How can I have a safer Couchsurfing experience?


Couchsurfing asks members to thoroughly review other members’ information and educate themselves about their own safety before having experiences through the system. As soon as you make an account, be sure to fill out your Emergency Contact information in Account & Settings

What should I look for in a profile before planning to meet someone? 

When you are deciding whether to contact another member, please do your homework so you can make the safest and most informed decisions.

  • Look for Hosts or Surfers whose profiles are complete with a real name, clear photos, and detailed descriptions of themselves and, when applicable, their couches. Do you get a good sense of who this person is?

  • Read the references on their profile to get a sense of others’ experiences with them.

  • What’s NOT there? Is there missing information or questions the member could answer for you that would help you get a better sense of who they are? Are there no clear photos of the person or their home?

  • If you’re a woman traveling solo, consider staying with other women or with families. If you’re traveling with children, consider staying with other families.

  • Find out about the level of privacy a Host can offer you when surfing. Carefully read through Couch Information on member profiles and ask questions about anything that’s unclear. It is important to know details about where you would be sleeping, such as whether it is in a common area of the home or if you’ll have your own room, and if you are expected to bring a sleeping bag.


What sorts of things should I discuss with another member before meeting them? 

When interacting with another Couchsurfer, it is important to communicate openly and to establish mutual expectations so that you can both have a positive Couchsurfing experience.

  • Get to know potential Hosts or Surfers through our messaging system. Don’t give out your personal contact information until you’ve decided to meet.

  • Plan to communicate with friends and family and have a plan to find backup accommodation options once you arrive. Will you have your computer? Will your mobile phone work?

  • Ask questions! Have conversations! You’ll know what to expect (and so will your Host/Surfer), and you’ll likely both be more at ease when you meet. Some things you may want to ask:

    • How many people live in your home?

    • Do you allow guests to use the kitchen?

    • How many Surfers have you hosted (or how much have you surfed)?

    • Are there safety precautions I’ll need to take in the neighborhood or surrounding areas?

    • What are the “rules of the house” – are there hours when it’s best to be quiet? How will you get in and out if you and your Host/Surfer have different schedules?


Other Considerations 

If possible, meet in a public place first to spend some time getting to know your Host or Surfer. Do you feel comfortable with them? Is everything as you expected? If you feel uneasy or something doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and do what you need to do to be comfortable.

Address the situation politely and directly to see if you can find a solution. It is perfectly acceptable to change your mind about hosting or surfing with that member. Do not remain in any situation that you no longer want to participate in. If you need to ask the other person to leave, or if you need to leave, yourself, do that.

Be clear about your boundaries and don’t be afraid to state them. Respect the boundaries set by other members as well. Don’t overindulge if drinking, especially with new people you have just met. You’ll need your wits about you when in a strange place with new people if you need to remove yourself from the situation or act quickly in the interest of your own safety.

For direct assistance from our safety team, please submit a confidential report.

Have more questions? Submit a request


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