Is Citysurfing a tour operator or travel agency?
Citysurfing is not a tour operator nor is it a travel agency. Citysurfing is a technology company. As our name suggests our role and responsibilities are strictly limited to facilitating the connections between the Local Hosts and Visitors in arranging a “chum around” the host’s city.
What is a Citysurfing guest?
On Citysurfing, a ‘guest’ is a broad definition of a person who visits a certain location and wishes to connect with a local host that shares his/her personal local knowledge and experiences, so that they could become acquainted with each other and the area from the perspective of the local host.
Is there an age requirement in order to be a guest?
Yes. You must be eighteen years of age or over to enter and register as a user on Citysurfing. Children under eighteen years of age are prohibited from using our site, application and services, however parents with children under 18 years are able to bring their children along for any meeting.
Is a Citiysurfing local host the same thing as a tour guide?
No. When you book a tour guide, you almost always meet a person prepared to guide you through a pre-packaged itinerary (things you must do) with a memorized script. At the end of the tour, you might have a few nice photos, but little memory of what you were told, or even the name of the person that guided you.
On Citysurfing, there are no must-do lists, or memorized scripts. Local hosts are people that simply hang out with you and have fun experiencing their cities with you. They offer practical advice or share their personal experiences about ‘best bars and restaurants’, ‘non-touristy spots’, ‘shopping areas’ etc. At the end of your experience, we promise you’ll remember their name, and you might find that you’ve discovered a new life long friend.
Can I choose the local host I chum around with?
It’s important to keep in mind that local hosts are not full-time employees of Citysurfing. They are completely in charge of their own schedule and decide who they will chum around with. Some users may only host a few people each month. It’s important to remember that as you are searching for someone to chum around with, you should contact and discuss your visit with several different hosts and then choose the one that you like best.
It’s also important to remember that while you have an opportunity to view a host’s booking page and profile when searching for people that might want to chum around with, you should also make sure your profile is complete. Most host will want to learn a little bit more about you before meeting you, so make sure you’ve added a recent photo, description, and your interests.
How do I find a host that shares similar interests as me?
To begin connecting with people that share similar interest you should use the filters we provide on the search page. If you prefer exploring nightlife versus landmarks or vice versa, you can simply select this filter and view hosts that specialize in the things you enjoy doing. You can also get a better understanding of your host’s interest by viewing things they share on their profile and booking pages.
How do I book a host?
To book a host, you will need to (1) Search the city you plan on visiting, (2) Review profiles of local hosts in that city, (3) Contact the hosts to see if she/he is interested in hanging out with you (4) Determine the number of hours you would like to chum around (5) Book the number of hours you agree to chum around.
I don’t travel much? Is there any benefit in using Citysurfing?
Absolutely. You do not need to be someone that travels a lot to be interested in exploring new places. Citysurfing isn’t a platform designed just for tourists. You can use Citysurfing to connect with and hang out with people that live just 15-20 minutes from where you’re at now. Maybe you’ve just relocated and want to start meeting locals. Perhaps you’re interested in moving to a new part of the city and want someone to share their experiences. Maybe you just want to get out there and have fun in a different environment. Sometimes we find that some of our best life experiences are waiting just around the corners from where we live.
How much does it cost to explore a city with a local host?
Local hosts have the complete freedom to determine their own hourly rate. You can find the hourly rate of each host on his/her booking page.
When do I pay the host?
Citysurfing hosts choose whether they want to receive pre-payment for their services or receive cash payments in the local currency at the time of your meeting. Once you determine the number of hours you will chum around with your hosts, if pre-payment is required, you will be directed to a payment page. If the host accepts cash payments, you will still need to complete the online booking. Bring your reservation along with your cash payment to your meeting.
Can I pay my hosts when we meet?
Yes. You can make cash directly to your host at the time of your meeting.
How does the payment process work?
If you book a host that accepts cash at the time of your meeting, you simply need to print your reservation and bring it, along with your cash payment to your meeting. You will then pay in cash in the local currency at the time of your meeting. If your host only accepts pre-payments for their services, once you select the agreed number of hours for your chum around, you will be directed to a payment page which will allow you to enter your payment information, after which the amount due for the booking is charged.
How are host payments processed on Citysurfing?
If you book a host that only accepts pre-payment when you book, Citysurfing uses Stripe to process the transaction. Stripe is an international online payment processor. We’ve selected Stripe because: It aligns with our goal of providing a secure, and easy to use experience for our users; They provide superior customer service; They have an incredible 250 million worldwide users, and; They allow our members to pay or get paid in over 203 countries and markets and in 26 currencies. With Stripe we know our customers will have peace of mind when booking you on the Citysurfing platform.
Do you have any suggestions on how i can make the most of my experience with a local?
It’s important to remember that people will book a citysurfing host because they want to do more and see more than landmarks and places they might read about in a travel guide. They want to see 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.
How do I cancel a reservation?
Cancellations are inconvenient for both the host and guest, however we realize that emergencies do occur. If you need to cancel a confirmed booking, you should first attempt to reschedule your appointment with your host. If you are unable to reschedule, then you should initiate a cancellation by sending your host a message using the Citysurfing system.
What happens if I cancel a pre-paid reservation?
As per the Citysurfing Terms of Service, a guest can cancel a reservation up to 3 days (72 hours) before the scheduled appointment.
3 days before – If a guest cancels before the 72 hour cancellation deadline, the host is required to refund 100% of your booking fee less the Citysurfing service fee which is non-refundable.
Within 3 days -If a guest cancellation request occurs anytime within 72 hours of their appointment, the payment is non refundable.
What happens if my host cancels a reservation?
As per the Citysurfing Terms of Service, if a host cancels at anytime you are entitled to a 100% refund for pre-paid bookings less the Citysurfing service fee.
I travel a lot. Is there any limit on the number of times I can book a host?
No. Your Citysurfing membership allows you to connect with unlimited hosts everywhere you go. In fact, you do not need to travel to connect with hosts. You might use local hosts to find amazing adventures, and great places to eat in cities near you.
Can I use the site as a guest and as a host?
Yes. When you register, simply create your profile page by adding a nice photo, description, and some interests. Once your profile page is updated, you can begin searching for hosts to chum around with or you can become a host by simply selecting the Become a Host button and entering your host details.
Can I give tips?
Yes you can. Tipping is never mandatory, but if your host really entertained you and provided an amazing experience then showing your gratitude is always welcome.
Do i need to pay for all the host’s food, transportation or other services costs?
You are only responsible for paying the agreed hourly wage of your host. Extra expenses such as transportation, entrance fees, or any third party services you decide to acquire have to be paid by the host unless you’ve agreed to pay for these items before you meet. We recommend that as you discuss and plan to chum around with your host, you consider these extra expenses. We highly recommend that this conversation should take place before you schedule your appointment so that your interactions don’t become awkward.