I’ve owned my apartment for almost two years now, and in that time I’d never bothered to put furniture in the second bedroom. It was basically just a big closet. Well, a big closet with its own bathroom!
This summer, when I was backpacking in Eastern Europe, I was surprised by how many people I met who were including some segments of Couchsurfing in their trip. Lots of people were mixing it up with hostels, hotels and strangers’ couches. I was also surprised by how many people were inviting me into their homes… including entire apartments that were smaller than my unfinished guest room!
So, when I returned home after my summer holidays I checked my post-trip finances and realized that I could easily afford to furnish my second bedroom. A trip to the mattress store, a Saturday waiting for delivery, a trip to Ikea, a trip to Walmart and a little help from a friend in putting on the bedskirt and suddenly I had a proper second bedroom. So I logged into my old-but-unused Couchsurfing profile and changed my couch status to “yes”.
I know my house isn’t in the best location, but it does have nice views and it’s easy to access via public transportation. That, combined with the luxury of having a brand-new guest room all to yourself, would surely make the couch requests start pouring in, right? Wrong. In one month I’ve only had two couch requests, and neither seemed like a good match for my first surfer. So finally I checked the “open couch requests” section, where people can request a couch to the whole community, and saw another new user who was looking for a couch. I contacted her, and I should have my very first guest this Friday!
So, what tips do you have for me as I prepare? I was storing some personal stuff in that room so I put it all in nice boxes labeled with my name so the guests don’t think they’re for guest use. I hung an Ikea Skubb closet organizer in the closet with guest towels and guest toiletries (saved from many hotel visits). I put a decorative pillow with a picture of a map on the bed! I even put the house key on a Canada-themed lanyard!
What else should I do to get ready for my first couchsurfer? I’m looking forward to reading your comments!