General Questions about BookaFriend

Make new friends while traveling, have fun, learn, expand your horizons. Experience the unknown and the unusual. Get to know the world and yourself. Test your skills and abilities. Discover new places and find new reasons to feel alive.

A friend is someone who has some information, some time and a 100% positive attitude. The age, gender and occupation are not relevant. A friend is almost always a local, but needs not to be a citizen or a permanent resident. Anyone can be a friend as long as they have a genuine desire to interact with people from other countries and cultures. You also need to know the city you live in really well in order to become a local friend.

Offer your time, be friendly, have a plan and stay flexible. It’s quite simple. Most of the times people who travel don’t have very high expectations: they mostly want to talk to a local and discover a few new places.

You should both agree on a clear time and date for the first meeting. Don’t forget to provide correct and updated contact information. Plan ahead. Confirm or cancel as soon as possible.

You can offer your time and knowledge and provide short city tours or local visits. You can also add more authenticity and flavor if you invite people to a traditional dinner, an authentic wedding, or a lively sport event. You can always take people to shopping sessions, yoga classes or artsy DYI workshops. If you prefer, you can organize trips to places which are not usually on the tourist map: underground parties, secret urban corners, idyllic natural settings, unknown or undiscovered locations. Anything that you do with your friends is a potential experience that you can also offer online. Just be yourself and communicate openly!

This is really up to you. One hour, one day, a week? Communicate your availability and let people know who long the experience is going to last. Set the prices accordingly. If you book a friend or are booked as a friend, let him/her know how much time you can dedicate to the experience. You should both decide the duration of your experience prior to the meeting.

We recommend you to start by settling the price per half a day (2-4 hours recommended).

Absolutely. You could become real life friends, keep in contact, visit each other, move together or even marry, if you want to! We see no barriers when it comes to cross-border friendship. This is up to the both of you.

Yes, but only if the person who books you as their local friend agrees that it is okay. BookaFriend cannot decide who you can meet, this is up to you.

Questions about Membership

Anyone who is at least the age of majority on their state or province of residence.

Yes, and you can even make some money. Your time is valuable. So are your hobbies, skills and interests!

Yes, you are welcomed! It’s up to you whether you mention your disability or not in your profile. We encourage you to do so if you want to become a role model and encourage other disabled people to look for alternative sources of income.

You don’t need to be a professional guide or a travel agent in order to become a local friend. If you offer a service, you should simply be able to provide it. Be knowledgeable and well informed about the topics that you mention in your profile description. Plan ahead and get ready for last-minute changes.

Yes, of course. You may not be able to exit your country without a valid passport, but you can always meet those who visit you and travel locally.

Questions about My Profile and Account

It’s very easy: simply click on “join us”, and then choose a password and a username. You will need a valid email address in order to sign up.

Go to “sign in” and then click the “forgot your password?” link. Check your email for the new password confirmation link.

Go to “My profile”, then click the “Change Password” tab from the right menu. You are now free to choose a new password.

Your description is the most important part of your profile. This is where you should put all the information that is interesting, relevant and attractive! Start with the basic info-who you are, where you live, what languages you speak, what you love to do, which places you love most in your city, what your favorite pastime activities are- and gradually move on to more personal details such as your outstanding talents & skills, your special hobbies, your secret tour offers, the subculture or group you identify most with, etc.

Dare to be different and always be very specific. Remember you want to attract people with similar views and interests. Don’t be afraid to propose new experiences and never-tried-before experiments. People love to get out of their comfort zones once in a while!

Click on your username (top- right corner) and then go to “My profile”. Start by uploading an avatar (profile picture), mention your city, the languages that you speak, fill in the About You section and carefully add the Billing Info.

Then click on “Complete your profile” and add at least one more picture of yourself besides the profile picture and a few pictures of your city, the price you want to ask for your services, your availability, types of experiences (you can either use the predefined texts or edit them) and extra services (if there are any). You can also add an Opening message for your future friends and a few tags that define you and that will help your future friends find you more easily.

Always provide accurate, truthful and updated information. That’s it. You are ready to be booked!

Do I have to add a profile picture?

Yes, you do. The profile photo doesn’t only help members decide whether they want to meet you in person, but it’s also necessary for the profile validation.

If you can’t find your city in our list, please send us a message and we will add it as soon as possible.

Questions about Security and Privacy

You only say the things that you want to say. You are not obliged to provide any personal information that you feel uncomfortable sharing. Your new friend may not need to know your current occupation, your home address or your personal mobile phone number.

We believe so and we hope that you share our vision of a positive, united and peaceful world where you can meet a new friend anywhere. Generally, the persons who sign up for our services are well-traveled, responsible and open-minded individuals who dream of safer, more enriching and deeper travel experiences. The aim of our initiative is precisely to encourage people to trust and befriend strangers.

We can’t assume full responsibility for the personal security of our members, since it’s up to you to decide whom you want to meet and in which conditions. Your personal safety is your responsibility.

Yes, we are. We want our community to be a safe place where people respect each other’s rights, security, dignity and privacy and we are sure that so do you. This is why we need to take a few safety measures and verify basic information before we activate your local friend profile.

Every member profile is verified before being activated. Every member of our platform needs to provide photo ID verification first. In order for your profile to be activated, you need to provide a copy of one Photo ID from the following list:

  •   Passport
  •   Driving License
  •   National Identification Card (photographic)

The photo in your photo ID needs to reflect that you are the same person as in the profile pictures.

We also provide a feedback system and you can always report potentially harmful behavior to the community members. We will irrevocably deactivate the accounts of members who are proved to have potentially harmful behavior.

In case your local friend doesn’t offer you the services or experiences that you both agreed on, BookaFriend will get in touch with both of you to get at the bottom of it and find a solution.

No matter if you are a local friend or a traveler, you need to cancel your meeting at least 48 hours before.

If a local friend cancels less than 48 hours before or doesn’t show up, they will receive a negative rating and you will get a full refund. If they cancel more than 48 hours before the meeting, we will try to help you find another local friend who is available during your visit.

If a traveler cancels less than 48 hours before the meeting, the local friend will receive 50% of the total amount and BookaFriend will charge the 15% service fee.

Here are a few basic safety measures:

– Set up contact info which is specific for your BookaFriend activities and if suspicious, avoid sharing more personal information such as your home address or your personal mobile phone number.

-We strongly recommend you to use the BookaFriend platform for your written communication. This will serve as a record in case an unexpected dispute appears.

-Whenever you offer a tour, always go to places that you have visited before and ideally know well. Do not take risks on behalf of the person who booked you.

-Whenever you accept a tour offer, always make sure you understand well the proposed activities and what these involve in terms of costs and risks. Do not book people who sound irresponsible, uncaring or immature.

-Talk about payment and clarify any misunderstandings and concerns before meeting in person.

-Do not accept offers which seem doubtful, dangerous or deceptive.

-Be careful what language you use in your profile and make sure your profile description doesn’t give the wrong idea about you as a person. Always clarify any doubts or concerns beforehand.

-If preparing for a potentially difficult, risky or very long experience, let one or two friends know about your proposed itinerary and arrange them to check up on you regularly.

-Always mention health issues if the proposed activities involve effort or stress.

-Check out the ratings and reviews that are available on the BookaFriend website. We will always choose to promote the local friends who have great reviews and who have proven to be trustworthy and reliable.

In the unfortunate case where you have a bad experience with a local friend, BookaFriend will get in touch with both parts to find out what happened and find a way to fix the problem.

We also highly recommend you to rate and review your experiences in order to help build a better and safer community.

No, unless you really want to. BookaFriend is not about offering accommodation, but about sharing meaningful life experiences while traveling. If you want to welcome people into your home, you also need to assume responsibility for it. If you don’t feel like it, it’s perfectly fine.

If you are willing to provide lodging, then you can add you as an extra in your local friend profile and charge it separately.

Questions about Payment & Billing

Yes, you can. BookaFriend is free to join, but your time is valued so you get paid if you decide to become a local friend. Having said that, you decide how much you want to charge for your services. We don’t really know if you can become a millionaire, but you are definitely free to try!

How much time can you spend? How often? What experiences can you offer in your city?

It’s up to you to decide how much you want to charge for your services.

If you have worked as a guide before, you probably have an idea about pricing. If not, browse other members’ profiles and get inspired.

Also take into account how attractive and fashionable the area where you live in is, competition and the type of services that you are willing to offer. You can always ask for more money if you propose access to unique events, special locations or off the beaten track travel experiences.

Don’t forget: your hourly rate may or may not include other associated costs such as transportation, food & drinks, entry fees or tickets. Always clarify beforehand what is and what is not included.

Becoming a member of BookaFriend.com is free.

BookaFriend will charge a standard fee of 15% of the total amount.

BookaFriend will deduct its service fee from the total amount that is transferred to the local friends’ balance.

We will deduct our service fee only after a booking was successfully completed.

Your BookaFriend balance will reflect the total amount that you can withdraw, minus our service fee.

Right now you can choose to get paid on your PayPal account or your bank account.

Travelers can pay for their bookings by using their PayPal account or bank account.

The payment will be transferred to your BookaFriend balance within 3 days after a successful booking. This means that the experience was confirmed by the traveler first. The money will have the “Pending” status until the confirmation.

Travelers will be charged for a booking only after it is confirmed by the friend as well. The payment will be processed and collected by BookaFriend.

You can start withdrawing money as soon as you have at least $100 in your BookaFriend balance.

If a traveler cancels less than 48 hours before or doesn’t show up, you will receive 50% of the total amount.

Yes, you will get a full refund in case your local friend doesn’t show up.

Booking

Easy! Just type the name of the city you’re traveling to in the search bar and see what local friends are available. Start browsing through profiles and find the best friend for you based on the information they provide.

Once you’ve decided which local friend you want to book, click on the BOOK NOW! button. Select the period, choose if you want to spend half a day or a full day with your friend and you will see the total price. You can them move to Checkout and make the payment.

The booking amount will be withdrawn from your PayPal or bank account by BookaFriend and you will be notified on your email address.

Local friends need to accept offers in a 24-hour period from the moment they received the offer. If they accept your offer, you will be notified both in the BookaFriend account Notifications and by email.

You can contact local friends before booking them by using the BookaFriend integrated chat. Click on “Inquire about availability” if you want to send your friend a message. If you have already placed the order, then you can start discussing details of your meeting right away. Make sure everything is clear before your meeting.

We strongly recommend you to discuss to your local friends only through our platform. This is necessary in case of a dispute.

When you book a local friend, both you and the local friend will get notified. The local friend needs to confirm the booking within 24 hours. If they confirm, you will have to pay for the booking in advance. You will be notified when your friend accepts the offer and once again when BookaFriend withdraws the booking amount from your PayPal or bank account.

You can cancel the order before the money is withdrawn from your PayPal or bank account by clicking on “Cancel and return to Book a Friend Technology INC”.

You can also cancel within 48 hours since you made the offer. In this case, you will get a full refund. If you cancel later than 48 hours after your friend has accepted your offer, 50% of the total amount and the 15% service fee will be deducted from the total amount.

You can open a dispute in case you weren’t offered the experience that was promised to you. Let us know what happened and why you think your local friend doesn’t deserve the money for the experience they offered.

The other part and the Admin will be notified and each of you can write more details about what happened in the chat box. The Admin will then decide in favor of one of the two parts involved and mark the experience as Resolved.

Rating and Review System

Use our 5-star rating system to rate every experience that was offered to you by a local friend. You can only rate experiences that you have booked and after they have taken place. You can also write a review if you want and we fully encourage you to do it. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful for the entire BookaFriend community, so please don’t skip this step!

The rating helps local friends improve the experiences they offer, travelers decide what local friend they want to book and also us. BookaFriend will promote the best rated profiles, which means they will also get more bookings.