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Old 05-20-11, 05:59 AM   #1
chandltp
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WarmShowers hosts

So what is it that you would like to see from a WarmShowers host? I've had several touring cyclists that I've hosted, and I want to make sure I'm doing what people expect.

I offer dinner, laundry, shower, computer, conversation, and TV. If they're up before I go to work, I offer breakfast. I don't have room in the house (as stated on my profile), but I have a nice play house that I clean out of the kids stuff. It can sleep 1 very comfortably, and probably up to 4 (it's a 1 1/2 storry).

Is there any thing I'm missing?
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Old 05-20-11, 07:44 AM   #2
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That's about it, and certainly more than required. Just be sure and respond to every request, even if it's a negative. I find it really aggravating when I get no response from a WS request. Kinda leaves me hanging.

Sleep in a play house? That's an interesting and probably unique option. I bedded in a restored Airstream once, their 'guest house,' and an abandoned motor home with a queen size bed. Neither were WS, but unusual 'bed rooms' make for good memories and good stories.
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Old 05-20-11, 01:01 PM   #3
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Sounds pretty complete to me. On a recent cross country trip, we stayed at a couple dozen WS Hosts. Most offered what you are, some offered less, a few offered more. The ultimate best hosts would utter these magic words: "Do you need a rest day?". Usually these words came at the right time, after a week of 2 of riding with no rest days. It was always fantastic to have an extra day to just relax and catch up on laundry/shopping/mailing stuff and just laying low in a comfortable home. And these words always came from the kind of people that you'd want to spend extra time with. Of course, as guests, we'd always volunteer to do some housework or yardwork when we got these offers.

Often, weather or mountains or breakdowns would change our schedule. Finding a WS host that would take us in on short notice was always great. (A few WS hosts put in their profile that they need a week or two advance notice!) One of our favorite hosts in New York were a retired couple that had a spare room dedicated as a warmshower bedroom. They had a guestbook and photos on the wall of everyone that had stayed. On our "rest day" with them, they handed us the keys to their car to be able to run some errands around town and sight-see.

It was always nice when a warmshower host felt connected enough to give us a driving tour of their town.
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Old 05-20-11, 01:31 PM   #4
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The ultimate best hosts would utter these magic words: "Do you need a rest day?".

It was always nice when a warmshower host felt connected enough to give us a driving tour of their town.
!+ and 1+
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Old 05-20-11, 02:16 PM   #5
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I offer all of the above + storage as I'm close to an entrance/exit international airport and people often arrive, leave bikebox or luggage, do a tour of Ireland then come back and spend a couple of days sightseeing before flying out. Rarely does anyone spend only one night.

Lots of Americans but a couple of continental Europeans also.

I give cycling tours of Dublin.
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Old 05-20-11, 03:45 PM   #6
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That sounds AWESOME to me! I agree on the offer of a rest day or two - if we've been traveling hard, it's really nice to have a day off in comfortable surroundings!
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Old 05-20-11, 03:49 PM   #7
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That sounds fine. Some offer more some less.

For those reading this thread with no exposure to the warmshowers concept, being a guest and a host are both quite nice. Staying with a host every now and then is a nice enhancement to any tour and hosting a guest is fun as well.

Those hosts who require a week or more notice were just scratched off my list after a thanks, but no thanks.
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Old 05-20-11, 04:18 PM   #8
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Not on the list...yet.

I will be doing the vintage Airstream thing. Self contained, private and easy to keep up on it's permanent mooring, the other one is still running the roads

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Old 05-20-11, 04:48 PM   #9
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Those hosts who require a week or more notice were just scratched off my list after a thanks, but no thanks.
Why? It seems only courteous to me to give at least a week notice. I have had one fellow that contacted me the night before. I did not turn him down but at least a few days notice would have been nice.
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Old 05-20-11, 04:51 PM   #10
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So what is it that you would like to see from a WarmShowers host? I've had several touring cyclists that I've hosted, and I want to make sure I'm doing what people expect.

I offer dinner, laundry, shower, computer, conversation, and TV. If they're up before I go to work, I offer breakfast. I don't have room in the house (as stated on my profile), but I have a nice play house that I clean out of the kids stuff. It can sleep 1 very comfortably, and probably up to 4 (it's a 1 1/2 storry).

Is there any thing I'm missing?
I think you pretty much have it. The only other thing I say I offer is shuttle since I live so close to the airport. I think I say I also offer tour guide if they need a guide through the city or down the Montour Trail.


That playhouse sounds kind of cool! Maybe I will take a ride up to Erie someday.
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Old 05-20-11, 05:38 PM   #11
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I picked up a couple with my van in Nov. as they would never have found my house
Gave them a shower and room and ordered them a pizza. took them to a supermarket, gave them computer use
and got them on the road in the morning. I have had hosts cook for me (this I didn't expect) and give me a room and shower.

All I ever expect is Thanks and I have treated my hosts the same. I do send Thank You cards to my hosts
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Old 05-20-11, 06:47 PM   #12
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I picked up a couple with my van in Nov. as they would never have found my house
Gave them a shower and room and ordered them a pizza. took them to a supermarket, gave them computer use
and got them on the road in the morning. I have had hosts cook for me (this I didn't expect) and give me a room and shower.

All I ever expect is Thanks and I have treated my hosts the same. I do send Thank You cards to my hosts
The couple did not happen to be 2 woman around 50 or so?

Sending thank you cards is a bit hard to do. What I do instead is to take small gifts. Refrigerator magnets from your home town work really well. Small, light and appreciated. I'll give them to anyone that goes out of their way to make my trip a lot nicer.

I have also taken other gifts. For example, I stayed with a WS host in Italy last year (there are not many in Italy). I knew they had young boys so I brought an American football. It was lots of fun teaching the family to throw and the basics of the game. None of them have ever handled an American football. The best are was on the mother. She was all of 5 feet, maybe 100 lbs at best and she had a great arm!
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Old 05-20-11, 09:25 PM   #13
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Thought of a couple of other nice things to have from a host:

-A safe, dry place to store the bikes. Garage space was always the best, knowing that our bikes would not be stolen or rained on during our visit.

-An indoor space to sleep, no matter the type of room, was always a joy. On crummy weather nights it was nice even to sleep in our sleeping bags on a carpeted floor or couch rather than outside, yet again, in the tent. Last summer/fall we had record heat/humidity follow us across New England/New York/Canada, then record rains in Michigan/Wisconsin, then record cold temps in Montana/Idaho/Washington. Being able to be inside a house was always a terrific break from heat, wet, or cold.
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Old 05-21-11, 07:25 AM   #14
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Why? It seems only courteous to me to give at least a week notice. I have had one fellow that contacted me the night before. I did not turn him down but at least a few days notice would have been nice.
True, but I usually don't know for sure if I will be stopping in a particular place that far ahead let alone on what day.

I always contact hosts well ahead usually before the tour and am honest about the fact that I am not sure exactly when or if I will stay in a particular place. I tell them that if they aren't OK with that I will have to pass. I don't think anyone was offended by that. I generally say that if I wind up not stopping for the night I would be happy to stop for a brief visit in their town. No one has taken me up on that yet.

I don't try real hard to stay with warmshowers hosts. If it works out once or twice on a tour that's great if not that is fine too.

Oh and BTW... When emailing thank you notes I include everyone who replied to my pre-trip emails even if I didn't stay with or even meet them.

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Old 05-21-11, 10:43 AM   #15
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Why? It seems only courteous to me to give at least a week notice.
We generally try to write a week or two before we got there, but we're very honest about having no idea when we will show up. We had some write back and say, "We'll be out of town X,Y, and Z days, but if you come other times you're welcome to stay." That helps us plan as we know we either need to get there before or after that. So far, all the hosts we've stayed with have been very flexible and have understood that too many things can happen on a bike to be able to plan way far in advance.

There was only one time when we changed plans at the last moment and ended up in a town we hadn't planned on - wrote to some warmshowers hosts there the day before, but didn't hear back. When we write in advance, we almost always hear back.
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Old 05-21-11, 06:20 PM   #16
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We are hosting for the first time today! We have a small house, so cannot offer a bed, but we do have a nice yard, dry storage, a shower and laundry and food. We are really enjoying our first tourist!
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Old 05-21-11, 06:45 PM   #17
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We hosted some young gals last summer that called us the day before from a town 40 miles away. They had ridden from the east coast to Colorado. That next morning it was a windy rain showery day and I drove the road to that town and found them. They were happy to have a ride. They stayed over two nights. They took turns sleeping on floor or futon. We shopped for veggies and corn and made a huge dinner salad. They did washing dishes duty. My SO helped them tune their bikes. One gal had a rear wheel that was on the way out so we found her one here that we had bought at a bike swap and put it on her bike. They wanted to ride to Moab next. It's a long way out of town on I-70 with no water. We dropped them off 1/2 way to Moab at Cisco, UT and they rode the rest of the way. We enjoyed having them here.
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Old 05-21-11, 08:17 PM   #18
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True, but I usually don't know for sure if I will be stopping in a particular place that far ahead let alone on what day.

I always contact hosts well ahead usually before the tour and am honest about the fact that I am not sure exactly when or if I will stay in a particular place. I tell them that if they aren't OK with that I will have to pass. I don't think anyone was offended by that. I generally say that if I wind up not stopping for the night I would be happy to stop for a brief visit in their town. No one has taken me up on that yet.

I don't try real hard to stay with warmshowers hosts. If it works out once or twice on a tour that's great if not that is fine too.

Oh and BTW... When emailing thank you notes I include everyone who replied to my pre-trip emails even if I didn't stay with or even meet them.
This is the proper way to conduct business. I have received e-mails from some on tour looking for a place to stay, I offer and place a call. They never call back to state they have a place to stay or whatever they plan on doing. That is plain rude. I have also had people send e-mails saying they are in town at that very moment. Okay, great but what happening to giving the heads up a day or two prior to find out if I am available. Those, I don't respond to.
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Old 05-21-11, 08:45 PM   #19
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we've had a 3 (1-2006 + 2-2010) guest total since 2004 joining. I've met on tour (2004) 2 WSL sponsors, both great experiances!!

Specificx: While on tour, meeting WSL sponser, I like the ability to get a warm shower (even cold water will do :-) and a place to set tent. Extras from my WSL hosts are food etd.... (thanks)!

we ask 3 day notice, 3 guests total (pending), let me know~!

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Old 05-21-11, 10:10 PM   #20
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We have been a warm shower host once. Enjoyed the event and will take others, but did turn one request down. It was a nice event for us and we received what we considered "sincere" words of praise from the couple. We did offer a "rest day", which they considered, but a break in the weather occurred a little before mid-morning so they continued on. A very enjoyable event.
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Old 05-22-11, 04:37 PM   #21
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Why? It seems only courteous to me to give at least a week notice. I have had one fellow that contacted me the night before. I did not turn him down but at least a few days notice would have been nice.
I agree that a few days notice is nice. However, I try to be mindful that the touring lifestyle doesn't always lend itself to that. Sometimes you just don't know where you're gonna be in 2 days.
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Old 05-22-11, 04:38 PM   #22
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Thought of a couple of other nice things to have from a host:

-A safe, dry place to store the bikes. Garage space was always the best, knowing that our bikes would not be stolen or rained on during our visit.
Oh, I forgot about that. I do that too. I have a garage that they can put their stuff in and get in whenever they want.
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Old 05-22-11, 06:18 PM   #23
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I would like to encourage everyone to leave comments on your guests and hosts on Warmshowers. There really aren't enough comments out there. If someone is going to be a great host / guest then everyone should know it. Likewise if someone is a lousy guest / host then EVERYONE should know.

It would be nice if Warmshowers developed a similar model to Couchsurfing. In Couchsurfing, folks can be vetted by a local rep. It would sure be nice to know that you that you aren't rolling into home of the local ax murderer or inviting one into your home.

I was very shocked when I was in Italy, I stayed at the home of two families that had young children. If I had children, I am not so sure I would invite a male stranger into my home but I guess they are more trusting.
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Old 05-22-11, 06:57 PM   #24
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I realize that this will sound a bit weird to many, but when guesting with a WS host, think about using your sleeping bag on the bed, rather than turning it down to sleep between the sheets. This insignificant consideration will save your host the work of washing the sheets and making the bed after you leave. You'll still get a better nights sleep than you usually do in the tent.
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Old 05-22-11, 07:25 PM   #25
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I realize that this will sound a bit weird to many, but when guesting with a WS host, think about using your sleeping bag on the bed, rather than turning it down to sleep between the sheets. This insignificant consideration will save your host the work of washing the sheets and making the bed after you leave. You'll still get a better nights sleep than you usually do in the tent.
Something to consider before allowing guests to use sleeping bags is the spread of bed bugs. Hostels do not permit their use for this very reason.
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