoting something, as a free traveling and asking money from it, is double-faced. And getting verified does not make creeps to be gone: creepy people can get verified too. Jana Hilpert 0 Reply They should definitely talk with both sides. As I said, moderators. That definition is a person to settle disputes between two by talking to both parties. They are not asking for money to use their website. You can use it without paying. That’s not correct. They have emailed out reasons for the payment verification. Couchsurfing is still free. You don’t have to pay. Being moderators, maintaining a website and app cost money. Do you think Couchsurfing should have people doing this for free? And surely verification limits the actions of creeps. Like s**ual harassment. It must. You can fully ever stop creeps. Another example is uber. When harassment occurs it is much easier to charge the driver as they verified by uber and there are records on the trip and time. Very different from private and public taxis where it can even be hard to find out which taxi it was. The same applies to Couchsurfing.. creeps that want to use it for wrongs will surely avoid getting verified. hope that makes sense. Creepy people that are still verified and do nothing illegal… But are just asking harassing guests and suggesting weird stuff. That is hard to stop. And will happen of all platforms. the best system for that is references. Angelica Friesen 0 Reply It still works for me???? Such a lovely platform where to meet & connect with really awesome people! You just have to know how ???? Courtney Dach 0 Reply I had a flatmate who used CS to pick up girls. His words: “I make it clear on my profile that my room has just my bed and the guest has to bring a sleeping bag and sleep on the floor. They accept it. Then after I take them on a city tour, nice dinner and a few drinks, they think ‘why sleep on the floor if he has a double bed with space’ and come to my bed themselves, I don’t even have to ask.” In 2 weeks he hosted 4 girls: 1 German, 1 Chinese, 1 Turkish and a blond girl I didn’t have time to find out the nationality. Slept with all of them. I wouldn’t believe it if I weren’t there. 😮 Raleigh Walsh 0 Reply Hmm, I was clearly doing something wrong then, when I was offering my bed to my CS guests and sleeping on the floor myself when I lived in a shared flat… Finn Keebler 0 Reply What is all this s** negativity? As long as the host behaves and there’s mutual respect, I don’t see a problem. Of course, I see there are the creeps, and that it might be hard to filter them out beforehand, but the example here wasn’t about coercing or manipulating the guests into having s** with the host. Joanny Cummings 0 Reply There is nothing wrong with having s** with your couch-surfer if you both feel like it. But getting girls drunk, so they would feel comfortable with getting into bed with you- is manipulating. And this host, in this example did not just had s** with people if there was a connection between them: She said that he is USING COUCHSURFING to find girls who he could take out TO GET THEM DRUNK, so they would agree to have s** with them. That is not the purpose of this website, there are tinder and OkCupid and other websites for that. And hosts like this ruin the vibe of it. Shanie Kohler 0 Reply He’s coercive and underhanded about it. If he was upfront about wanting to have s** with them then fine, but he manipulates the situation so that they’re drunk and have no other (comfortable) option but to sleep in his bed with him & so are more likely to cave to his pressure if they’ve been drinking. Obviously, it’s still their choice to sleep with him (depending on how drunk they are, I do wonder about that) but the whole way he goes about it is sneaky and dishonest. That’s not what Couchsurfing is about, and if you think this kind of behavior is normal or acceptable then that’s a problem. Finn Keebler 0 Reply I hear what you are saying, and I understand that this is a quite volatile and touchy subject. But this kind of discourse has always the bit condescending (is that even the right word?) attitude towards the surfers, like they are really simple and not able to judge or control the situations and their own actions. Like it’s not conceivable that a guest would actively want to get drunk and have s**? Since in the example they knew already that there is only one bed, etc. I’m not actively defending anything particular here, just reminding that there is nothing negative about s** as such, and it’s kind of a funny thought that you shouldn’t have it if you surf or host. It all goes back to the situation, and the social skills of both subjects to keep everything comfortable for both. Joanny Cummings 0 Reply I think you do not hear, what we are saying if you still answer like this. I am into s**ual freedom: go, do what you like, with who you like, as long as its consensual and everyone is grown up. (or in reasonable age) But there is a huge difference here. if you just feel like having sex with your surfer, and they want it too – fucking hell, go jump into each other as soon as you open the door, if there really is such a big chemistry between you, BUT if you only host through Couchsurfing because you want to find girls to get laid- after you have got them drunk its a different things- It is not website for finding one night stands. And having one bed has nothing to do with it, I could also go to visit someone who says “I have only floor place”, and I would seriously hope that this person will not try to have anything more with me. It would be different if he would say in his profile “I am using this site for s**ual purpose.” – it would still not be for what that site is build up, but it would be at least fair, so member would know with what kind of guy they are staying. It’s terrible how many guys keep on protecting other guys who get women drunk to manipulate them into bed, just saying “but there is nothing wrong with having sex”. Of course, there is not. even when you are drunk, but getting someone drunk, on purpose, so they would sleep with you, is wrong. Finn Keebler 0 Reply My “gross” answer was specifically towards his behavior, not about s** in general. If s** is consensual and respectful then I have no issues whatsoever, do whatever and whoever you want. But the way he engineers the situation is seriously pushing boundaries of consent and respect. Yes, it’s possible that some guests may actively want to get drunk and have s**. That happens all the time, and if it happens organically then great! I’m not attacking people who have casual s** or even necessarily people who have s** with their CS host/guest, but it shouldn’t be the entire reason why you use the app. And if it is the entire reason, you should at least be upfront about it and not sneaky and manipulative like this guy. Nelle Rodriguez 0 Reply I meet plenty of great couch surfers. I’ve noticed more “the hostels are expensive!” requests recently, I just decline them. I’ve also declined hosts whose profiles mentioned things like “picking up girls” or anything intolerant. The ones I accept appear great couch surfers and they mostly have been outstanding – never had a bad one. I’ve met some trustroots travelers too who have really been quite special. I’ve signed up and looked forward to trying it out too. Roscoe 0 Reply It is easier for men to do it this way but I tend to send a request to people who joined just recently or don’t have references at all (or very very few) because it promises a lot more authentic experience. In non-western countries, there are a lot of people who join Couchsurfing thinking it’s just another social network not even knowing what Couchsurfing actually is. Those I love the most – just pure hospitality and pure honesty. Ulises Olson 1 Reply BeWelcome is growing, but in my opinion, the worst thing about CouchSurfing now is that its Bourgeoisie, which isn’t that bad. Laura Bins 0 Reply I don’t think CouchSurfing is dead 🙂 I’ve surfed 20+ times, met many people via meetups and have been to the wedding of a couple I met through CS (they hosted me). CS isn’t for everywhere though. In popular places like Amsterdam, it’s better to find a host through friends (a few months ago, my host from Maastricht had found me someone in Amsterdam). On the other end, in the Scottish Highlands, for example, there are very few hosts to start with and I surfed mostly thanks to spontaneous invitations rather than websites. Don’t give up 😉 Michael Kerluke 0 Reply I didn’t even try to start searching for hosts with my fresh opened CS account. Reviews were enough to see that is wasting of time… Male guest… huh. Dozens and dozens of messages just to catch one chance. A lot of effort. Easier to pay Hostel. So far so good. But ok for people who have time&patience and in Asia maybe. Jaren Lind 0 Reply I’ve been doing public itineraries and often get offers. the chances are low of writing someone a nice request and that person seeing the message and being willing and able to host. lots of people want to host and it dramatically increases the odds when hosts choose guests. miss the old days tho of well-crafted couch requests… Virginia Renner 0 Reply I’ve switched to BeWelcome. I like it so far – haven’t had any crappy guests like most of my CS guests lately have turned out to be. Delaney Ritchie 0 Reply If you cycle: use WarmShowers. But its really only for cyclist (cycling touring) Coralie Ruecker 0 Reply I have hosted maybe 20 people by now and most of them have been really good experiences. I don’t care so much about whether they have references or not (because you have to start somewhere) if the profile is complete and carefully written and they send a nice request. Also, not such a big fan of passwords, if someone read your profile you will notice that from the request anyway and if someone is in an emergency, got canceled by another host or very urgently needs a place to stay I don’t expect them to be super-over-personal in the request. On Trustroots I never found a host since not that many people use it yet. But of course, if all the “real” travelers leave couch surfing because there are a few idiots in Italy, the quality will decline… why not try to make the community better again instead of dumping it? I think CS is far too valuable to abandon. Jasper Purdy 0 Reply Couchsurfing is not garbage! It has been and still is an amazing opportunity to meet with people you otherwise won’t meet. To share local traditions, show people around and to learn things. New perspectives, new life stories etc. It’s sad that some have to experience the bad parts of this, that some people are using the platform for other things than the intended idea to share, socialize and learn. But I think we should not just judge the whole cs community for those bad guys behaviors. Maybe its good to be more careful about who you stay with or host. CS has a pretty well-designed verification system. Perhaps when looking for a host/guest, try to look more on whether the person is verified or not, check reviews etc. I’ve been using in 9 years now and met so many amazing people who changed my way of viewing life. I really think we should start trying to make CS into the best again. So much bad reputation these days, and its sad that those annoying guys should be allowed to destroy the CS community! Natasha Willms 0 Reply I only just tried Couchsurfing for the first time, when I was in Italy, and I was stunned to discover just this. Only, using a travel hosting platform as a dating opportunity is ultra creepy. As a woman traveling alone, the last thing I want is to be trapped in an apartment with some guy creeping on me or, conversely, out of a place to stay because I had to walk away from something that didn’t feel right. I contacted three women, and none responded (they all had very poor response rates listed, but they were the only women available for the dates I was looking for). When I saw you could advertise your travels, I thought, why not? and put my plans up there. I got contacted by an uber-creepy guy who said he thought we could have a “special connection.” I looked at his reviews. Most were good, but one was from a woman he crept on when she stayed with him, and his review of her was really gross. I politely declined his request, and he sent me a follow-up email asking if I didn’t want to at least meet for a drink, because he was quite certain we would have a special connection. I did wind up having a good stay with a guy who was not creepy or inappropriate and who generously toured me around the city and took me for a nice dinner. However, he was a chronic mainsplainer, and that wore thin. I probably won’t couchsurf again. I’ll make a note of the other sites suggested here, but generally speaking, I think I prefer to rely on housesitting first and hostels and Air BnB second and third. 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