I both hosted and surfed, well,I just wanna share some experience. When I host ppl, there is a spare room with 2 single beds for them,and they can use verything in house, just help themselves,and we would like to help them with travel and give some advice to them as local ppl. But I hosted a couple from USA,they lived with us for 3 nights,they even didn't take towel or any toothbrush,furthermore the guy he didn't shower....and the girl just did once in Sept during they live with us. That was really kinda bad experience for hosting. Just like live in hotel. Most of ppl I hosted they are nice and really cool,they bought the local things or wine for us,that was really good,we can share good food together.
When we travel,we also surfed in local ppl's house.They were really kind! The last host when we in Swiss,she knew we are in honeymoon,she even decorated the room we lived, made lots of red hearts everywhere,and put lots of little red hearts in our bed!!! That's kind of A BIG Surprise for us! When we in Spize,Switzerland,the host she did cycling with us a whole day,and borrowed us the bikes.That the best day we had in Switzerland.....
We prepared our local gifts for our hosts,we give them after we just put our luggage in house. We also take some little gift to give ppl who help us during the travel,like when we get lost,and they help us how to get the way, they really like it,and we feel happy as well.
I would like to host ppl who is the first time to travel there, we'd like talk to them,suggest the place we think it's good not the well-known spots. They know the things in China is cheap,so I show them.
There are some ppl on CS, they are not short-term travelers,they will spend a whole month in China.I hosted a girl who got a job in Beijing,and before she came,she didn't know where to live and she used CS to find a host. She lived with us for 4 days,and during this time,we help she found house,when she left we even gave her cookers and covers for bed...lots of things. But what if she couldn't find a house to rent in BJ?????So,you have to know what kind of person you will meet, that was my first hosting.
I really shocked that when we lived in some ppl house,they give the key of house to us....we just keep that. For Chinese, you know what, that's kind of crap!! Don't even think of that, NOOOOOOO way! ahah For me...hmmm....NO. but we are happy to do CS and will keep it !!!