As with any trip, good preparation is essential.

Staying with a family abroad and welcoming travelers for a language exchange are safe practices that people have been doing for a very long time. Our own children have generally spent their first holidays abroad in this way.

Nevertheless, you are still responsible for your personal safety, so here are some tips for a successful visit.

This advice is for all TalkTalkBnb users- both travelers and hosts.

1. Study the profiles and comments

Carefully read all the information provided by the hosts about their lodging (location, description, equipment, etc.) to avoid surprises. Ask who will be present during your stay. When hosting, read the traveler's profile thoroughly so you know what to expect. Study the recommendations and comments posted by other users. Don’t hesitate to ask your contact to complete their profile before agreeing to the exchange.

2. Female traveller

Opt for a host who is another young woman, a couple or a family. Ask them who will be there at the same time as you, if there will be another woman there, etc. Insist on this point in your exchanges and contact us as soon as you arrive if the situation is different from what they said.

You can also activate the Women Only function on your profile, which filters out messages from male members.

3. Communicate via the TalkTalkBnb platform

To assure traceability, we strongly suggest communicating via our messaging service. This way you will have a record of all information exchanged (address, street names, phone numbers, etc).

Make sure to introduce yourself and explain what you are looking for. If you find a message uncomfortable, contact us. And follow your intuition: if you have any doubt, don’t do it!

If your guest/host has a Facebook, check their profile. Organize a Skype meeting or call them on the phone to talk a bit. Make sure you have some idea of who they are so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.

After the exchange, leave comments about your experience and your host/guest, to help build a community of trust. Each review will help to reinforce TalkTalkBnb as a safe and secure platform.

4. Be reliable

Make sure you know precisely the location, date and time you’ll be meeting. Check these details and confirm them the day before you meet. Be punctual and, ideally, exchange mobile phone numbers so you can contact each other if something unexpected happens.

5. Keep your wits about you

Travel can be disorienting. Using drugs and alcohol can further complicate the experience. Don’t let yourself be fooled or misled, and stay in control of every situation, at every moment.

6. Make copies of your important papers and keep them in a safe place

Make sure you have all the documents necessary for your stay (national identity card, passport, visa) and check that they are valid.

Make copies of all your important papers, such as your passport and visa and email them to yourself or store them on a drive. A paper or digital copy of your papers will be very useful if the originals are lost or stolen. Keep your papers separate from your money and don’t keep too much cash on you.

7. If you find yourself in an emergency

If you feel personally threatened or in danger, always contact the local police and emergency services first, and then contact us later if appropriate. Our multilingual team will do everything possible to help you, warn the emergency services, or put you in contact with a different family.

8. Check your Country’s embassy website

Stay updated on news as well as any public health recommendations (vaccinations, etc.)

9. Be informed about cultural differences

Countries have different traditions, gender roles, and sensitivities. When travelling, make sure you have researched your destination, so that you can have a polite and respectful exchange.