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Family Welcome

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This page is a Request for Enhancement. It is a draft. You are encouraged to find support for it, etc.
After the enhancement has been clearly articulated, and all affected portions of the website have been identified, you may try to persuade a developer to implement it. After implementation it will be deployed somewhere, but not necessarily to the main website.

Welcome to Couchsurfing Family!

The following is an outline of a working model for Family Welcome. It has been created with the developed world in mind. Please do not edit this page without discussing it first in the Family Welcome Group or contacting one of the group moderators. This is largely because this page will be translated into other languages, which will mean making the same changes in multiple languages.



This wiki page should be translated into more languages. How many more? The more the merrier. Contact one of the moderators of the Family Welcome Group if you can help with translations.

Defining a CS Family

A CS Family is a couple or a person who has one child or several children, ready to host people or an other family, and/or willing to travel and being host by a family. The Family Welcome concept is an opportunity to make the connection between parents and even between children. We all know that travelling make a good education, meeting different cultures, different peoples. CS is also some kind of School of tolerance and open minded opinions.

The CS Family Welcome concept include Single with children, couples with or almost with children, people living with brothers, sisters or parents together, married couples, divorced fathers and mothers, people alone,... but willing to invite families at their place.

Communication / Country Groups

The Family Welcome concept is destinated only to be known inside the CS network. We also encourage all CS ambassadors, volunteers, moderators to communicate worldwide about the CS Family concept. Please detail the link of the Main Family Welcome Group and even the World CS Family Welcome Map, a very useful tool to localise all active CS family in the world.

You can also find a Family group for many countries, where you can communicate with the local languages (and even in english), where some local families events are organised. Here are the list of the differents Family Country Groups:

In Europe

France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland, London

In America

South America, Canada, Brazil

In Asia

Japan, Asia

The Family Welcome Map

A first draft of a network of CS Family Maps has now been created. The global map now has links to five seperate continent maps: North America, South America, Europe, and one map for Africa, Middle East, Oceania and Asia.

From the Europe's Map, you can find the link for some specific country's Map, like the one for France, Germany, United Kingsdom, Sweden, Spain, Belgium and the Rest of Europe.

How to appear on it ?

If you want to appear on this map, please join the Family Welcome Map Group, and you will be on the map automatically, just read the guideline of this group to know what to respect to appear on the map, here are the rules to respect:

  • New Members are added to the map - please WAIT - the info is transferred to Google Maps by a moderator. If you are a NEW member of this group, you don't have to ask us to put you on the map. This will happen a few days after you are member of this group! (if it is delayed - it can be because of other problems - as life is full of surprices...). DO NOT ASK IF YOU ARE A NEW MEMBER - please wait ... One week after - you can check if the info is correct and the link works - please let us know is something needs to be corrected.
  • Map talk only - No couchsearch! (do it at the family welcome group) - a presentation of your place is OK. The best way is to make personal and direct couch requests to the specific families, who are a good match. You can use the map to find people. A representation of your place is OK to do in the group post - we try this as a test period and we will see how it goes... (please make direct msg to the people you want to contact and do not post it in the group - please)
  • Can you host more than your profile says? If you can host more then you describe on your profile or want to get off the map - please send a message to the family welcome google map group post.
  • GROUP REQUIREMENTS: If you can not meet the requirements please leave and rejoin the group later when you can. Thank you.
  • HOST AT LEAST 2 PEOPLE: A family with only one member doesn't exist. So please ask us only to put you on the map when you can host at least 2 people.
  • COMPLETE PROFILE: with photo & couch info & info about yourselves: please fill out the profile with photo and enough info to get an impression about you & your family and the couch info ... Notice that half empty profiles or hidden profiles will be deleted from the map - newcommers will have a short period to do the work
  • BE ACTIVE: log in & update your profile, if your profile has not been logged in for months - then you risk being deleted as the map is for active hosts

Legend of the Map

Symbol Meaning Symbol Meaning
File:Punaise bleu.JPG A family, a person or several people who can host 2 persons File:Punaise rouge.JPG A family, a person or several people who can host 3 persons
File:Punaise verte.JPG A family, a person or several people who can host 4 persons File:Punaise bleu vert.JPG A family, a person or several people who can host 5 persons
File:Punaise jaune.JPG A family, a person or several people who can host more than 5 persons File:Punaise violette.JPG A family, a person or several people who can host many persons (mostly on the ground and/or in a tent)


CS Family hosts may want to add an icon to their profile as well as a link to this wiki page explaining that they are rural hosts.

Possible ideas for an icon are:

File:Children Welcome.jpg File:Children.jpg

To add an icon for Family Welcome to your couch description, just copy paste the code below:

<a href="http://wiki.couchsurfing.com/en/Family_Welcome"><img src="http://wiki.couchsurfing.com/public/images/3/37/Children_Welcome.jpg"></a>

Note: The code is to put an icon in your couch description (that's the code for the first icon above).

More ideas are MOST welcome! There is no reason to only have one icon, the greater the variety the better. Contact one of the Family Welcome Group moderators to let us know your ideas !

The Family Welcome Team

The Management Team

Here is the list of the people who manage the CS Family Welcome Concept:

Lieke groupmoderator and European moderator, at your service
Gina North-American moderator
Rossana South- and Central-American moderator
Natasha Asian moderator
Carl Australian moderator
Sarah African moderator
Czeslaw founder of the Family Welcome concept

The Map Team

Here is the team who share the Family Welcome Map. They need some help to add to the map the persons who would like to. So here are the persons to contact if you can bring them some help:

Alwin, Lieke, Jonny and Joelle, Karen, Bart and Patti, Linda, Sage Po.


Listed below are some examples of Family Welcome hosts all over the world:

In United States

In France

In Ireland

In Uruguay

In Vietnam

In Belgium

Family Welcome – guidelines for hosts and guests

The guidelines in a CS Family experience remain the same as a global Couchsurfing experience.

Check the "How to be a good host" page

Check the "How to be a good guest" page

How to CouchSurf with your kids

Many CouchSurfers don't have a lot of space in their house. But some do. Your best bet is probably to find other families. Plus, since you will be traveling with a group (your family) make sure to give ample notice before hand. It can be a highly enriching experience for you, your kids, and the host family, and the more everyone knows what to expect ahead of time, the more smoothly everything will go.

  • Practice Ahead of Time: Stay with family or friends... get your kids used to staying, eating, and sleeping at someone else's house. Take the opportunity to teach them manners and good habits, and how to be a guest in someone's home.
  • Host Someone: Give your kids a pre-taste of what couchsurfing is about by hosting someone. Let them practice their good manners, the art of discussion, and being good hosts.
  • Plan Ahead: Let your host know well in advance- about your family (the specifics- ages, stages of development, special needs, routine) your specific plans, and anything special requests you have.
  • Surf with other families, or couples interested in starting a family: Especially in big cities, these people shouldn't be too hard to find. Start ahead of time and spend time looking through profiles and communicating with people.
  • Get your kids MEGA involved: Explain to them what couchsurfing is! Let them help you pick people to request... start learning a language with them, help them pick out a house-warming gift!
  • Make your kids a bigger part of your profile: Make your profile a 'several people' one and put details up about each member of that family.
  • Be EXTRA careful: You're not a single twenty-something hitchhiking go with the flow backpacker- and even if you are, your kids aren't. Take emergency contact info, hotel info in case, taxi cab info, etc... Be especially thourough when reading over profiles and selecting people to surf with.
  • Ease into it: Heaven knows couchsurfing for the first time can be scary enough for us, imagine what your kids might be feeling! Be open with them, and take their feelings into consideration when making plans to meet your host, number of nights, etc. Especially for trips in foreign countries where kids are already out of their comfort zone.
  • How to Couchsurf with people who have kids: Pay extra special attention to emailing in advance, giving all the details nec., and doing the work. Be an extra helpful and considerate guest. The host has already got kids, they don't need another one to look after! Offer to make dinner or help out with the kids. Interact with the kids and get them interested in couchsurfing if they're not already. Respect the family's privacy and need for alone time.

At Home with Young Children

People of the family-welcome-group are very willing to open their house for families or lonely travelers. Of course their are some differences surfing someones couch if there are children at home or not. Please take a look at this page where is clearly explained how to behave when you are surfing a family couch. You'll find information about :

  • how to introduce yourself towards the children
  • play time
  • compasionate communication
  • gifts
  • food
  • knives, lighters, medication, mace, valuables
  • departure

But a bit of common sence always helps ;-)

There is a family welcome group.

Upcoming CS Family Events

This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.

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