Hospitality exchange works because people trust each other. And indeed, the great majority of people in hospitality exchange are absolutely reliable, and by far most experiences are great. But, in order to prevent the occasional nasty experience, it might be good to take some precautions.
- If you're female, you might want to read the specific advice for Female travellers.
- Follow your intuition, and if you think somebody is giving off dodgy signals, feel free to cancel your appointment. Safety first! You are never obliged to host anyone.
- If your host or guest has references, read them!
- When travelling, try not to meet your host late in the night, when you will have no alternative available if your host doesn't show up (or if they give you the creeps...). When possible, it's always better to meet in the early evening at the latest. That way you still have time to find other accommodation in case things don't work out after all.
Don't hesitate to contact the Safety Team if you are in doubt. If you have had a negative experience, you should leave a negative comment. You can even ask the Safety Team for assistance writing an appropriate negative comment. You can also file an abuse report so that the Safety Team can get active.
It is highly recommendable to go on your own intuition rather than believing anybody/everybody. Like, it's said, "Listen to Everyone, but Do As You Wish"