Travel has evolved as time has gone on, meaning new ways to cut costs have also popped up; one of those ways to save money, and indeed meet new people whilst you travel the world, is couch-surfing.

If you’re not sure what couch-surfing is (in which case, where have you been?), then it is pretty much what it says on the tin – staying in someone’s house whilst travelling around, in order to cut costs and experience travel in the truest form. Couch-surfing is becoming increasingly popular, and in order to access the service you need to create a good quality profile on the website, to give you more chance of being accepted by those willing to let you stay in their home.

Like any social networking site, you have to have an eye-catching and interesting profile, but when it comes to couch-surfing it’s probably not a good idea to be too ‘out there’; you are trying to stay in someone’s actual home after all.

Here’s a few hints on how to create that perfect couch-surfing profile.

Be respectful

Make sure everything you write on your profile is honest and respectful; don’t be too outrageous, don’t make political statements, and keep the controversy for a different time. Yes, you might find someone reads it and goes ‘oh wow, he sounds like fun’, but most people are probably going to flick over it without a second thought.

Fill everything in

If you leave gaps then people are going to think you just can’t be bothered, and that means you’re not going to show much respect to their home, or get much out of the experience.

Be honest and real

Be yourself and this will shine through in what you’re writing and how you write it. Couch-surfing is not just a cheap way to stay somewhere whilst you travel, it should be an experience you embrace, an opportunity to meet new people and learn something along the way, so you’re not going to meet those requirements if you lie about your skills and interests. To be matched with people who are on your wavelength you need to be honest and you need to be real. On the flip side, don’t be too general, because that just screams ‘boring!’

Be positive

Make sure whatever you write is upbeat, and avoid negative talk. Nobody wants to share a space with someone who looks like they’re going to be constantly down and speaking of doom!

Always use a photo

Whether its eBay, Facebook, or any other website, nobody really pays much attention to profiles or listings which don’t have photos, and the same can be said for couch-surfing. Pick a photo which is cheerful, smiley, but not too out there, perhaps showing you having fun on your travels, or out with family for instance. Again, don’t be too provocative or weird on your photo.

Build up your references

Don’t go adding people willy-nilly, instead only add people who you want to be connected to, and always give them a reference, so they will feel obliged to do the same for you. The more positive references you have, the more chance you have of being chosen.

Couch-surfing may be a relatively new innovation, but it is certainly one that is making waves in the travel world, and a fantastic way to cut costs and meet people along the way. Make your profile the best it can be, and as real as it can be, and you should have plenty of opportunities coming your way as a result.

Photo Credit: Rick McCharles

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