Frequently asked questions
- How do I join BeWelcome?
You can join BeWelcome by signing up at https://www.bewelcome.org/signup. We ask you for a username, your real name, your e-mail address, your date of birth, gender and your approximate location.
Only your username and your location will automatically become part of your public profile. You can decide what other information you want to show in your personal settings (you can find advice on filling out your profile here.)
After you have signed up, we will send you a confirmation e-mail. Once you click on the link in that mail, you can use BeWelcome.
- Is joining BeWelcome free?
Yes, joining and using BeWelcome is free of charge.
BeWelcome is non-profit and completely run by volunteers. We hope that you will contribute to the community through hosting, meeting other members or helping to run the site.
Although the website is 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. You can find out more about how BeWelcome is financed here.
- 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 their 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. It can also help you plan your travel by asking advice from locals.
- Is BeWelcome for families as well as individuals?
Of course! Families are very welcome to join and use BeWelcome. Hospitality exchange is often particularly rewarding for families, as it enables them to meet and stay with other families, sometimes with children of similar ages. BeWelcome also has an active Families group, where host and guest families can plan travel and activities.
- Is BeWelcome safe?
We are sometimes asked questions like: ‘How can I be sure that BeWelcome members are trustworthy?’ ‘What information will I have about my potential hosts or guests?’ ‘What is my protection against criminals coming to visit me?’
Any activity, including travel, carries some risk, but remember that you always have a choice about whether to accept a host or guest. BeWelcome offers several features to help you make informed decisions about who you think is trustworthy.
Some detailed arrangements may be easier through phone etc., but it is important to keep at least the initial messages and requests via the site. In that way, they are recorded on BeWelcome. This makes unsafe activities more difficult.
The member’s profile is the first place to find information about that person on BeWelcome. Essentially, it is a self-presentation and you should always keep this in mind. However, a profile can give you an impression of that person, how they present to others, and what their interests, preferences and quirks are.
A profile may also include comments from other members. 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 may never be written at all.
BeWelcome also has a Safety Team, that can investigate complaints, warn, and if necessary ban members with unsafe behaviour.
Please always remember that your safety relies on your own judgment and decisions. BeWelcome is there to help you make informed decisions about hosting/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 firstname.lastname@example.org and write a comment as appropriate to warn others who interact with that person.
For more information, please visit our Safety pages.
- Can other members 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 location 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. You can find advice on filling out your profile here.