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14

From my experience, yes it is very safe to use hospitality exchange services all over the world as long as you check references, have a backup plan, and trust your instincts. I've been CouchSurfing since 2007 in more than 30 countries and have only once had a less than stellar experience. I've actually had more (and worse) bad experiences staying in ...


14

You'll find that it varies from host to host, and this is often indicated on their profile. Some are excited to meet new people, but can't actually host - so they'll often just say they want to meet you in town for a coffee or similar. Others will have a bed and a spare room, and can be amazingly generous. However they do understand that you're ...


11

The first thing to know about Couchsurfing is that it is completely free. You are not required to "pay" for your stay offering a dinner, bringing a gift, etc. The only rule that applies is to behave politely. You are not even required to spend some time with your host, even though in some cases this could fall in the "unpolite behaviour". This said, the ...


11

People in CS can tell on their profile which is the maximum number of nights they want to host, so I think that filtering on that you will be able to identify the kind of hosts that fit your travelling policy. In my personal experience, being member of CS since the beginning of 2009 and living in Pisa (so, a lot of requests every day), people ask for 1 to 3 ...


11

Some interesting stats were done in 2008 which found that the average length of stay is 2-3 days. Indeed I've heard of many being turned down for one-night stays - hosts often host because they want to get to know people, not just be a couch for the night. As for longer stays, often you'll find it's cheaper and more sensible to find someone with a spare ...


10

So, if you're just joining them for dinner, you're NOT expected to bring a plate. However, even for a situation like that it's often expected to bring a wrapped gift for your hosts, so certainly if couchsurfing I'd consider bringing something. Ideally, gifts that can't be purchased in Japan would be a nice idea, and it'd be very special if from your home ...


10

In his blog post "Be careful in the surf", Tom Casady, former police chief of Lincoln, Nebraska, writes about the results of a quick host search he did in his city. Among the many search results, he found a known drug dealer, a registered sex offender, and someone who had recently threatened to shoot himself and was taken in by police. He concludes: So, ...


10

The short answer is yes. I've hosted probably 20+ people who got to my location via hitchhiking, and most of them had hitchhiked all the way across Europe and couchsurfed most of the way. The only method is messaging people individually, yes, but I don't see why that's a problem. Simply state that you're hitchhiking and will be there on sometime between x ...


9

You probably already noticed that Swedes love them candles, so a small candle holder might be a good idea. Here's a very typical Swedish design: These things run around 100-130 SEK (12-15 EUR) a pop -- not quite in your price range, but close. These are not very fragile and they'd stuff it with paper for you, so it's quite durable. If you want something ...


8

Pepparkakor! Try to find a brand that is not in every Ikea store, though:


7

To me the 'simplest' solution would be to welcome them to the city, and say you're happy to host, but that you're busy and can really only take people for a couple of days. Ask them which days suit them the best. It's up to them whether or not that works. They may find something more suitable, or they'll be happy to meet you, and then move on, perhaps to ...


6

As @Jonik said, you can skip verification, make some friends locally in Dominican Republic, get some references, and everything will be ok. But if you want to verify yourself, I think, you should contact the CS team, especially Help Desk. CS said: Due to the number of postcards we mail out, we cannot vary our processes, and we almost have it fully ...


6

I used to travel a lot I would say that you can also take: some handmade laces from Koniakow, what is a world known place with the tradition of over 200 years of lace making handmade christmas or eastern decorations made of straw - very light :D another option for you would be some amber. All thoses products you can find in "CEPELIA" in the shops ...


5

My wife and I have hosted many people from many countries. We give them a nice bed, their own room, usually entertain them and, almost always, breakfast as well. We are experiencing an increasing number of guests who don't even make a gesture of thanks. When we joined we understood that there was supposed to be some kind of reciprocity. I always offer to ...


5

It really depends on the host. I try to help out with dishes and buy&prepare the food, or bring a postcard from your city and leave a nice note on the fridge before you leave. Some hosts expect you to hang out with them. I went to a bar with a local band playing in Vancouver i wouldn't have visited otherwise, and it was actually a nice evening. Other ...


5

When i was traveling and posted on the couch surfing forums about my travel plans I was messaged by some girl(!) who was very insisted that i drop by on my way. Later she started to make moves on me. (Can't really blame her, i am often mistaken for a young George Clooney.) However my other experiences where always good. Usually got hosted by people who live ...


5

If you want something different, Polish and light, it would be worth having a look at Polish paper cutting. A bunch of those will not weigh much and should definitely be a souvenir uniquely from Poland.


5

The first thing to mention is that it's common to exchange phone numbers when making or accepting a couch request. I basically require that myself, since if you're going to trust someone with your place of course you should trust them with your phone number! It sounds like the only solution for your dilemma is planning stays further in advance. You are ...


5

You probably already took your trip, but for the benefit of others who may come along here are some addtions: For drinkers: Some variety of punsch, of which the Carlhamn's Flaggpunsch is probably the most common and recognizable variety. Can't miss its yellow color. A far more intriguing gift than Swedish vodka, which is easily found everywhere. Legendary ...


5

The gift that to me would be most expressive of Sweden is the delahast, the little horse figurine. The advantage is that it's not edible, which is say that it is "durable." Here are some being made, the photo is from Wikipedia:


4

The first that comes to mind are the amazing ciders made in Sweden. The problem with liquor in general, is the weight of the bottles. The same could be said for the amazing Swedish jams. You would make me happy with something food related. Things like dried fruit, candy, dried sausages, or knackebrod comes to mind. Unfortunately for you, lakerol candy is ...


3

If you search for "Belarus invitation" you can find a slew of formal letters that you will need to obtain a visa. If you are going as a tourist then this particular letter is for you. There is also a post from one of the travel agencies in Belarus about who has to send you one of these letters if you need it.


2

Is CS intended for short (1- or 2-night) trips, or is it not unusual to stay for a whole week or longer? CS is "intended" for both short and long stays (the host can freely decide), and very long stays are not unheard of, but I agree with the other answers that 2 to 3 nights is the most typical. Which kinda makes sense if you think about it. How ...


2

The cheapest hotel that I'm aware of in Copenhagen (you can of course find much cheaper hostels) where you have your own private room and bathroom is Cabinn. They have several locations in Copenhagen, I prefer the one near the main train station, "Kobenhavn City Hotel" as they call it. The rooms are small, but clean and reasonably comfortable. The ...


1

The cheapest way to stay in Copenhagen (or, indeed, in any other city) would be by Couchsurfing.



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