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Overnight inquiries and notifications

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WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Overnight inquiries and notifications

I understand that it's good to inquire several days ahead with potential guest. But I'd guess that lots of tourers don't have a hard fixed schedule, don't know how many miles they might ride in a day, and don't have fixed overnight points.

Am I wrong? If not how are you and others dealing with this issue?

Are tentative/potential inquiries acceptable; i.e. "Hi I'm riding from A to B in the last week of May and you are along the route. I'm not sure how far I get and where my overnights will be. But if I'm near your place would it be OK to call you and inquire if I can stay at your place that day."?

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului @wsadmin@
Communicate with the host

The key here is respect for the host. In my opinion, you can ask, and carefully offer them the option of saying "no" if it's late notice. All of us know that cyclists have unpredictable schedules. If your schedule changes, give the host as much notice as is possible, and if you sense you may be making things inconvenient for them, make sure they know you will let them say "no".

Hosts: You can always say no. Communicate what you need.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
I have had tentative

I have had tentative enquiries as both a host and a guest. I'm fine with that, and all of my hosts have been - including one or two with whom I did not, in the end, stay.

Of course a guest won't know for sure what his schedule is going to be - that's the nature of touring. With a mobile phone, that's no big deal - a guest can let me know hour by hour about his progress if he wants. Some of my hosts' places have been hard to find, and a phone's a big help there too!

As a host, if I know there are nights I can't be there, I'll tell the tentative enquirer that that's so. They are then free to look elsewhere or alter their schedule to fit in with mine.

There are other nights when a guest is welcome, but I'll be working during the evening. That's OK with me: I'll feed 'em and leave 'em to it. Other times we talk the night away.

As a guest, both scenarios have their advantages: sometimes you're tired, or language is difficult, and all you want is to crash out undisturbed. Other times you've not spoken to anyone for days and some company is welcome.

... and that reminds me of arriving at a farm campsite in Yorkshire after a very, very long day's walk. The farmer saw us coming, and meeting us in the yard just said "set up over there. Milk and sugar?" These were the only words we exchanged with him, and the only ones necessary at the time.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Re: Overnight inquiries and notifications

Almost all of the warmshowers guests I have hosted do seem to have "fixed overnight points". They contact me well in advance of arrival, and then perhaps once or twice before finally showing up on my doorstep.

I cannot recall being contacted from the perspective that you suggest: that they would be interested in hospitality from me if it is convenient for them (to be blunt). If I did receive a request like this I would probably respond that they can give me a call but that I couldn't guarantee being able to host them. Let me also add that while I normally go to some trouble to prepare for a guest's arrival (clean house, get food & drink in advance, and arrange my schedule so I'm free) I probably will not do so in this situation.

There is nothing wrong with touring as you suggest. However I think that your interaction with other warmshowers members will not be as satisfying as it could be.

Kevin

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Overnight inquiries and notifications

My experiences have been that the tentative schedules, with a follow up later, work best for the hosts.

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Overnight inquiries and notifications

Most hosts have the notice preference on their page. I prefer a two day notice but I know that this is hard so I mention that someone can call if shorter to see if we’re at home. If a prospective host is adamant regarding the notice time as demonstrated on their page, I would try another host. It is their right and there shouldn’t be any hard feelings about that.

What you suggest is fine. Send the introductory e-mail and then call, sms, e-mail as quick as you can regarding the actual date of arrival. In the 13 years of hosting, I think 80% of guests have done exactly what you’ve suggested (although normally I do get a one day heads up), the other 20% I’ve met on the road at a prearranged location and rode with them to the homestead. I cannot envision hosting someone who just called a couple of hours before their arrival without any previous communications, just too complicated with the logistics. Maybe for a real emergency (illness, wreck, mechanical issues, not “it’s getting dark.) ..

Also if you send an introductory e-mail and your plans change, it would be good to inform the tentative host as well.

Robert Mink
Jary Poland via Spokane USA

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
I haven't hosted many people

I haven't hosted many people off this particular site just yet but I have hosted quite a few the last few years via other sites non-biking specific - though I'm finding bikers make better guests and friends ;).

In general guests have sent me a tentative email like your speaking of, introduced themselves well in advance (sometimes more than a month in advance). They can't always predict exactly what day they will be there, but in my mind at least it gives me some good warning that I might have a guest. They contact again when they get closer, (usually within 2-3 days) and we remain in touch by phone or email - keeping me up-to-date on when or IF to expect them and vice-versa if I can still host. A few times recently it's worked out that they simply can't make it as far as they thought and camped elsewhere, or the way mileage worked out they they made better time than they thought and wanted to keep pushing.

Like one of the other responders, if I know someones coming for-sure I'll usually cook a nice dinner, clean up, ect. So it is nice when you've got someone who's confident they will be there at a certain time on a certain day, with a certain set schedule. I've hosted both "flexible" and "structured" travelers, and structured folk, or one's who keep in close contact are much easier to anticipate and be around for.

But, There are times a hosts life can be chaotic as well. Keep in touch and make sure their plan's haven't altered, be sure to confirm. There's nothing worse as a host than wondering "Well they said they should be here around today, but I haven't heard from them. Should I sit around and wait, or go on about my day?" If they don't confirm that day or a few hours ahead - there's nothing to keep me sitting around. My response emails to a question like yours usually include a warning like that. I'll go on with my life until I know when exactly someone will be here, especially if they are traveling "flexibly".

That said even my most flexible travelers have contacted me well in advance, and my the few "emergency" requests I've had came in because we were having terrible weather those weeks, and they were completely water logged, their gear was soaked from sleeping in tents in the middle of storms and the weather forecast was only getting worse. In that case, I don't mind. Bad weather is legitimate reason for me to not freak out about "Oh no My house is a mess! Oh no!" instead I get to think "Oh no, I hope they can beat the next wave of the storm or don't mind being soaked when they arrive."

Without a reason like that 2-3 days ahead of time and keeping me posted is what I think I prefer and expect.