New people and new places present opportunities for adventure, but traveling can also be disorienting. Here are some basic safety precautions we recommend when meeting a person for the first time.

1. It is expected that Chumaround members are honest, respectful, and aware of their responsibilities and proper etiquette when they interact as with other members as guests and hosts.

2. Before meeting, look for hosts profiles that are complete with a real name, clear photos, detailed descriptions, recommendations, and reviews by other members. What’s NOT there? Is there missing information or questions the member could answer for you that would help you get a better sense of who they are?

3. If you have a booking or arrange a meeting with another member, make sure to contact them by phone or webcam beforehand to make sure you are meeting with the same person you’ve been contacting.

4. Inform a close friend or relative about your plans and whether you are meeting as a host or a visitor.

5. Women travelers may prefer to book with female hosts, and vice versa.

6. Get to know the people you might meet through the online messaging system. Don’t give out your personal contact information until your booking has been confirmed.

7. Use ChumAround’s payment processor to process pre-paid bookings. If you have chosen to receive cash payments when you meet, then only accept payments in the local currency at the beginning of your meeting. Never use any other means to send money to another member before you meet.

8. Upon meeting, spend some time getting to know your your host/guest. Do you feel comfortable with them? Is everything as you expected? If you feel uneasy or something doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and do what you need to do to be comfortable. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason with your Surfer/Host, address the situation politely and directly to see if you can find resolution.

9. Maintain your faculties. Travel can be disorienting. Use of drugs and alcohol can further complicate this. Don’t leave your well-being in the hands of someone else.

10. In any situation where you feel unsafe, threatened or in immediate danger, remove yourself and contact the local authorities – such as police or emergency services – right away. When you’re in a safe location, report the incident to our Trust and Safety team. All reports are confidential.

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