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Warm Showers

Old 11-16-16, 12:41 PM
  #26  
adablduya
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Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
Have been using WS for 8 years or so.

As a guest: Be courteous and polite. After all, you're in someone's home. Read their profile before contacting them, particularly about needing notice before hosting (some of us do) and what they can provide and what they can't. (Camping space? A bed? Laundry? Mechanical help?)

As a host: Be sensitive to the needs of your guest. Understand that they may be chatty but they may want space, or feel awkward in your home. Clean your shower, please, and be clear about what you can offer.

Everybody: Leave feedback. (It's kind of a dick move not to.) Above all, be nice.
as a host, i would say that while guests may want to be chatty, or just want quiet space, the reverse is also true. as frequent WS hosts, there are many times we don't feel like being chatty-cathys, looking to be entertained by touring stories, and would just rather let our guests enjoy the comforts of our home and some quiet space of their own. it's hard to not appear as an unsociable dick, so even when we would prefer quiet time, we go the sociable route, and never regret this, mind you !!! point is, as a guest, don't assume your hosts always want more than to simply be hospitable and offer you a warm bed, a hot shower, WIFI, and a safe place to crash.

also, we do keep a "guest register". awesome idea !!! ! we've had so many guests that i wouldn't remember half of them without it !

Last edited by adablduya; 11-16-16 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 11-16-16, 01:35 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by hilltowner View Post
Those folks who have stayed with a WS host who provided camping only, can you give me some tips?
As someone else mentioned, the biggest issue is a toilet. All of the host I've stayed with who've offered camping only allowed me access to the bathroom at night. Left the door unlocked. Just felt like I was in a campground with a really nice bathroom I'm not sure what types of tips you're looking for though? It's pretty basic.

Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Hey, hey! We don't still in Pittsburgh. You should have stayed with me. Or maybe you did and I am the guy? Was it an old t-shirt? I remember a guest leaving an old t-shirt. I figured it was not worht worrying about.
haha No, not you. They were up in the Oakland neighborhood. Wasn't an old t-shirt. I wish though! Sunglasses and a few other random things! A gift card. Can't remember what else.
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Old 11-16-16, 01:39 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
So as a Guest, do you typically tip or somehow compensate the host? It is expected or even accepted by hosts?
I've never heard of anyone tipping a WS host. I don't even tip in restaurants so wouldn't ever leave money for a WS host. If we go out to eat I offer to buy them a drink though. Or if they're making dinner I offer to pitch in and bring something. Usually I get the "you're my guest so thanks but no thanks" when offering.
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Old 11-16-16, 02:15 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Ty0604 View Post
I've never heard of anyone tipping a WS host. I don't even tip in restaurants so wouldn't ever leave money for a WS host. If we go out to eat I offer to buy them a drink though. Or if they're making dinner I offer to pitch in and bring something. Usually I get the "you're my guest so thanks but no thanks" when offering.
so, a WS host opens up his home to you, (presumably) drives you to go somewhere to eat, and you offer to buy a drink ? and don't tip at restaurants ? that's awesome.
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Old 11-16-16, 02:30 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by adablduya View Post
so, a WS host opens up his home to you, (presumably) drives you to go somewhere to eat, and you offer to buy a drink ? and don't tip at restaurants ? that's awesome.
Not sure what you're getting at. I don't ask them to drive me anywhere to go eat. Usually they offer and more so than not they pay because it was their offer. So in return when I host cyclist I either take them out to eat (and pay) or make them food at home if going out doesn't work. If we each buy our own meals (when I'm being hosted) I offer to buy them a drink but obviously if they're paying for my meal they're not going to let me buy them a drink.

As for tipping; Let's not get too far off topic but I don't believe in it. It's optional and a lot of places have began raising prices and removing the tip option from receipts. Seattle & Portland are two of the cities who've started to move away from tipping. Slowly at least.

A side note: If you get their address sending a thank you card/note when you return home is always appreciative I think. Was one of the first things I did after my tour this summer.
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Old 11-16-16, 02:30 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by adablduya View Post
so, a WS host opens up his home to you, (presumably) drives you to go somewhere to eat, and you offer to buy a drink ? and don't tip at restaurants ? that's awesome.
Right, but make sure to consider donating to their Portland2Portland cause!
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Old 11-16-16, 05:00 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by TDJ1776 View Post
Sorry about the confusion of the Showers Pass thread.

I'd like to hear from anyone, user or provider, about Warm Showers. Good, bad, or indifferent.

I've been a host for a few years, but never a guest. I've hosted from one up to 22 cyclists at one time....yeah 22 but I live on ten acres so most camped outside. On only one occasion did I feel a little leery about a guest. He was American and I got the strong impression he was running from the law. This cyclist did not have any feedback on warmshowers either so that made me a bit concerned. I just told him he could only stay the night and needed to leave early.


Otherwise all the other guests have been great. The stays have been from one night up to over a week. Many have offered to help around the house, etc and some have even cooked meals for me...we went grocery shopping.


Most of the cyclists I have hosted were from Canada, Europe and Asia but also from other parts of the world. Oh yeah, a couple dogs also....were along for the ride.


The stories we share and friends I have made have been great. I keep track of many of them as they continue to tour.


So for me it's been great, although I don't get a significant amount of guests because I'm not on a major route. I live right on the TX-Mexico border so the cyclists I host are mainly going into Mexico but a few have come the other way.


Don't be afraid to restrict what a guest can do (no drugs and alcohol at my place for example) and where they stay. If you need them out of the house at a certain time or want them only to camp outside just be up-front.


My guest have always been very courteous and can typically speak English well enough.


Richard
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Old 11-16-16, 05:22 PM
  #33  
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I like having a level surface , that way things don't slide onto the deck.



Managed to Tour in/around other countries Before Cell phones and all that ..






Last edited by fietsbob; 11-25-16 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 11-16-16, 06:21 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post

So as a Guest, do you typically tip or somehow compensate the host? It is expected or even accepted by hosts?
I think that would be rude.

What I do is ask if I can take them to dinner.

I also bring along refrigerator magnets and post cards of my home city. I might write a short thank you on the post card.

The magnets seemed to be popular in Italy, where they don't seem to be real common except to tourists .. I also give them out to people that go out of their way to help. I gave one to motorcycle cop that gave us a motorcycle escort through town. He loved it. Tried to stick it on his gas tank.
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Old 11-16-16, 06:57 PM
  #35  
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I've hosted several times and been hosted several times. My experience has always been positive. For me the issue is that scheduling can be difficult.
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Old 11-16-16, 07:08 PM
  #36  
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They have some good basics on their forum @TDJ1776

Here's a link to one of them called "How To Be A Good Guest"

https://www.warmshowers.org/good_guest
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Old 11-17-16, 07:25 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
So as a Guest, do you typically tip or somehow compensate the host? It is expected or even accepted by hosts?
I had someone bring me a bottle of wine once from a local winery, offered to share with dinner but he refused.

I have had people bring something to contribute to dinner (rolls or something of the like).

But for the most part, I think it's understood I'm doing this because I want to help and don't expect anything in return. Good conversation is a bonus, but not expected.

I do enjoy if they send a postcard or card at the end of their journey. I have 2 or 3 cards on my fridge from people. A couple had pre-made magnets with their blog or other information (one person was raising money for juvenile arthritis).
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Old 11-17-16, 07:28 AM
  #38  
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Although I'll repeat the sentiment. Communication is key. If you aren't sure of something ask. If you have expectations as a host, communicate them up front.

We always tell people before they go to sleep that they can just come on in if they see lights in the morning. They're welcome to anything in the house for breakfast and to refill water bottles, etc.

And if we do talk, I'll give them route advise. The west to east route in my city has multiple options... and depending on preference some are better than others.
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Old 11-17-16, 02:28 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
Although I'll repeat the sentiment. Communication is key. If you aren't sure of something ask. If you have expectations as a host, communicate them up front.

We always tell people before they go to sleep that they can just come on in if they see lights in the morning. They're welcome to anything in the house for breakfast and to refill water bottles, etc.

And if we do talk, I'll give them route advise. The west to east route in my city has multiple options... and depending on preference some are better than others.
I passed through Erie on my tour this summer. The visitor center on the waterfront was a lot of help. I stayed behind the Washington Township Council Building just north of Edinboro (free dry camping). The park is called Veterans Memorial Park. From there I stayed at Lake Erie State Park in Brocton. They too let me stay for free as a cross country tourist.

Just some advice for you to pass alone to anyone passing through your area.
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Old 11-18-16, 09:21 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by TDJ1776 View Post
What advice would you give to a new user? I'm not a member yet, but plan on using it when I cross the country.
Why don't you join now so you can host before you "use it" on tour? There are a lot of folks who join just before they begin a tour in order to take advantage of the free hospitality which warmshowers offers, but who never reciprocate.
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Old 11-23-16, 08:38 PM
  #41  
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Agree with Axoloti. Give before you receive and get off to the right start I'm a big fan, have stayed as a guest in about a dozen homes and have hosted several myself. Don't overthink it too much, each host is as different as each guest. Be appreciative and communicate well and everything else usually falls into place.

It's a unique arrangement for the world we live in today-one I find quite refreshing.
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Old 11-23-16, 08:52 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by reed523 View Post
Be appreciative and communicate well and everything else usually falls into place.
+1. And guests should not steal from hosts.
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Old 11-23-16, 08:57 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
+1. And guests should not steal from hosts.
+100. but if they do, they should not post photos of self with ill-gotten booty online!
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Old 11-24-16, 07:21 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
Why don't you join now so you can host before you "use it" on tour? There are a lot of folks who join just before they begin a tour in order to take advantage of the free hospitality which warmshowers offers, but who never reciprocate.
Totally agree. We have stopped hosting most of the requests from people who have no feedback and have joined just before the trip began. I have got the impression that they are simply using WS as a means of cheap accommodation and have no intention of hosting once they finish their tour. Maybe wrong with some but...
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Old 11-25-16, 02:34 PM
  #45  
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Wow...thanks everybody for the feedback, all of it! There is some really good advice in here.
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Old 11-29-16, 05:52 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Steve0000 View Post
Totally agree. We have stopped hosting most of the requests from people who have no feedback and have joined just before the trip began. I have got the impression that they are simply using WS as a means of cheap accommodation and have no intention of hosting once they finish their tour. Maybe wrong with some but...
funny you say that; we have found that many cycle-touring guests plan as much of their routes as possible to utilize WS hosts. not to sound cynical, but i certainly don't believe it's because they want to share in as much revelry as possible and relish the human experience. rather, they are, in fact, cheapskates or giving the benefit of the doubt, maybe just don't like camping. a few, in fact, turned out to be nothing more than vagrants on bikes (don't mean that to be a slam on them, mind you...), just not having any real touring agenda at all. definitely more rewarding to host those who camp most of the time and can really appreciate the comforts of home.
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Old 11-30-16, 02:06 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Steve0000 View Post
Totally agree. We have stopped hosting most of the requests from people who have no feedback and have joined just before the trip began. I have got the impression that they are simply using WS as a means of cheap accommodation and have no intention of hosting once they finish their tour. Maybe wrong with some but...
Why does that bother you? If someone wants to save money on a bike tour, I'm all for helping them. If they don't or can't host when they're done, they're only cheating themselves of the experience of hosting.

I planned a ride this summer (that I didn't end up taking) with start / stop points entirely based on WS hosts. It's why I signed up to begin with. Yea, I wanted to save money... but I also didn't want to deal with campgrounds. I was planning to use a tent if necessary, anyway. But in the meantime, I've managed to meet 50+ interesting people.
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Old 11-30-16, 03:22 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
Why does that bother you? If someone wants to save money on a bike tour, I'm all for helping them. If they don't or can't host when they're done, they're only cheating themselves of the experience of hosting.
If you read my post again, the problem I have is that they would appear to have no intention of hosting once their tour is over. WS is a reciprocal interaction. It is not about just being a guest as you tour. If they don't want to host once they stop touring, then they are simply being bludgers.
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Old 11-30-16, 03:55 PM
  #49  
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I think a lot of it depends on where the person lives in relation to a major bike route. I live in Beaverton, Oregon so I get an occasional request from people coming into Portland to head out to Astoria to start the TransAm. In 3 years of living here I've only had one cyclist who had started the route. He was going from Astoria to Portland before dropping south to join the route. Didn't want to ride on the coast. Otherwise they've all been people who are headed to the start.

Point being if they live on a major bike route and haven't hosted that a cause of concern. If they live in Middle of Nowhere, Nebraska; not so much.
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Old 11-30-16, 04:40 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Steve0000 View Post
If you read my post again, the problem I have is that they would appear to have no intention of hosting once their tour is over. WS is a reciprocal interaction. It is not about just being a guest as you tour. If they don't want to host once they stop touring, then they are simply being bludgers.
+1

If you go to the https://www.warmshowers.org website today, it says that there are 100,931 "active members", but only 47,513 "active hosts". I doubt that ~50% of WS members are presently on tour on November 30. What these numbers tell me is that a lot of folks have simply marked themselves as unavailable for hosting.

In the last couple of years, I've had 3 hosting requests from folks who were not touring by bike. I refused each of those requests.

BTW, I found the following page of statistics to be interesting. It gives the number of members by country.
https://www.warmshowers.org/country_count

For some reason, the total number of members and the number available for hosting is somewhat different on this page than on the WS homepage.

I was surprised to see that the country with the 2nd highest number of members (after the USA which has 26,837 members) is France with 12,854. #3 is the UK at 7,191.
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