Safety is the biggest concern among surfers seeking for a place through Couch Surfing. Personally, all my experiences had been quite pleasant.
Recently, I came across a news of 25 yrs. old American Humanitarian Traveller beaten to death by her couch-surfing host while she was on an earthquake relief mission in Nepal.
This should not discourage you from using couchsurfing, however you need to be cautious in choosing the right one.
Consider the tips below to have a safe experience.
Choose Your Host Wisely:
Reviews play a vital role. Spend a little time reading reviews of other guests who stayed with the host, before you drop a request.
If possible try to engage in a chat with the host through the messaging system in the website, by doing this you will not only get to know them but would also build a rapport and won’t be hesitant while you are at their door step.
Don’t be a fool to trust everything they say, neither ask awful questions like ” Will I be safe in your place?”. The host would never say no, first of all be obliged that this person accepts you as a guest, at the same time be wise whom you chose as your host.
Asking general questions like, “How many Surfers have you hosted?” or “Are there any safety precautions I’ll need to take in the neighborhood or surrounding areas”, will tell you a lot. Choose your host only if you are throughly convinced with their response.
Don’t go overboard with the usage of alcohol or drugs at-least on the first day, while you are still in the process of getting to know each other. If your host offers you a some beer, limit it to a pint or two. Getting drunk could be quite an unpleasant experience to your host and could also be unsafe to you. Don’t leave your well-being in the hands of someone else.
Trust Your Instincts:
If you feel unsafe or threatened , don’t let these thoughts sit in the back of your mind. Trust your instincts and react sensibly. If things get out of control, act wisely and seek help from the local authorities.
Let Your Friends And Family Know About Your Trip:
Keeping your kins informed about the travel plan would be vital. Something that I strongly believe in, specially after watching the movie “127 Hours” . If something goes wrong, they would know your whereabouts.
Write A Review:
Your review must not necessarily be a positive one, but must certainly be truthful. Think about those surfers who would choose to stay with the host based on your reviews like you did on someone else’s. If you encountered something that made your stay unplesant, warn others about it. Be Honest!
Have you ever tried couch surfing as a host or as a guest? If not, are you willing to try?