Safety

  • Prior to traveling internationally, you should always memorize the phone number(s) for local emergency services. You can view a list of international  emergency contact numbers here: 911 ABROAD
  • Always have a backup plan when traveling! Research nearby hostels and hotels close to your host’s home, or contact other hosts in the area prior to traveling.
  • Research your host’s neighborhood prior to traveling. Ask your host if there are any safety precautions that you need to be aware of in the neighborhood or surrounding city.
  • Look for members with completed profiles, real names, and clear pictures of both the member and, ideally, of the accommodations being offered.
  • If available, give preference to members that have been verified.
  • Choose hosts/guests with good ratings, but also read through the reviews themselves to learn as much as you can about your potential host/guest.
  • Always communicate through the Host A Sister messaging system so that pertinent information is easy to find and there is a log of all  
    interactions for your protection. Additionally, in the event of an emergency, Host A Sister will work with local law enforcement to provide all exchanges that occurred between members through our messaging system.
  • Do not share personal identifying information, email address, place of work, or financial information with other members. Block and report any members that ask you to provide any information that could compromise your safety or security or anyone.
  • How many times have you hosted/been a guest?
  • Does the host live alone? If not, who else is living in the home?
  • Set personal boundaries with your host/guest. Do not be afraid to tell your host/guest when you are not comfortable with a situation.
  • How will guest get in and out of host’s home? Will the guest be allowed in the home without the host?
  • If there are no pictures of the host’s accommodations, ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of the sleeping arrangements.
  • Are there any safety precautions the guest should take in the host’s neighborhood or surrounding area?
  • What are the house rules? 
    •   Should you remove shoes upon entering?
    • Are there quiet times or curfews?
    • Smoking or non-smoking?
    • Can the guest use the kitchen? Are there any other common areas of the house that are off limits?
    • Which basic necessities are provided and which should you bring?
  • After all of your questions have been answered and you feel comfortable proceeding, interview all potential hosts and guests through use of video chat prior to meeting in person (but remember to first discuss any pertinent information through the messaging system so that there is a written log of all shared communication).
  • Meet in a public place in town before bringing a guest into your home or before entering a host’s home. Trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid to say no if something doesn’t feel right.
  • Arrange your own transportation from the airport or when meeting a member for the first time.
  • Make sure that a trusted friend or family member knows the exact location where you’ll be staying or meeting up with another member. Set check in    intervals and keep them updated on your status.
  • Using drugs and alcohol can alter your mental state and compromise your safety. Set a safe limit for yourself before you consume any substances, and always keep your drink in sight.  

Be mindful of scammers. Block and report the user if you receive a message you believe to be to be a scam. Be suspicious if a member:

  • Immediately asks you to message them outside of the Host A Sister messaging system to exchange phone numbers or personal email addresses.
  • Asks you for money to cover travel expenses, visas, hospital or medical expenses, donations, gifts, emergencies, or other unexpected expenses.
  • Requests to send you money to cover an expense
  • Asks you to provide personal identifying information
  • Reviews are the most important way to alert others to potential dangerous or unsatisfactory conditions. Be honest. 
  • Trust your instincts. Block and report  if something doesn’t seem right.
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