General safety tips
Review profiles carefully: Before hosting or staying with someone, take your time to carefully read that member’s profile. Read what the person says about him-/herself and the comments other members left about him/her.
Do not host or stay with members with empty profiles: We recommend to look for hosts and to accept guests with well filled out profiles only. The profile should contain an informative personal description and - if you search for a host - accommodation information. Additionally, a clear photo is a definite plus.
Communicate through BeWelcome: Use the messaging system on BeWelcome to communicate with other members. Do not display any contact details (e-mail address, phone number, or IM accounts) on your profile and do not accept requests outside of the BeWelcome messaging system.
Get to know your host/guest: Before you meet you host/guest, use the messaging system on BeWelcome to get to know him/her better. If anything remains unclear from the profile, just ask him/her for further details. Once you meet, spend some time getting to know your host or guest.
Inform others about your plans: Let your family or friends know about your travel plans and who you will be staying with, or who will stay with you.
Communicate clearly and directly: To avoid or clear up misunderstandings and boundaries being overstepped, communicate as clearly and directly as possible. If the situation becomes uncomfortable, politely address the issue to try to find a solution.
Do not put your safety in the hands of others: Make sure you always maintain your faculties. Travelling can be disorienting. The use of alcohol or drugs can further complicate this. Do not leave your well-being in the hands of somebody else.
Have a backup plan: If you are staying with another member, always have a backup plan. Know your way around and where you can find the next hostel/hotel with 24h reception or an alternative place to stay. Have the phone number of a local taxi company and the local emergency number with you. Make sure you have the possibility to make phone calls or access the internet.
Have the emergency numbers of the respective country ready: General emergency numbers are listed in most guide books but we recommend having them readily available anytime (when you are in an emergency situation, you most probably won’t have the time to search something in your guidebook).
In an emergency situation, remove yourself immediately: If you feel threatened or harassed, get out of the situation immediately. Do not worry about being rude or inhospitable. Your safety and well-being is more important.
Leave comments: Leave comments about the people you met through BeWelcome to inform other members about your experiences. A negative comment is the most effective way to warn other members.
Report abuse and negative experiences to BeWelcome: Help us to keep the community safe by reporting abuse and negative experiences to the Safety Team: Use the contact form or send an e-mail to safety [at] bewelcome [dot] org.
Safety tips for female travellers
If you’re travelling solo, consider staying with other women or with families.
Be clear about your boundaries and do not be shy about expressing them.
If a host or guest continues to overstep your boundaries, remove yourself from the situation and make sure you always have a backup plan.Inform yourself about the cultural and religious values and patterns in the places you visit. Gender roles and expectations as to appropriate behavior differ widely across cultures.
Legislation concerning sexual harassment differs widely across the world. In some countries local authorities will be very supportive, in others you might not be taken seriously though. No matter how the local authorities react, please leave a negative comment in cases of sexual harassment to warn other female members of BeWelcome and contact the Safety Team: Use the contact form or send an e-mail to safety [at] bewelcome [dot] org.