Frequently asked questions
General Questions about BookaFriend
Make new friends while traveling, have fun, learn, expand your horizons. Get to know the world and yourself, discover new places, new people and a new way of traveling. Join us as a local friend to make extra money and meet cool people who visit your city. Join us as a traveler to enjoy all the benefits of having a local friend in every city you travel to.
A friend is someone who has plenty of useful 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 and want to help travelers enjoy a better travel experience in their city. You also need to be very familiar with the city you live in 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 usually do with your friends is a potential experience that you can also offer on BookaFriend. Local friends can offer services such as airport pick-up, airport drop-off, they can drive you around the city, buy tickets or transport transport passes in advance, make reservations. They will basically help you enjoy their city more by taking care of the less fun parts of traveling to an unknown destination.
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.
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 visitor has been announced about this in advance and has accepted. BookaFriend cannot decide who you can meet, that is entirely 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 “Create an Account” or “Connect With Facebook”. If you want to create a new account, enter your email, your first name, your last name, your password and you’re all set! You also have to agree to our Terms of Service. You will need a valid email address in order to sign up.
Go to Log and follow the “Forgot your password?” link.
Go to Settings, then go to Personal Information and write your New password there. The app automatically saves the new password you add there.
Yes. We strongly recommend both visitors and local friends to use pictures of themselves for the avatar. As a local friend, you should add at least one more picture of yourself in your Gallery.
Both local friends and visitors have to complete the Personal Information section. But in order to complete your local friend profile, you also need to complete “My Offer”. Always provide accurate, truthful and updated information. That’s it. You are ready to be booked!
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 cannot assume 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. 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.
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 to your meeting, you can start by leaving them a negative rating and you will also 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 35% 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 full responsibility for it. If you don’t want to invite travelers to your house, that’s perfectly fine. If you are willing to provide lodging, then you can add it as an extra in your local friend offer 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 immediately be transferred to your BookaFriend balance. Still, you will be able to withdraw money only after you’ve reached at least $100 in your balance and after the ongoing visit is marked as done.
Travelers will be charged for the booking before the meeting takes place.
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 35% of the total amount.
Yes, you will get a full refund in case your local friend doesn’t show up.
Booking
Easy! First of all, make sure you are on VISITOR MODE. Then choose the city you’re traveling to and tap the “Book a Friend” button. You can now write a message/general request that will be sent to all local friends who are available in that city. You can also send direct requests to local friends of your choice after sending the general request. Select “Discover friends” and you’ll see all local friends available in the city you chose. If you find a local friend who’s a good match for you, enter their profile and send them a request/ personal message.
You can book local friends only after they apply to your general request or accept your personal request. Once you’ve both agreed on the details of your meeting, you can move to Checkout and make the payment. The booking amount will be withdrawn from your PayPal or bank account and you will be notified on your email address.
Don’t worry, we will immediately notify you as soon as someone applies to your general request or accepts your personal request! You can choose to receive push notifications and email notifications every time that happens.
You can either contact local friends by sending them a general message or by sending them a direct message after selecting “Discover friends”. You can chat with them before you make the payment to decide which local friend matches your criteria best. We strongly recommend you to make sure everything is clear before the meeting takes place and that you agree on the time and place of meeting and other details. The more you discuss in advance, the more chances you will be happy about your local friend choice and BookaFriend experience! We also recommend you to exclusively use our platform for all discussions regarding the booking. This is necessary in case of a dispute.
At this point you can continue discussing with your local friend and cancel if you can’t agree on what makes a great trip. If you agree on all details of your meeting, you can go ahead and make the payment.
If you cancel the booking within 48 hours since you made the payment, you will get a full refund. If you cancel between 24 and 48 hours after your local friend has accepted your request, 50% of the total amount will be deducted from the total amount (35% of the amount for the local friend and 15% service fee). If you cancel less than 24 hours before the meeting, you are no longer qualified for a refund.
If you cancel the booking within 48 hours since you made the payment, you will get a full refund. If you cancel between 24 and 48 hours after your local friend has accepted your request, 50% of the total amount will be deducted from the total amount (35% of the amount for the local friend and 15% service fee). If you cancel less than 24 hours before the meeting, you are no longer qualified for a refund.
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.
Local Friend Writing Advice
How to write a proper introduction
The offer description is how you will distinguish yourself from the other local friends in your city. What's special about your offer? How are you able to help visitors enjoy better travel experiences? Point out some highlights of the itinerary you suggest.
Visitor Writing Advice
How to write a proper introduction
You should try to let your new local friends know what you are looking for during your visit in as few words as possible. Here are a few examples: “Hello, I’m interested in your BookaFriend offer! Can we discuss the details of our meeting?” “Hello, I’d love to book you as my local friend! Are you available for a meeting?” Other useful tips: - mention the dates of your visit. This way you can agree on a date and time that’s convenient for both. - mention some things you would like to do or places you would like to visit. This helps local friends know if they are the right match for you.