How to CouchSurf in London and get Hosted
Getting hosted in any big city is never easy, there are usually many more travellers then there are people hosting. And to be honest most people in big cities such as London are struggling to find accommodation for themselves let alone for themselves plus future guests. Most people that I know of in London rent, and most of those have to share their place with house mates to spread the costs. In many instances the housemates do not want random people they do not know coming into their houses and apartments and so the CouchSurfer living there is not able to host.
- Fill out your CouchSurfing Profile completely – seasoned hosts are fed up with receiving CouchSurfing requests from people that didn’t make any effort to fill out their profile
- Use the CouchSurfing Hosts’s Name – Putting in the person’s name at least shows you didn’t do a straight forward copy and paste Couch request
- State your reasons for wanting to be hosted – People host because they want to, not because they have to. One of the things that makes people want to host you is when you both have something in common. Look at their profile and find what you think makes them interesting and different from the other 7 million CouchSurfers out there and let them know why you’d like to stay with them.
- Have photos of yourself – photos add to the sense of safety. You’re going to be meeting face to face eventually so if you have a reason not to have any photos of yourself then people are going to be much more weary of wanting to host you. From a personal perspective, one of the few unpleasant experiences I had at CouchSurfing was from a member that had a photo of a horse instead of himself as his profile picture, ever since this experience I’m much more weary of people that don’t have a photo on their profile page and even more so if they went to the trouble of adding an obviously fake photo (i.e. of an animal instead of themselves)
- Write References – One indicator to any host that you are a user, free loader, leech or any other term that suggests you’re not a very nice person is when you have many references left by others, but you yourself haven’t bothered to write any of them a reference in return. This instantly suggests that you take from others but don’t give back.
- Look further a field – There are several members of CouchSurfing that live outside of the main city but are able to host. As long as they are on the London underground tube train network then you should be able to get to and from their place pretty easily (before midnight – after midnight the train network showdown for repairs).
London Specific CouchSurfing Links
The London CouchSurfing Emergency Group
This group should only be posted to if you will be arriving in London with less then 72 hours to spare and still have not found a host, or used if you find yourself with a host that suddenly bailed on you.
The hosts in this group are some of the most dedicated on CouchSurfing. Many do not have their status set to be a host but yet will keep an eye on this group to see who needs help. Having said that the downside of this group is that it may also attract hosts that are picking and choosing who to host for less then honourable reasons.
London CouchSurfing Groups on Facebook
We the growth in popularity of Facebook many couchsurfers use Facebook as their main way of keeping in touch with other Couchsurfers in London. Here are some of the most popular London based CouchSurfing groups
Regular CouchSurfing Events in London
Weekly Tuesday CouchSurfing Meetup in London
This event has been going on for many years and run by a very dedicated host. If you’ve just arrived in London then this is a great way to meet people and gather some local advice. The venue is part of the well known Wetherspoon chain of pubs, which is a collection of hundreds of pubs all over the UK. What this means is they are able to buy in bulk and pass those savings on to the customer, so if you’re looking for a place to eat and drink in London you won’t find many places that will be cheaper. We suggest if you’re hungry you arrive a little earlier and grab some food before going to the main meeting which takes place downstairs.
Monthly CouchSurfing Language Exchange
Another meeting run by an extremely dedicated host. The location called the “Loose Canon” is a little tricky to find but the venue is pretty much exclusive to CouchSurfers on the night, this fact alone make the event quite special. This meeting takes place usually on the last Friday of the month.
Annual CouchSurfing Halloween Party in London
This event attracts hundreds of CouchSurfers and usually takes place in “The Loose Canon” bar
Annual CouchSurfing Trip to Stonehenge for The Summer Solstice
This event varies each year depending on who’s up for organising the event. Some years people take the train from London to Wiltshire, some years they get a coach and some years they hire a minivan or share a car ride. What we will say is if you ever wanted to visit Stonehenge this is the very best day of the year, as the authorities that manage Stonehenge open up the area to the public for free. You can quite literally sit on the stones if you wish on this one day of the year. There is also a Winter Solstice but for many that would be way too cold and dark, as opposed to the Summer Solstice which celebrates the longest day of the year (and is also a great deal warmer).