We are currently working on a guide that more thoroughly addresses questions about couch surfing, Couchers.org, and how to use the website. In the meantime, you can find answers to the most commonly asked questions below.
Last updated: April 25, 2022.
Do you have a question that is missing from this list? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know! You can also visit the forum at community.couchers.org to see if someone has asked the question before or to propose a change.
Couch surfing is non-transactional hospitality that is focused on meaningful interactions between the guest and the host rather than the accommodations and amenities.
When you are a couch surfer, you are either hosting someone for free, or staying with someone for free, or meeting up with a local to hang out together. Before agreeing to meet, the host and guest communicate plans and availability during the visit so it is clear what to expect. Couch surfing is NOT for flirting, dating, romance, or sex. It is for making new friends from all around the world, sharing experiences and learning from one another.
Below is a brief summary of the guidelines (rules) that all users must agree to after signing up for a Couchers account:
Couchers.org is an inclusive community where people of all cultures and backgrounds come together. Treat everyone with mutual respect and dignity.
Couchers.org is NOT for dating, romance, or sex. Harassment or or using the platform for the purpose of flirting, dating, seeking out romantic or sexual partners, or for engaging in sexual activities will result in an immediate ban.
Read profiles, references, and resources. Report any inappropriate content or behavior.
Keep things non-transactional. Don't exchange money while staying or hosting. Couchers.org is about learning, experiences, and getting to know people.
Please note that these rules are in addition to the Terms of Service that all users must agree to. A violation of the Terms of Service or Community Guidelines may result in a suspension or permanent ban.
NO! It is forbidden to use Couchers.org for the purpose of flirting, dating, or seeking out romance or sex. Violation of this rule is grounds for an immediate and permanent ban.
You should only add someone as a friend if you know them in real life -- either from interacting with each other in person or online at a virtual event. Do not add someone as a friend if you have not interacted with them in person or at a virtual event.
No. You do not have to host someone, and you do not have to set your hosting status to "can host" or "maybe can host". You are also not required to meet up with anyone. However, it is recommended that you consider opening up your home to hosting or setting your status as willing to meet up as soon as you are comfortable and your life situation allows.
No. Keep things non-transactional. Don't exchange money, goods, work, donations, or services while staying, hosting, or meeting up. Couchers.org is about learning, experiences, and getting to know people.
It is forbidden to create, host, share, or promote an event that solicits donations, tips, required payments, or is for-profit.
No. It is a violation of the Terms of Service to use the platform to advertise, promote, or advocate for a business, organization or cause. With that said, it is okay to mention your approval/disapproval of, interest in, or involvement with a business, organization, or cause, as long as that is not the primary purpose of your profile, message, or event.
Send an email to email@example.com. If you send an email, be sure to include the following information:
Note: If you're not sure if something is a violation or not, it is better to just report it. The support team will review the report before any action is taken.
You should read the person's entire profile and read through their references. References can give you an idea of what others think about the person. It is also very important to communicate thoroughly with the person before accepting their request. Be sure to ask for any information that is missing from their profile or request message. For example, if their profile is empty or missing a photo, it is okay to ask them to fill out their profile and/or upload a photo before accepting their request.
It is also good to ask the person when they will arrive and when they will leave, why they are coming, and who is coming with them. It is helpful to let them know what your schedule looks like and how available you will be to interact with them. Don't feel obligated to provide a bunch of details or private information, but you should let your guest(s) know about any important information about you, your home, and your schedule that is relevant to their visit.
Keep communication on the Couchers.org platform as much as possible. Use common sense when reviewing requests and profiles and especially when providing personal information like your address and schedule. Keep in mind that you are never obligated to accept a request or provide a reason for why you cannot accept. If you decline a request, the person will not be able to message you again unless you add them as a friend. If you accept a request but change your mind, you can reject a request up until the start date of the request by clicking the "reject" button at the bottom of the request.
Visit couchers.org/donate to make your donation.
You can use our logo and wordmark when organizing Couchers events or promoting Couchers. Our logo and wordmark are available in various formats. You can download our logo and wordmark here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LpArrYWQT94KMAfpX2iF5wNJn8r19K7p
If you mistyped your birthday when you created your account, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and request that it be updated. Please be sure to provide your username and your real birthday including day, month and year.
It is not possible to change your username, but you can change your display name by following these steps:
Send your request via email to email@example.com with your username or email associated with your account.
The purpose of the response rate and response time on your profile is to give people an idea on how likely it is that they will receive a response to their hosting request and how long it might take to receive a response. It also influences where you appear in search results. If you respond very quickly to hosting requests you will appear higher than someone who replies after many days. Try to respond to hosting requests as soon as possible, but definitely within two days!
Response rate is the proportion of requests that received a response. A “response” is when you click the accept or reject button, or send a message in response to a hosting request. The categories are:
Response time is the duration between when the hosting request was sent and the first response by the host. If the host didn’t respond yet or at all, then response time counts as “infinite”. "Response time" is based on the 33rd and 66th percentiles of your first responses to requests. So if a third of your fastest responses were in less than 1 hour, and the third of your slowest responses were more than 20 hours, then your response time will be reported as “1 hour to 20 hours”.
Keep in mind: The person will only be able to see your profile if they have an account and are logged in at couchers.org!
You can message anyone on the platform. However, please keep in mind our Community Guidelines and values when you message someone. Treat people with respect and dignity, and do not spam or harass other users.
On your friend’s profile, click on "References".
Click on "Write Reference".
Note: You must have sent or received a friend request, which was also confirmed, before you can leave a reference for a friend.
These features have not been released yet. However, we do plan on releasing these features (and more) in the future. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please discuss them in our forum!
Visit a person’s profile.
Fill out your request and click "Send".
Click the request you want to respond to.
Type your response to the request.
Decide how you would like to respond: