Your safety is important. Take it seriously. We do.
Review Profiles and References Carefully
Whether traveling, attending an event, or joining a Hangout, take the time to carefully review member profiles. Read what members say about themselves and what other members have said about them. Give yourself the time to thoroughly read through all the information available and don’t compromise. If you’re uncomfortable, keep looking.
Trust your instincts
If a person, situation or profile seems unsafe for any reason, move on. Don’t worry about seeming rude. Be clear about your boundaries and don’t be shy about stating them. If someone in a Hangout makes you uncomfortable, leave the Hangout or don’t attend. Communicate clearly with others and take care of yourself. If you’re uncomfortable staying alone with a member, consider staying with families or with couples.
Have A Backup Plan
Know your options. If something doesn’t work out with your host, or if they misrepresented themselves or their home, make sure you have an alternate place to stay. Identify the nearest hostel or hotel, or have a backup host in place before you go. If possible, research your host’s neighborhood prior to arriving, including how to get to and from there on your own. If you’re heading to an event or joining a Hangout, look up the location prior to attending.
Be Informed about the culture where you are traveling
Do your homework, and be sure you’re aware of cultural and religious differences, sensitivities, and general safety recommendations for each place that you travel. Gender roles and expectations can differ wildly. Consider using the following resources for safety alerts and advisories:
- U.S. Department of State: Travel Alerts and Warnings
- Gov.UK: Foreign Travel Advice
- Government of Canada: Country Travel Advice and Advisories
Communicate Through BincoAfrica
Never give out your phone number or email address to a new person until you meet and feel comfortable with them. Use only the website and mobile apps to communicate. Confirming trips and keeping all communication on Couchsurfing helps our Trust and Safety team identify issues and react quickly.
Use the Reference System to let other BincoAfrica Users know about your experiences with the people you meet. Be honest and clear. The other member won’t see your reference until they leave theirs, or until 14 days have passed. After 14 days, members are not able to leave a Host or Surf reference. Please review our Reference Policy on the BincoAfrica Policies page.
Report Negative Experiences
Our Trust and Safety team is here to help build the safest and most trusted community possible. Reporting safety concerns to BincoAfrica helps keep future BincoAfrica Users safe.