Dear bicycle tourists ... When you are planning to be a guest at the home of a Warmshowers host, please plan your trip in advance (as far as possible, at least a few days). Contact the hosts you want to visit already in your planning stage.
When you contact a host when you're already on your way, like "I'm riding in your region at the moment, please can I be your guest tonight?", you can be disappointed because the host doesn't answer you. Or when you come at their door, they aren't there. Not everyone reads their messages all the time, so they might not know you are coming.
If you did contact possible hosts in advance, not for fixing the appointment, but just for planning, then you know if they are available. You can still change your plans, f.e. when certain hosts are not available. And the chosen hosts are prepared to receive you as their guest. You can ask them for their phone number so you can phone them at the day you will be arriving.
Exactly! The issue could not be formulated in a better way.
When I am sure to be at X on a precise date ( as arriving in aiport ) I could send message fews months before ....
But when the weather is geting very bad suddenly we was very happy to be hosting without planning in advance ...
I send texto rather mail ... and hopfully some hosts says yes immediately
In australia after falling down ( bad gravel) we send a texto and the WS host call us back in 2 minutes , says OK , tell us where was the keys as he wasn't at home anf says welcome
that is the magic effect of warmshowers ... :)
thanks to them ....
For us, a request weeks or months in advance would look strange, because we have no clue what might happen then. Our favorite is 1 or 2 weeks before, then most dates and arrangements are already fixed, weather forecast available, and we most likely know our own plans (yes, we have a private life of our own). If somebody is in need for a stay, just try - if we can, we will offer a stay, if we are away ourselves, so .. sorry.
For ourselves on trips, often we do not follow a clear plan, or -if doing so. something wents wrong. So we need to be flexible and pragmatic, and most likely the same applies to other travellers. To stay for a couple of days maybe should be arranged in advanced, but for a stay just overnight, it might be requsted short-term. But here, do not rely on a host being able to see your request in time.
And, frankly spoken, we already missed requests because no information was send by WS server in time.
I actually prefer cyclists sending a text the same day or the day before. Then I know for sure I'm home and able to host.
Before longer trips on which I hope to be able to stay with WS hosts, I often contact some of them to check whether they even respond to WS requests. Some hosts are simply never reached through the WS site because they never check it (others may already know for sure they will be travelling themselves). Then I know I need to contact others instead, to find hosts where there is at least a chance. But often neither the potential host or myself want to set a date for the actual stay since that could be a promise difficult to meet. So many things can happen during the time in between, both for the hosts and for the cyclists.
So, that's my experiences and wishes.
There are other things that differs in hosts wishes when it comes to the hosting. I don't want to host people travelling by train or buses.but I have understood other WS hosts are fine with it.
I am new to this network and I am eager to host people on Warmshowers any soon! To contribute to the discussion, I would like to share my practice on Couchsurfing.
As a host, I prefer guests who plan their trips in advance. That way, I can organise myself and host the person in good conditions. As far as I am concerned, I think up to one month in advance is acceptable.
About very short notices: I am always available for travellers who get in trouble during their trip. For example, their host forgot them, cancelled on last minute, is weird or potentially dangerous. I do so because of my personal experience while travelling, I have already been in a situation where I found out as I arrived at my destination that my host's profile was actually a fake and I found myself at a McDonald's on late evening using the free WiFi and begging for help on the emergency groups. For Warmshowers, I think I can surely help in last minute travellers by bad weather conditions or if they face an issue with their bike.
However, I barely consider "emergency requests" from people who just didn't plan properly or just didn't find a host in due time. I mean, I am not a free hostel, I have my life, and maybe I am just not at home.
Not finding a host or a place to sleep is part of the risks of travelling. It may be reasonable to plan a budget for "emergencies" and to book a bed in a hostel if needed.
The procress should try to stay in line with this:
If i don't arrive on said estimated date and time, at least the host can try to call and ask if i'm dead? :P (just joking). (actually if I can't make it on time, i'll always text in advance)
Adjust the lead time for the steps above according to your liking. (e.g. 1 week if you think the host is readily available).
If you don't get a response from anyone after 2 months. You'd have found a nice tree to camp under. ^_^
I'm new on the bike traveling world and with warmshower website (gonna start with both for the first time after the pandemic is over)... And I have a question... If I sent a request in advance, but, somehow, got lost or got late, or something else got wrong, is it like a hotel that, if you're not there in the time you scheduled, you lost the room?
well, if possible it would be fair to a host to inform about any issues as quick as possible. We are private persons, not a hotel, and there is flexibility in all directions.
If you can't show up in time and host knows, the host can make other arrangements, meet up with friends or whatever. He is not bound at home, waiting for you. If your stay can be shifted to next day, next week or else, will be dependend on the host - maybe he will have other guests or obligations, maybe a new arrangement can be found.
Think we all are bicyclists and know about bad weather, broken bikes and similar and can accept unforeseen events. If possible, all parties should be inform about issues in time. It might be possible that also a host might face issues (work, illness, etc.) and can't host you anymore, be prepared for Plan B.
Your host will apreciate news especially if you 'll be late or not coming .Generaly your host prepare rooms and cook diner so imagine if he waits for nothing ?
If you send message well in advance it is also a good idea the send a new one the day before for example ..
sometines I also send message fews hours before when I know my estimal time of arrival