There are some simple, common-sense ways of remaining safe when travelling and communicating with new people.
Keep your personal details private until you meet a new person and feel comfortable doing so. Use the gypsy50s forums and messaging systems rather than your own communication means.
Look closely at member profiles and ratings before making contact. Look for clear photographs, real names, lots of information about them and their lodging, if they are hosts. Compare profiles to get a full picture of possible experiences.
Check reviews and ratings of several profiles before making any contact. Roam around the forums until you have a good feel for how things work and what to look for.
Communicate clearly and be upfront about your needs and about what the host can offer you or what will be available for you. For example, who else lives there? Can you connect to wifi? What type of power outlets are there? Can you use the kitchen? The more you know, the more comfortable you will be.
Do your research. Be aware of cultural sensitivities and current safety considerations for each destination in your itinerary.
Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, or if something feels unsafe for any reason, just leave.
Have a plan B. Be aware of other accommodation options nearby in the event that things don’t work out as planned.
Always leave reviews about your experiences. This will help other travellers make decisions based on current information.
If you have real safety concerns, you can notify us confidentially here.
Women travellers, particularly when travelling solo, should consider staying with women hosts or with families. Be educated about potential differences in how women are viewed in places you visit, and how you may need to change your usual mode of travelling to stay safe.
Arrange to meet your host/guest at a location near the lodging. Perhaps have a coffee and chat to gauge how comfortable you feel with them. If there is any reason for you to feel uneasy or unsafe, you should trust your instincts and go to plan B.
Don’t be shy or feel you are being rude when ensuring your safety. It’s always best to be upfront and honest from the outset. You may find a resolution is easy with a little polite conversation about an issue.
Understand any house rules that you might need to know and find out local knowledge from your host. Ensure you understand how to access the property should the owner be out.
Always remain responsible for your own well-being and safety.
Don’t be afraid to remove yourself from a threatening situation and contact the local authorities.
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