Couchsurfing: Trust Your Gut

The very first question I always get when I talk to others about couch surfing is, “What if your host turns out to be a creepy person?”

Although you can never be 100% positive about everyone you use select, one can always tell a lot on the first impression.

My two friends and I arrived at the half-way mark on our trip to the Sahara Desert in Africa and we were waiting for our host to pick us up.  After we waited over an hour, he arrived.  In the instant I laid eyes on him I had an uneasy feeling.

As I shook his hand and looked into his eyes, I knew that my gut was telling me not to go even within 5 feet with him. I looked over at my friend and I could see she was having the same thoughts.  I went to her and said quietly, “I don’t care if I have to sleep outside alone, I am NOT going anywhere with him.”

She was in agreement and we decided together to explain to him our plans had changed and we had decided to camp outside instead.  He understood and we never heard anything else from him.

I don’t know exactly what it was that made us feel the way that we did.  It is possible that he was a very nice and harmless man, but our gut was telling us something and when in doubt LISTEN TO YOUR GUT!!

This same situation has happened a couple other times after this and the lesson I keep learning is:

Listen to that inner voice

When traveling, especially alone, I have recognized the importance of that small voice that helps me to detect a bad situation from a good one.  I do know there are exceptions and that voice may not always be accurate.

I have found in most cases that it does lead me in the right direction, however finding the confidence to listen to that voice is the hard part.

Trust your gut.  Have the courage in a situation where you’re not comfortable to speak up and get yourself out of it.  

Do your homework on your couch surfing hosts WEEKS before you actually stay with them to get a good feel for them.

Finally, don’t be afraid to say the single most important word: NO! 

Don’t forget to also read: 


  • Have you ever tried couch surfing? 
  • Have you had an uncomfortable situation? 
  • What did you do?
  • Share your tips and tricks below! 
Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comCouchsurfing: Trust Your Gut