Trust is one of the pilars of our community. We encourage our members to travel, meet, share, learn and connect with eachother. It’s always exciting to meet new people and through our platform true friendships have been formed. The world of hospex is unique in the travel scene. You’re part of a community which believes that helping out/meeting a stranger, can be the best thing you ever did. Our community is full of travellers of all shapes and sizes. Our circles are fields of interests where you can easily find like minded people. Our meet up function is created so besides hosting, you can actively create local events or meet up with travellers around. Your profile and activity is a reflection of what you have to offer so if you can’t host (temporarily), be sure to use our meet up function to connect with members nearby. Although we prefer to trust the good in people, our platform is open to everyone to join so we can’t guarantee safety. There’re however a few simple steps you can go through in order to make this platform -and keep yourself- safe.
Hosting & Being Hosted
Before reaching out:
1. Make sure your profile has enough information about who you are, what you prefer and in case you have a specific lifestyle, make sure this is mentioned on your profile. Trust goes both ways so your profile should reflect you.
2. Read all information on someone’s profile. If there’s a lot of information that means someone made a big effort which means it’s important for them, so be sure you make an effort in going through all of it.
3. See what other members wrote about their experience with the member you want to get in touch with. Keep in mind though, experiences have two sides, there’s no right or wrong, it’s simple someone’s opinion.
4. You can see on someone’s profile who they have as contacts and read those people’s profile too. Contacts could be members who have met eachother, know eachother through the platform and even close friends.
5. Check the date when the person joined and when their contacts joined. Sadly some members make fake profiles to increase their contacts and make it seem like they’re active in the community.
When reaching out:
1. Remember if you use another way of communication outside the platform, our safety team isn’t able to help out in case of emergency.
2. Be sure you’re clear about why you reach out and don’t be afraid to ask specific questions to make sure you’re on the same page.
3. You can always suggest a videocall using meet.jit.si/(add anything here to make a new meeting). This way you have a better idea of the member you’re about to meet and a call can be a good way to get eachother a little bit better upfront.
4. So many people, so many personalities; simple because we’re all on the same platform, doesn’t mean we all have to get along. If you don’t feel comfortable at any moment, am in doubt , there’s no harm in cancelling. We do prefer our members to leave their comfortzone somewhat since it mostly results in the amazing experiences, however be sure you know your own bounderies and don’t be afraid to act. On the platfrom there’s always the option to block a member or if needed: report them.
1. Always be respectfull and aware of possible (cultural) differences. Communicate when in doubt to avoid confussion.
2. Like trust, respect goes both ways. Remember when you’re a host, in what position your guest is in and visa versa.
3. Be sure you communicate your bounderies but remember that a difference in values doesn’t mean one person is right and the other is wrong.
4. Have a back-up plan. It might give you more comfort knowing there’s always a solution in case of emergency.
5. Always look up how to get in touch with authorities when visiting a foreign land.
1. Always write and share your experience on the platform. The same experience can be different for both parties. By sharing them, we can learn from eachother and therefore make the platform as safe as possible.
2. If you didn’t have a positive experience, but you don’t need the Safety Team to step in, please do share this with the person in question before writing your experience on the platform. Misundertanding can happen and it would be unfortunate if someone didn’t get the chance to explain and instead would read about it online. Bare in mind your norms might be different from the member you just met. Realise there's no right norm so if you for example find it messy, that might be saying more about you than about the other person. Realise someone did you a favour by hosting/meeting you and be respectful when writing about your experience.
3. If you have an unpleasend experience where someone crossed your bounderies, you didn’t feel save and want to talk about it, you can always reach out to our Safety Team and report a member. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAVE WITNESSED OR BEEN VICTIM OF A CRIME, PLEASE REPORT IT TO THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY!
Tips for women travelers
Especially women have to take care of safety, read more here.
What could possibly go wrong?
Unpleasant experiences vary not a big deal (e.g. staying in a dirty place or loud guests or hosts at night) to much worse. We want to build features that allow people to rate their experience and later use that rating information so that similar (based on tagging) people will not have unpleasant experiences again with that person. E.g. very clean people will automatically avoid very dirty people, and party people will not easily be connected to people who prefer tranquility over Dionysian celebrations. Unless they choose otherwise of course, a conscious decision.
Violence is an extremely unpleasant experience (for most people).
We expect that most inherently violent people will cause unpleasant experiences before actual violence occurs. And that our system to prevent unpleasant experiences will also prevent violence.
There are some interesting cases, such as the famous Venetian wrestling contests - enforced by the host among various guests. A lot of people will consider this violence. We agree. But if it's obvious to potential guests that this is going to be their experience they should be free to go ahead.
Sexual abuse and harassment
This mainly affects solo traveling women, please read more here.
Back in 2014 we didn't think building an extended dedicated safety team is the solution. Prevention is key. As soon as there is sign of a person showing violent behavior their trust rating should go down which leads to some kind of seclusion.
In 2018 we thought it's good to start building a team of people working on this (see also https://meta.trustroots.org/c/safety). Since 2019, our support / safety team consists of two people. More volunteers are welcome. Especially having a female point of view would be great in this team! If you are interested, join the volunteer chat.
In 2020, the safety team grew to four people and they started having regular meetings:
2023 the safety team currently exists of three people.
More safety advices
There is a very good article about safety on BeWelcome, http://www.bewelcome.org/safety.