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May 13, 2010



Couchsurfing is beginning to sound quite appealing; like a fun way to see a new place. Do people couchsurf with kids much?

Leigh Shulman


There's an entire Families Welcome group of people who are happy to have you and your kids stay.

Some of those people have kids of their own. Some don't. I've had amazing luck finding people all over the US and in Europe.

Once you meet people, though, and get to know them, they're usually more willing to have you stay in their house with kids even if they're not specifically part of the Families Welcome group.

I wrote a post on How To Couchsurf As A Family, but I think it could probably use a follow up.


couchsurfing rules...they r just the same 'rules' that any considerate person would apply anywhere!!

thats probably why its such a rare thing..cos there arent that many considerate people around...

we have a friend, not even a stranger as couchsurfers start off as, who visits us enroute with his business, who doesnt think of putting his hands to his wallet when we go for meals...and very easily helps to finish a bottle of our best whiskey..

it has nothing to do with affordability...its DNA!!!...some people are just made that way!!!

my family knows i get rattled everytime our friend visits...i cant help myself...

i can be most generous...but when its one way...i start to feel 'used'

im not really looking for huge recompense...im only looking for gestures...even if u pretend to put your hand in your pocket when its time to pay...knowing me..i would grab the bill and insist i paid anyways!!!!

not even a gesture!!!!

am i having a good moan? perhaps...haha

the problem with consideration and common sense is that it isnt very common...

and when we meet those with it...it is so wonderful...the few redeeming the many...

thanks again for your usual entertaining and enlightening blogs...

till the next one...

ps. i will have to forward these couchsurfer rules to our children!!!! they need reminding every now and then!!!!

pps. we went on a retreat to a Poor Clares Monastery in north London...it was an overwhelming experience..silence and simplicity..a perfect escape from our world of chaos...have u tried it?


Alright, totally sprucing up my CS profile later today. This is awesome.

Leigh Shulman

I haven't been to Poor Clare's Monastery, but I do like the idea of going to a place of complete silence.

Glad you liked this post. And I agree, much of what I said is sort of common sense. But you know what they say about common sense.

Leigh Shulman

I'm so glad this post makes Couchsurfing sound appealing. I thought it possible a list of rules might turn people off a bit.


Such great advice! I'm just starting to get involved in the Couchsurfing scene, but this definitely helps me know what to expect when staying at someone's house.

Thank you so much for your advice. :)


Great write-up, Leigh. I'm definitely going to be pushing this around our Couchsurfing contacts. And thanks, once again, for a wonderful stay.

brian @ nodebtworldtravel.com

I think you summed it up nicely in this article. Be respectful, proactive and accommodating, even in someone else's house and you'll be well known as a great Couchsurfing hostee.

I think so many think about the free aspect of the relationship that they take it for granted. Do more and be more than you're expected to be in someone's home and you're going to have friends for life.


I couchsurfed for more than 6 months entirely supported by this community. I always buy beer for the fridge, and one host was so surprised when I stocked her fridge with milk and eggs, as her previous guests never contributed to anything. Like you said, it's common courtesy, and these little gestures make you a worthy couchsurfer to host all over the world.

Leigh Shulman

Hey Erica,

I'm glad you found this helpful. Let me know how it turns out for you (although after reading your blog and getting to know you a bit, I'm sure it'll be great).

Leigh Shulman

Thanks, Craig, both for the comment and for spreading around this post.

It was wonderful having you here. Very mellow, and so great having the opportunity to get to know you.

And I wear my Indietravel Podcast t-shirt often, now. I love it!

Leigh Shulman

When we first started Couchsurfing, I had a hard time getting past "Why would someone do this?" Meaning, why would a stranger open up their home to another stranger.

It's something that's very difficult to answer if you haven't experienced it yourself.

I very quickly learned, though, that the connections you make with other people are unique and quite wonderful. Because when the think you have in common is the desire to want to be hospitable, you already know each other very well.

So, Brian, when are you headed our way? :)

Leigh Shulman

That is a very lovely thing to do, and thanks for adding that as a possibility.

It's particularly great when you've spent some time with a person, you know them and what they like to have in the fridge and then can surprise them.

It's quite an art to know how to be the sort of guest who makes a host happy to come home and sad when you leave. (Which is another CS lesson, how to get used to saying goodbye all the time. But that is something else.)

Andy Hayes | Sharing Travel Experiences

These are great tips - I think they apply even if you're just visiting relatives, but yes, you did have quite a houseful :-)


This is a great post - I came here from your "How to Pimp Your Profile" post, which was also a great perspective. I only found out about CS just before I trip I was taking, so I didn't have time to pimp my own, but I took advantage of those generous souls who would take me in to try to beef it up as I went. I always like to get other pov's on what a good "traveller" is, so thanks!

Leigh Shulman

Hey Sarah,

Glad you liked this post. I've been thinking lately of a How To Be A Good Guest post, too. We just had about 8 people staying with us, and it only worked because everyone was helpful, mellow and great to be around.

I'm following you on Twitter now, too. Thanks for the comment!

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