Safety and Health

Any interaction we have with other humans depends on trust, whether we are driving along a highway or leaving all our valued possessions in an Airbnb or hotel room. Travel tests our capacity to trust others to the max.  Whether online volunteering or being a long way from home, we rely on others to show us the ropes and re-direct us when we get lost. In fact, it would be impossible to leave our homes unless we had implicit trust in the rest of the human race… or the majority of them.

This is equally true for the traveler ready to help with open arms. People posting needs should be welcoming and spend a little time initially making volunteers feel at ease. Volunteers should be respectful of the person, story, needs, information, property, and personal space.

Another state, country, or culture may have customs and lifestyle preferences that are very different from your own, use this as an opportunity to see the world from a new perspective, rather than a reason not to see eye to eye. This mutual trust arrangement generally works very well, as it‘s in the interests of both parties for the interaction between you to be successful and reciprocal.


Having said that it is important not to take unnecessary risks. Do not give out your personal details, e-mail or phone number, until you feel that the contact seems like the kind of person you would be interested in hearing from.

It is also worth investigating anything you might need in advance before you commit. Any recommended precautionary measures of the place in question, whether this be immunization, political trouble-spots, what is considered culturally unacceptable or risky… and places that are considered to be popular hang-outs for pickpockets etc.

If you are traveling alone, especially if you are a woman, you may have to give more consideration to how/where/when you travel.

Being clear about arrangements

In the rare instances that things don‘t work out, it is usually because the expectations of either party weren‘t met due to lack of communication.

It is very important that any arrangements are clear from the outset. Both Volunteer and person in need should read through each other‘s profile info (which should be as informative as possible) plus photos, and then make a list of questions/information points relevant to the stay eg:

  • the kind of exchange expected
  • the expectations 
  • communication & arrangements etc.

Personal contact is important and if you are able to chat on the phone (or Skype or other video call app ideally) beforehand this can help a lot too.

We also advise Volunteers doing in-person tasks not to make fixed travel plans until the person in need has confirmed. Also bear in mind that occasionally unforeseen circumstances may mean that a person in need of a volunteer has to cancel or postpone a visit. In this case, we ask you to let the other party know as soon as possible.

The ability to be flexible helps considerably when you are traveling, or indeed dealing with people who are on the move and frequently revising their plans. If you are uncomfortable about the volunteer conditions, then it is up to you to try and resolve these issues together or back out and say no. We do recommend that volunteers have a back-up plan in place just in case the exchange does not work out as expected.

Any arrangement you make is entirely between you and the person in need. Dear God are we there yet? just posts the listings and facilitates initial contact between the volunteer and person in need (Please review our terms and conditions).

If you feel there has been an abuse of trust or misconduct on the behalf of either party, this should be reported to Dear God Are we there yet?

General internet safety advice

Like in real life, when dealing with anyone online, it is always important to be aware of people who could be dishonest. There will always be a few unscrupulous people, even though the vast majority are honest and as they appear to be. Making yourself informed about some common scams will enable you to spot them if ever someone tries one on you.

Here are some tips to help you avoid common scams:

Be aware that wiring money is equivalent to sending cash. DO NOT EXCHANGE  As this platform is for non-monetary time shared experiences.

Con artists often insist that people wire money, especially overseas, because it‘s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. Don‘t wire money to strangers or to anyone who wants to keep the request a secret.

Never agree to deposit a cheque and wire money back, no matter how convincing the story may be.

Use your common sense. If someone asks you for sensitive financial information make sure you‘re 100% certain that you trust them.

If you have identified anyone on our volunteer platform that might be suspicious, please contact our team immediately.

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