Frequently asked questions

General questions & registration

What is BeWelcome?

BeWelcome is an international hospitality exchange network. This means that travellers are offered hospitality by other members. This hospitality can range from being hosted in the homes of other members, and/or being shown around the local sights, to meeting up for a coffee. BeWelcome also supports online exchanges and local activities.

Every member of BeWelcome has a profile. Members can search for other members at their travel destination, check out their profiles and send them a message or accommodation request.

BeWelcome is a volunteer-based, non-profit and open source project. This means using the site is free – we are not trying to make profit out of people's hospitality - and we are committed to transparency and democracy: about our decisions, our budget, and our privacy rules.

If this sounds good to you, just sign up.

What is hospitality exchange?

Hospitality exchange (as practised by BeWelcome) basically means travellers and locals staying with one another free of charge. However, hospitality exchange offers much more than just free accommodation. Some members do not offer a place to stay, but instead provide dinner, a guided tour, local information, or just meet up for a coffee or a beer.

People may have many different reasons for joining hospitality exchange networks. The most common motivations are:

  • to meet interesting, open-minded people        
  • to meet locals and to gain an insider view         
  • to save money through the offer of free accommodation        
  • to have flexibility and freedom of choice when travelling        
  • to make local contacts        
  • to improve language skills


How did BeWelcome develop? Why was it founded and by whom?

BeWelcome is a project of the French non-profit association “BeVolunteer”. You can read up on the history of BeVolunteer on the BeVolunteer website.

How is this project financed?

The project financially relies on donations only.

Everything is based on volunteer work. Thanks to that we have very few expenses, such as server rent, domains, administrative fees, and security certificates. Unfortunately, those need to be paid. Our volunteers (including the members of the Board of Directors) always pay their expenses themselves, so no donation money is used for accommodation or travel costs for volunteer meetings or conferences.

If you have some good ideas about financing the project, you are welcome to post them in the forum or contact us directly.

We believe in transparency. Our accounts are published once a year to be checked/agreed on by the General Assembly of BeVolunteer. During the year, the Board of Directors – and the treasurer as the responsible delegate – take care of financial matters and are also your contact persons for related questions. More information about BeVolunteer finances and accounts are available on the BeVolunteer website.

How do I join?

You can sign up at We ask you for a username, your real name, your e-mail address, your date of birth, gender and your approximate location.

Your name, e-mail address and date of birth will not be visible for other members. You can decide what other information you want to show in your personal settings.

After you signed up we will send you a confirmation e-mail. Once you clicked the link in that mail you can use BeWelcome.

Can I join for free?

Yes, joining and being a member of BeWelcome is free of charge.

We encourage you to dedicate some time and contribute to the community through hosting, meeting other members or helping to run the site.

Although the website is non-profit and completely run by volunteers, we do have some costs (such as servers, domains, administrative fees, etc.) which we hope to cover through donations. We will never sell data or show advertisements to cover the costs. Please also read the FAQ about how the project is financed.

Can anybody become a member of BeWelcome?

The minimum age for joining BeWelcome is 18. Other than that there are no restrictions – everyone who likes to travel, wants to share stories of his/her adventures, and would like to meet interesting people is invited to sign up. BeWelcome is a great way to meet friendly and like-minded people from all over the world. This website is also a significant resource for travel information and provides many tools that can help you to plan your next trip or document a previous journey.

Is your service intended for families as well as individuals?

Yes, of course! Families are very welcome to join and use BeWelcome. To join as a family you have two options:

  1. Either you create one profile for the whole family or
  2. you sign up individually and link all family members’ profiles by adding each other in the section family and close friends.

The latter option has the advantage that you can keep the information about each person (for example, hobbies, interests, gender etc.) separate but still be visibly linked as one family. If, however, you choose to create one joint profile for the whole family, this information can get a bit confusing. Therefore, in such cases, we ask you to distinguish the interests, hobbies etc. of different family members on the profile.

We also have a group for families where you can find other families using BeWelcome or members willing to host/meet families.

Are couples required to register separately?

As a couple you have two options when joining BeWelcome: (1) Either you create one joint profile or (2) you sign up individually and link your partner’s profile by adding each other in the section family and close friends.

The latter option has the advantage that you can keep the information about each person (for example, hobbies, interests, gender etc.) separate but still be visibly linked as one couple. If, however, you choose to create one joint profile, this information can get a bit confusing. Therefore, in such cases, we ask you to distinguish the interests, hobbies etc. of each of you on the profile.

How can I know if other members of BeWelcome are trustworthy? How can I get information about my potential hosts or guests? What is my protection against criminals coming to visit me?

Your safety is very important for us. That is why BeWelcome offers several features to help you make informed decisions about who you think is trustworthy enough to be your host or guest:

  • A person’s profile is the most important place to get information about this person on BeWelcome. Essentially, it is a self-presentation and you should always keep this in mind. However, a profile can give you a first impression of that person, how he/she presents him-/herself and what are his/her interests, preferences and quirks.
  • A profile may also include comments from other members as well as about other members. If you do not want to rely on self-presentation only, these comments will tell you what experiences other members had with this person. However, when reading comments, please bear in mind that for various reasons many find it more difficult to write honest comments about a not-so-good experience than to write flattering comments about a good experience. Comments may therefore not always tell the whole story, or never be written at all. In addition to the comments written about the member in question, also the comments that this member has left on other profiles might be of interest and reveal some of the member’s personality.

Please always remember that your safety relies on your own judgment and decisions. BeWelcome is dedicated to helping you make informed decisions about hosting or staying with other members and to support you in critical situations. While we do what we can to help you, we cannot take any responsibility for your personal actions and the final decision and responsibility for your safety is yours. If you are nervous about hosting or meeting someone, don’t do it. Always use common sense in protecting yourself and your property.

Each member contributes to keeping our community as safe as possible by reporting abuse quickly in order to prevent it from spreading. If you become aware of a member abusing the services or displaying misconduct, please inform BeWelcome through the contact us form or by e-mail to safety [at] bewelcome [dot] org and write a comment as appropriate to warn others who interact with that person.

For more information, please visit our Safety pages.

Will other members be able to see all my personal data?

BeWelcome allows you to decide for yourself what kind and how much information you want to make visible on your profile. The only required information that will be made visible on your profile is your username and the city and country you reside in. You can hide your real name (or part of your real name), address, birth date, age, and gender. Since your email address will not be displayed for spam protection and other security reasons, members have to contact you through the site. All other information that you can enter in your profile is optional.

However, please keep in mind that the site is about making connections between real people and most people are very hesitant to reply to or contact users with empty profiles. For this reason, we recommend that your profile adequately presents your personality without revealing your private information such as your address or phone number.

I have just signed up for BeWelcome but I have not received a confirmation e-mail and cannot log in to my account. Can you help me?

Please check the spam folder of your e-mail account. It sometimes happens that automatic e-mail confirmation messages are marked as junk by e-mail providers or by the safety settings in your e-mail program. If you find the confirmation e-mail there just click on the confirmation link and you should now be able to access your account.

If you cannot find the confirmation e-mail in your spam folder either, you might have made a typing error when entering your e-mail-address into the signup form or something else went wrong. In this case, please use the “resend” link that shows up when you try to log in or contact us through the feedback form. In the field for your question, please shortly describe the problem and also add your chosen user name and the real name you entered at signup. Please do not send us your password. In the field for your e-mail address, please enter the same address as the one you used for signup.

I have a second address and I can also host there. How can I inform other members about this?

At the moment you can only be listed with one address. You could add your second address to your profile summary and thus inform people about it. Please be aware, however, that you cannot be found in the city’s list of your second address. In the long run we hope to be able to provide a better solution than that.

I have lost my username or password. What can I do?

If you forget your username, don't worry: you can also log in using your email address.

If you forget your password, you can reset it using this link: A message with a reset link will then be sent to your email address. By clicking the link you will be able to change your password.

If BeWelcome is opensource, where can I find the code?

The software operating the BeWelcome site is called Rox. The source code is available on Github: please have a look if you'd like to contribute.