Advice for Guests

To make sure you have the best possible experience while visiting new cities, get started by reading these simple tips about setting up your meet up and interacting with your future hosts.

1. Update your profile page: Citysurfing provides a unique service compared to many travel related platforms, because we allow both the guest and the host to make a mutual decision on whether they will meet and meet up together. As a guest, you will be able to review the profiles of local hosts and then send a booking request for the specific dates and times you’re interested in visiting their city. The potential hosts you contact will not only check their availability, but they will also review your profile description and interests. If they discover you both have similar passions, then it’s more likely they will accept your booking request.

2. Make it easy for people to recognize you: When you meet your host for the first time, it’s important it’s easy to find each other. From your profile page, make sure you upload a recent photo that makes it easy for people to recognize you. This photo should be a photo of only you; from the shoulders up; no sunglasses; no pets; and most importantly– a big smile!

3. Search for hosts with similar interests: Citysurfing makes it easy to connect with people who have similar passions to your own. When you connect with like-minded people you’ll be able to experience a city your way and do the types of things you most enjoy. Start by searching for hosts that share similar interests. Once you narrow your search, you can learn more about the host by reading their listing and profile pages. You’ll find that when you connect with people with similar interests, you’ll be able to have an amazing experience and make real friendships everywhere you go. Meeting new people and turning them into lifelong friends could be the best part of your visit.

4. Contact multiple hosts: Increase your chance of connecting with a local host by sending booking requests to multiple hosts at once. You will have the opportunity to choose an offer that is the best fit and value for your needs. It is also important to realize that not all hosts are available for the selected dates and hours you may want to meet up.

5. Mark Citysurfing email alerts as – Important: When you communicate with hosts on Citysurfing, you’ll receive a message alert on your dashboard, and we’ll send you an email letting you know a host has responded to your request. To make sure you receive these emails, it’s extremely important that you login to your email account and designate all messages from Citysurfing as “Not Spam”.

6. Create a game plan: Before you connect with your host, make sure you talk about your interest and get suggestions on things they recommend you do together. Knowing the duration, routes, places to visit, timing and possible meeting points will save time and make things run more smoothly. Make sure you also ask about any additional expenses that are not included in their price, such as transportation, entrance fees or any third party services.

7. Keep communications on Citysurfing: We strongly recommend communicating with your host via Citysurfing to make sure there is a record of your interaction in case of any disputes that may arise. Contact your hosts whenever you need to inform them about any changes to your plans.

8. Consider leaving a tip: Tipping is never mandatory, but if your host really entertained you and provided an amazing experience then showing your gratitude is always welcome.

9. Write a review: Reviews are critical for helping Citysurfing to grow as a credible and trustworthy community and are especially valuable for local hosts who want to build their reputation and experience. Hosts appreciate when you ‘rate’ your meetup experiences, because it helps give them an idea of what worked, what didn’t work, and how they can improve their service. When you review your experiences with your hosts, you enable the community to make more informed decisions.

10. Follow the Citysurfing Blog: You can meet up with local host when your on vacation, a business trip, relocating, or just hanging out in a nearby city. To get the most from each and every new meet up, we highly recommend you follow the tips and suggestions on the official Citysurfing Blog – “Citysurfing Blog”. Always be the first to know when a new post hits the blog. Enter your email address here.

Why hire a local? 

1. Gain deeper insight into a city: Local hosts can show a more edgy, more beautiful and more authentic version of a city. They can show you what’s happening ‘behind the scenes’; the hidden gems, local customs, rituals and etiquette. They can teach you basic conversation skills, give you transportation suggestions, safety tips, and more. Whether you want to explore the underground culture in Berlin, the local art scene of Paris or even the best dive bars in Prague, a local host’s intimate knowledge will introduce you to a more unique experience than you’d ever get from a pre-packaged tour.

2. Enjoy an out-of-the-box experience: Other platforms are perfect for curated tours, but Citysurfing thrives on a more local, personal experience. You and your host have the freedom to decide what activities you want to do. You can take a turn down any twisty street, or browse any fancy shop that catches your eye, giving you the option to make on-the-spot decisions and enjoy whatever comes your way.

3. Connect with like-minded people: In just a few minutes you can search for local hosts in the cities you plan on visiting. You can find a host for a vacation destination, or search for a host in a city just around the corner from where you live. You’ll be able to read their descriptions and learn about their interests and hobbies. You’ll also be able to read the reviews and recommendations left by other users. This makes it easy for you to connect with people that share similar interests. In this way, you’ll find yourself meeting people local and abroad that enjoy doing the things you love to do.

4. Save time and money: Whether you enjoy shopping, nightlife, museums, or landmarks, navigating a new city or a place you’re unfamiliar with can be very time consuming and exhausting. Sometimes, you spend so much time being lost, you have little time to really enjoy the experience itself. That’s why having a local host is a great idea. Just think about how much time you’ll save trying to figure out where to find the best restaurants, parties, local goods and best prices.

5. Support locals you know and like: When you book a local host on Citysurfing, you eliminate the expensive middle-man; the tour companies that charge high prices and pay a small amount back to the people that actually do the guiding. When that happens, you contribute directly to the people you’ve met and connected with; the student trying to earn tuition money; the mother saving for a family vacation; the retiree searching for something to do in their free time. Every time you book a local host on Citysurfing, you’ll have peace knowing the money you spent is helping to support the local people you’ve met.

6. Make international friends: If you’ve ever participated in touring a city via a curated tour with a pre-packaged itinerary, then you know the feeling of walking around in a large group of people listening (or maybe not) to your guide spout some historical facts and figures in a script they’ve memorized and perfected over hundreds of tours before you. And when you’re finished you may not remember anything they said. You might never have learned their name. On Citysurfing, when you book a local host, you’re booking an unscripted experience with someone that shares similar interests. When you chum around with someone like you, you’ll find it much easier to meet people and make new friends everywhere you go.