Personal safety guide

Work and travel

Hippohelp is a free platform connecting travellers with hosts. Hosts create volunteer opportunities across the globe where travellers can work in exchange for food and accommodation. Join our fantastic community today!

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Personal safety guide

Please note: While we work to keep the platform free from any malicious users we don't screen each and every user. It's up to you to ensure that you're fine meeting up or living with another user.

Meeting new people from all over the world will lead to adventures and interactions never to be forgotten, but when meeting new people, especially from other cultures it’s important to have a few things in mind to ensure a great experience for both the host and the traveller!

For both travellers and hosts:

  • Make sure the host's or traveller's profile is complete with a real name, detailed description and clear photos. Also look at what others have written in the reviews section.
  • Make sure that the move-in/move-out date, tasks, working-schedule, eating and sleeping arrangement etc. are clear for both the host and the traveller in advance.
  • Make sure that you have written clear "house rules" if you're a host, and that you fully understand them if you are a traveller.
  • Get to know the person before meeting using the built-in messaging system, or a video-chat app like Skype. Be sure to ask a lot of questions, in the rare cases things don't work out it is usually because the expectations of either party weren't met due to lack of communication. Here's a few questions to ask in advance:
    • How many people live in your home?
    • How many travellers have you hosted, or how many hosts have you helped?
    • Am I allowed to use the kitchen?
    • Are there any safety precautions I should take before my stay?
  • Spend some time to get to know each other when you finally meet in person. If anything makes you uncomfortable, of if you feel like something is not like the description, be sure to bring it up in a friendly fashion.
  • If you feel threatened or in immediate danger, immediately remove yourself and contact the local authorities, such as police or emergency services. When you're safe, please report the incident to us.
  • Any arrangements are between the host and traveller, we only posts the listings and help with the initial contact between hosts and travellers.
  • If you are a woman you might need to give more consideration on how, where and when you travel, or who you choose to host.
  • Make sure to understand all the cultural codes of the country where the host or traveller is from.

For travellers:

  • Don't travel without a travel insurance. Finding a good insurance company involves a lot of work, so we've done some of the leg work for you. Click here for more information.
  • Traveling can be exhausting and disorienting, use of drugs and alcohol will further complicate things. Make sure that you always have control of yourself, don't leave your well-being in the hands of someone else.
  • Is the area your going to safe for travelers? What is the current political climate?
  • Always have a backup-plan. What happens if the hosts changes the arrangements, or if you don't have cell-phone coverage. Always let your close ones know your travel-route, and where you will be staying.