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Very early accommodation requests.

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Very early accommodation requests.

We have just had a request from someone wanting to stay with us next July which is 8 months away. This has happened to us once before and both times we have had to turn them down because we don't know what we will be doing that far ahead. Has anyone else had this happen and do you feel it's a reasonable use of warm showers to book and plan your whole journey so far ahead? 

Pete and Chris 

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Yes, that has happened. I do

Yes, that has happened. I do not turn them down but I answer that they can get back to me later, and that would be welcome if I am at home. In all cases, that is the last thing that I have heard from them.

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Advance planning

8 months is a litttle much but I know what they are doing because I plan in advance also.  The idea for me on my rides is to alert members that I am coming through the week of such and such and hopefully things will work out at that time for them to host me for a night.  I then contact again later and more near the actual arrival time to request again.  This gives the Host the opportunity to get used to the idea.  It takes a lot of time and effort to arrange hosts on a long ride and I would rather do it from my home computer than a library at the last minute.  Plus the fact that every year I have hosts contact me weeks and months later saying they were sorry not to get back to me because they hadn't visited the site in a long time.  There have been a number of issues where the site does not pass along requests.  All in all, guests are not being rude by asking in advance, they are just being organized in their planning.

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What ever happened to adventure?

Hi Cristine and Peter,

We never had this and just like you we would have an negative answer to such a request simply beacuse we don't know what we are doing then. We think planning WS hosts 8 months in front is a tiny bit riddiculous. We ourselves see Warmshowers not as a routine, not a way to base our trip on. We visit WS hosts as a respite while on the road.  So we don't think planning ahead 8 months before is a reasable way to use warmshowers Its not rude but you cant forsee the host and the guests future. Whats the point of introducing yourself so many months ahead as both yours and their agenda or route can change. Like life in general does. if you want to plan 8 months ahead to have your night rest secured, do it with airbnb or booking.com. But hey thats our personal opinion   ;-). 

What ever happened to cyclers going on adventure - not knowing where your day brings you, who you will meet and where you will sleep. What ever happened to cyclers who take a tent to be independent? Our most fond memories are from those unexpected encounters when searching for a place to sleep in our tent at the end of the day. Ok we know a WS host should be pre planned and not just one hour before and so its not completely the same. But it figures when people plan 8 months ahead they are completely on the other side of the scale. 

In any case it gives both host and guest something to look foreward LOL. 

 

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To stay or not to stay ?

Being a fulltime cyclist (emigrant) I have some idea about this. My experience in about 2 years is that max 10% of potential hosts respond anyway. I just checked and have sent about 75 requests here. Of them maybe 10 people responded of which 5 positive. In practice I was hosted only 3 times. The other 2 did later on not fit in their or my timeline.

A response can arrive next week or next month, but hardly ever comes in time to be practical anymore. As you might guess a cylist needs a (final) response within max 3 days or so to make the short term planning work. Not to mention the aspect of having (no) internet while cycling. Or not even at all for several days, like in some parts of Morocco (or even in Spain, for 10 days !).

For Agadir I wrote to 9 potential hosts 2 weeks in advance. Of them 8 never responded (in 6 months) and 1 did after 7 weeks, making apologies. In the whole 2 months I was cycling in Morocco I never got any response within 2 weeks anyway (except for 1). I was hosted there only onces, by an european woman who does handle here emails. I have more ore less the same experience in France (south, 4 months) Spain (all over, 8 months) and Portugal (south, 6 months).

Main reason I can think of for this gap is that potential hosts don't use that ws email adress anymore (ie new mailaccount ?). And so don't receive the requests in their daily device(s) (mailclient(s)). And obviously only very few people visit the site regularly and I don't really understand why (not). Then this has to do with extra special interests and hobbies of both parties involved. On the other hand, I guess many hosts hardly ever get any request, depending on the area were they live. So beginners enthousiasm might fade away.

I try to make contact ie 2 or 3 weeks ahead (were the chance to is 10% despite taking a lot of effort and time). If I get a first response I then get more specific while travelling on. Like "it might be that I will arrive in your town in 3 days" or so. However I was cancelled once late on the day before arrival and once even late at the day of arrival itself. The reason was that "a friend was coming over unexpectedly".

Anyway, I will not (ever) end up contacting anyone 8 months in advance. Then being a fulltime cyclist (emigrant) I don't have the slightest idea were I then will be haha.

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Agree with others

Like others, I have had requests 6+ months out.  I personally am fine with that and respond with something along the lines of "Yes, I will host you *IF* I am avaialble at that time.  Please re-contact me 3-10 days to reconfirm. Hope you have a great trip!"  This way, they know I respond to messages, and would be willing to host if I am available.

Hope this helps, John

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Early request and then....

I had a similar experience of a very early request from a couple on a very big trip,which was tightly scheduled as they were aiming to get a record. we had lots of communication and bearing in mind the date they were passing through we arranged our own out of state bike trip to make sure we would be back for them . 2 days before their visit... change of plans and they didn't come! I was pretty cross... we could have stayed away on our own trip longer. I was not a happy bunnie.

 

 

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Oeff Julia, I hope you left neg. feedback

Oeff Julia sorry to hear that. Did they know you scheduled your holiday around them? If so I hope you left them a negative feedback. 
 I think it's common courtesy to stick to agreements but in this case you gave too much I think. 

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I too would be perturbed

I would be quite bummed but I guess I see how, when trying for a record, plans can change so would not be TOO angry if this was something reasonably beyond their control.  Now if they were not trying to do a record or something I had a strong interest in, I probably would have just said, sorry I plan to be on holiday then. 

 

Tailwinds, John