Travelling Solo: Interview with Co-Founder of Host a Sister, Rashvinda Kaur


Host A Sister

It is difficult as a woman travelling solo to always feel comfortable and safe. There are many dangers that unfortunately are not as likely experienced by men.

The group was recommended to me by my mother casually one day. She had been a member for a couple of years but had never used it. On joining and agreeing to the rules in place, I found that even some of my friends were already members!

There are approximately 388,000 members of the group from all over the world and they are referred to as "sisters".

Please see below for success stories!

Host a Sister Success Stories

The group states:

"We are a global community of women, a place where sisters can connect to form friendships around the world during their travels or even share their homes for free as part of a cultural exchange"

The administration of the group is quite strict, focusing on the safety of solo female travellers. 

Host a Sister has also supported numerous people in need including from the war in Ukraine and most recently, Turkey. Sisters have offered their homes, their couches or whatever they could do assist those in need as well as those posting asking for help. There has always been a strong humanitarian response with sisters coming to the fore.

I have used Host a Sister myself and have only had positive outcomes.

I have been hosted in cities like London, Toulouse, and Montpellier. 

Each time, I have enjoyed going out with my hosts and being given tips on visiting their home city.

Host a Sister has been such a positive experience for me and I have made so many lasting friendships as well as had the opportunity to explore a new place.

I jumped at the idea of personally speaking with Rashvinda, Kaur about the purpose and beginnings of Host a Sister.


Natalie Cartwright (left), Rashvinda Kaur (middle), Bella Ross (right)

Photo: Provided by Rashvinda Kaur

How did you come up with the concept of Host a Sister? I saw female couch surfers raising concerns in several women-only travel groups about sexual harassment from male hosts so I decided to start something for women and by women only! 

When did you found the group?

I started HAS in May 2019 with my best friend, Natalie Cartwright. Bella was was our number 1 volunteer from the very start to help us moderate.

What does the group offer? What are the main principles and consider to be the principal aim of Host a Sister?

The group offers a variety such as:

Hosting- where you can opt to stay in a local Sisters house instead of a hotel/airbnb

Travel buddies- say you’re traveling solo, you can post in the group and match up with someone whose doing the same trip as you or encourage someone to join you!

Meetups: maybe you’re traveling to a new city and don’t want to have a meal or explore alone, you can request for a local Sister to join you

Home swaps- you can swap your home with someone else on the group.

Emergency/urgent help- if you’re stuck in an emergency situation you can request for help in the group from local Sisters.

My vision for HAS is safety and comfort for solo women travelers and making lifelong friendships across the world with like minded people.

Are there any downsides? What are the greatest challenges that you face? The challenges so far are some members exploiting the “free” stay.

We have made our rules tight and do not approve posts that reflect someone only looking for a free stay and not contributing anything in anyway to the Host.

We urge members to take their host out for a meal/cook their host a meal/bring their host a souvenir. Anything to show appreciation to make the Hosting both great for guests and hosts. We also strongly urge members to video-call or meet their hosts in public first just to ensure they’re aligned and also that they’re a good match together to avoid complications during the hosting.

I personally have posted in the group about meet-ups in Paris and had many replies. However, despite me being clear that I was not able to offer accommodation as a host, was still receiving (quite a lot) of requests to do so. Therefore, I do understand this concern.

Whereabouts in the world are you based? Members are located literally all over the globe!

I’m from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and I live in New Orleans, USA. I have personally used HAS all over the world when I travel!

How much time do you as a team need to spend on maintaining the group and ensuring a safe space?

We have a great team of admin/moderators who all spend a couple of hours a day moderating as well as keeping the group safe and user friendly.

Are you in the travel industry?

I am not at the moment but I’m an avid traveler!

Are you involved in other female-related or travel organisations outside of Host A Sister?

No I am not. HAS takes all my time and attention!

What have you personally gained from Host A Sister and being its founder?

Knowing that I have created a safe space for women has brought me a great deal of happiness.

I love reading all the success stories and I urge everyone to have a look at our Instagram account where we post success stories daily!

I have also hosted many travelers personally and made lifelong friends from all over the world.

It is also wonderful to see my family meeting local travelers in Kuala Lumpur and showing them my beautiful homeland. It makes me very proud and happy.

How do you feel about how successful HAS has become in arguably a short period of time?

Firstly, I feel relieved because it is providing sisters needed a safe channel/platform to travel with. More success stories means that the group is meeting its purpose!

Secondly, I am super proud today that I had founded something that bring so much to so many people and will continue to do so!

It is definitely an achievement and something to be proud of. You really have touched so many peoples' lives and you would not even know how many as not everyone posts their success stories!


Photo credit: Host a Sister

Photo credit: Host a Sister


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