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Writing your host

To find a place to stay, just look for hosts who seem interesting to meet and write them a message. If it seems scary at first, don't worry - everyone has had to send their first request once! Before you write though, it might be a good idea to read the basic advice on Safety. Women might also want to check the advice for Female Travellers.

Before writing

  • Read your potential host's profile carefully

Writing your host

Some general guidelines for writing a host:

  • Be creative! The e-mail that you write your host is often the first thing they see from you, and you never have a second chance to make a good first impression!
  • Address your potential host by name and be personal in your message. Nobody likes dry copy-paste requests (though, it is ok to copy-paste practical information about your travel plan)
  • Think about why your prospective host will want to meet YOU. Just stating that you are interested in meeting them and not only in a free hotel could make a big difference.
  • Be clear on when and how long you want to be hosted. Also consider whether the date is flexible?
  • If you are traveling with other people, tell your potential host about them. If they are members of BeWelcome, add a link to their profiles in your message. If they are not members, consider asking them to join and/or tell your potential host a bit more about them.
  • If possible, try not to send the message at the very last moment. Preferences vary among hosts, but sending a message at least a week in advance will save you a lot of last-minute stress and is appreciated by many hosts. Sending messages too long in advance might result in many hosts responding that they don't know yet.
  • Especially if it's a bit last-minute, it might be a good idea to write more than one potential host. But try not to spam everybody in a city. You'll have a better time if you spend a bit of effort to actually read people's profiles before writing them.
  • Mention it if you're unsure about the time or even date of your arrival, e.g. because you're hitchhiking. Some people (such as hitchhikers) will completely understand your position but others will be much less flexible.
  • If you contact a host that has "No" in their hosting profile, make it clear to them that you know they are normally not hosting. Maybe they are interested in having a cup of coffee together?

After writing

  • If someone is unable to host you, it is nice to thanks him/her anyway.
  • If someone offers to host you and you already found another place to stay, let him/her know.