Is Couchsurfing Safe?
Couchsurfing is a large online service for finding accommodation for travelers. The main feature of this service is free. Yes, unlike such well-known portals as Airbnb, this site helps to find housing for free at all, from the word. I confess that I find couchsurfing a great alternative to standard hotel accommodation.
Often, the options offered by the hosts are not only in no way inferior, but also superior in terms of comfort to staying in a hostel or hotel.
Everything would be just fine, if not for some “BUT”. It is about them that I will tell further.
1.You never know for sure who is behind the mask of a hospitable host or a nice guest. It’s just the Internet, a social network for travelers. Just like elsewhere, here is also fakes live. Only the consequences of inattention and gullibility can be very, very deplorable.
To minimize the risks on this point, I recommend remembering a few rules. Always remain vigilant! Settle down to those hosts who have a lot of positive reviews from guests. And if you are a host, then carefully study the reviews of those who want to move in with you.
Only contact hosts/guests that have been verified. Yes, it is possible that someone does not pass verification due to laziness. For me, it’s too long, boring. But maybe a person has more unpleasant reasons to “not shine” with documents? Finally, pay attention to personal photos.
The more there are, the better for us, the more likely the guest/host is clean. In a word, the user’s page should be as open as possible.
2. Not everything is free that is free. I will just share my personal experience so that you understand what I mean and draw the appropriate conclusions. One day, my friend and I almost agreed to move in. The host had many photos, positive reviews as well as the page was verified.
Luckily, the trustworthy grandfather who smiled at us from the photos decided to ask if we had read the information in his profile or not.
It turned out that on the territory of his house in exchange for accommodation you need to walk naked. Completely naked.
And look at him naked, wandering around the house. The man treated us, young and inexperienced, with care, gave a lecture on the fact that when you agree on living with a stranger, you need to be extremely collected and read all the information blocks in the profile. I will remember this lesson forever.
3 . There are no guarantees. You don’t pay for anything. And no one owes you anything. Check-in can be canceled at the last moment. It is not always possible to immediately resolve the issue with another proposal from the portal.
And booking a hotel on the same day can cost a pretty penny, and it’s good if you have this “penny”. I strongly recommend booking a hotel with a free cancellation option to insure yourself against problems. Settled to the host – excellent. Not settled, there is a plan “B”. Most importantly, pay attention to the free cancellation deadline. Also, always have a sum of money in case of unforeseen circumstances.