Adventure Travel Information

Couchsurfing: Safely Choosing a Host

IMG_1626

The thought of couchsurfing and sleeping in the house of a random stranger in a foreign country may seem absurd to some, however if you choose wisely, it can be a truly remarkable experience.

I have had the opportunity to stay with some amazing hosts in many different countries and I had so many unique experiences that I would not of had staying in a hotel.

Wanting to couch surf, but have doubts on how to choose a host?

Here is the way I personally go about finding a good host: 

  • Look closely at the references.

 If I am alone I usually choose a host with many positive references (I look specifically for references from solo traveling girls and if I have a random concern I will message them personally). If I am traveling with another person I am more open to choosing a newer host with no references.

  • Read the entire couch surfing profile and then stalk them on Facebook.

Pay attention to profiles that are not fully filled out. If you fail to read the whole profile you may miss something important they have written regarding their living conditions or an important detail they want you to know.

IMG_3390

My hosts in Sweden

  • Have good communication before the trip.

Check in frequently and get to know them by messaging or even a Skype if needed.

  • Discuss important details before confirming a host.

This might include information about their home location, distance from the center, access to public transportation, their rules about going out at night, the time you have to be out in the morning if they have work (some may give you a key and you can come and go as you please), and anything expected of you in your stay with them.

  • Ask them up front their motives of being a couch surfing host.

If they are making sexual gestures by messaging or asking too many personal questions (and your not using couch surfing to find a relationship), then move on to the next person.

 Don’t blow off anything strange or weird that you come across. Question it BEFORE you arrive. 

  •  Always figure out where you will be sleeping.

Some hosts assume without asking that sharing a bed will be okay. It can be awkward arriving only to find one small place to sleep for two people.

3b583d3cadd694b1a8f52bb04b2d25e4

  • Get the contact information of your host and home address.

Give this information to someone so they know where you are JUST in case. When I couch surf alone I turn on my phone data so I can avoid being in a situation where I might not have wifi (many hosts do not have).

The moment I arrive I send my location to at least one person and also let that person know I am comfortable and good with my host. I mention to my host that I send my location for my own safety and peace.

While this might seem like something unnecessary for most people, I will always do this. I find my host are less likely pull an awkward move when they know I have someone watching out for me.

Listen to your gut. If you get a strange feeling about anything, LISTEN TO IT!  

Don’t forget to read: 

 

  • Do you use couchsurfing when you travel?
  • How do you go about looking for a host?
  • Share your comments below! 

 

You Might Also Like

15 Comments

  • Reply
    Silvia
    9 February, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Good tips! Thanks. Never tried couchsurfing but want to do in my next trip 🙂

  • Reply
    Alex
    4 February, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Never tried couchsurfing, but I feel like I can now!

  • Reply
    Joe
    4 February, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Never couch surfed before but have considered it, and these tips should be useful when I do go for it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      Reply
      Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      4 February, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      Joe, its a fantastic experience. I have met so many cool people all over the world through couch surfing and I have met life long friends!

  • Reply
    Wanderlustingk
    4 February, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Sarah,I really enjoyed your post. I really like your idea of actually asking their motives up front although I kind of wonder how honest people are about their motives and the bit about address/phone number is something that enough people never bring up when it comes to Couchsurfing.

  • Reply
    Hitchhiking: The Reality of a Female Hitchhiking in Morocco – THE NOMADIC DREAMER
    20 January, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    […] COUCHSURFING: SAFELY CHOOSING A HOST […]

  • Reply
    THE NOMADIC DREAMER
    18 September, 2015 at 8:29 am

    […] means of couch surfing brings about many surprises. Although you should do all within your power to properly choose a host, you still can’t be 100% of what waits you at each location. I love it. For me that is part […]

  • Reply
    manoj nanda
    15 July, 2015 at 7:45 am

    very good tips for every travellers.

  • Reply
    Miss Angie
    30 June, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Really great tips. I’ve not tried couch surfing before, but I think if I did I’d definitely have to take your tips into account.

    • Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      Reply
      Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.com
      3 September, 2015 at 11:33 am

      Miss Angie! You should try it if you get the chance! Its a great way to have a cultural experience when traveling! 🙂 Let me know if you decide to try it out! 🙂 If you don’t want to actually stay with people, you can host in your own hometown. That is a great place to start! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mona
    27 June, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Good info presented well! Surf on…

  • Leave a Reply