Today article is dedicated to solo girls travelers with tips for safe CouchSurfing. There are always doubts and fears while traveling alone as a female traveler. I will share with you my tips how to find the best and safe Couchsurfer as solo girl traveler, so you won’t worry during your stay.
1. Write neutral CS request
To stay on safe CouchSurfing side is important to write request briefly and objectively, without any unnecessary emojis. Keep description about yourself, your plans or wishes.Try to avoid provocative and flirty tone in your message (imagine you’re messaging to your brother or girl-friend).
2. Sort CouchSurfers by reference and check out profiles
Sort Couchsurfers by reference and try to find the one, who has many references. Profiles with many references are usually opened for a couple of months. Anyway, it’s necessary to check, if the profile was created more than 3 – 6 months ago. The profile photo is also an important detail, as it identifies him as a person. At the photo should be visible his face and whole body as well. Here you can find tips how to build up a profile.
For safe Couchsurfing avoid profiles they have set up preferred gender: women. You should be looking for ones they have set up “any”. If his friends and references are only from women, or almost only from women, this is another sign, what might be his motive! Try to read all of them or at least 10 references and try to understand and imagine an experience of previous CouchSurfers. Most likely you might have a similar one.
3. You can set your request as a public
CouchSurfers will start to send you invitations. You should read carefully, what he wrote in the message to you, and his profile. There is an example of CouchSurfer who harass in the message below. Don’t go to his place after such a message to be safe CouchSurfing. Don’t accept invitations from CouchSurfers only through the message. There should be always confirmed hosting request. That’s because you can leave the reference to your experience.
4. Make backup hosts
To keep safe CouchSurfing, you should make 1 or 2 back up hosts. It’s for a case, you don’t have a good feeling about the person you just met. Good excuses are a bad location, missing facilities (sleeping spot, kitchen, bathroom, internet, public transport, or other things or services), other people (flat-mate or CS). You can find anything that he didn’t mention in his profile or messages, and you can use it as your apology. For me is this the best and polite way, how to get out or get rid off the person you don’t like. But I never needed to make this according to my hosts. Perhaps I have a good eye to choose people around me 🙂
5. The behavior of CouchSurfers with unfavorable intentions
CouchSurfers we are trying to avoid normally don’t travel so much or they don’t use CouchSurfing to travel. Many of them think they can use CouchSurfing application in a way as a dating one. He can invite you for sightseeing and dinner and later you realize, you are speaking dating topics instead of traveling ones. You have dinner in a beautiful restaurant and finally, in the end, he probably waits for a kiss (or even more). He can invite you to sleep in his big comfortable bed against your small couch or air mattress. After you refuse and he respects your decision it’s still safe CouchSurfing. You just might feel awkward, bad and disappointed because you expected host with traveling and friendly soul with more adventurous experience. He can feel disappointed because he expected to get at least a bit intimate.
Then it is very difficult to write references as well.
6. Listen to your heart and think!
Once he tries more than you can handle, you should keep calm and suggest to go sleep (of course split) or go to pack your stuff and change the place. You have to keep calm and don’t panic. I have never experienced this as well, I just chose good people. 🙂
Other people recommend making some safety insurances. For example, let CouchSurfer know that their family or friends know where they are and with whom. So in case, they can inform police or so. I think if you are scared of the person, and you want to make this for insurance I prefer don’t do it.
I prefer to stay with people I feel good with rather with someone who makes me afraid of my safety and I’ll need to scare them with my insurance plan in case he’ll try more than I can handle.
Safety insurance is fine, but they cannot make you feel OK. I have to feel OK, or I prefer other option (to leave the place).
7. Surf only with female Couchsurfers
You might be wondering why I put this one as a last one. Simply because there are only few female CouchSurfing hosts (my personal guess is 10%). So it’s not really a best advice. And I personally like to interact with male hosts as I am not so girlish female. And I like more action and adventure.