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How much notice?

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How much notice?

Hello everybody,

I am just wondering about the amount of notice that is generally preferred for hosting?

I am leaving on a tour in May and will be touring until August. Is it best to send out messages in May informing potential hosts that we are interested and would appreciate their hospitality during our tour and will contact them closer to the prospective arrival date?

Thanks for any advice

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Notification timing

As a host I appreciate as much notice as possible.

That said, I realize every rider has a different approach to their trip. Some have things scheduled out to the hour, others not so much.

Looking at profiles it's pretty clear that things are all over the place with some hosts asking for weeks of advance notice and others saying anytime is fine.

I'd say, if you know you're going along a particular route and want to establish contact early, do so, BUT . . . as your plans change, as they are wont to do, be sure to keep your potential hosts informed of any changes, alterations, etc.

The last thing you want to do is abuse a potential host's kindness by setting something up then blowing them off without a word. Bad form, that, and likely to get you a "negative" feedback posting.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member

..i am planning a solo trip for april...pennsylvania to key west..maybe 2 or 3 months, not definite plans or dates, nothing carved in stone..i made contacts in feburary and now have a list of prospective hosts...somewhat as a "heads up" for the host, somewhat because i love this part of the trip as well as the actual traveling and have trouble containing my excitement, but also for my own peace of mind....out of 20 contacts made, 1 person was no longer at the address, 1 person was going to be traveling also during those months...2 people didnt respond at all, but the other folks were all receptive and open to the possibility of hosting and suggested that i call when i get closer to see if they are going to be available at a more definite date and time...i made contacts as far south as VA/NC state line because the responses i had already recieved were encouraging and swift so i figured when i get more along the way, i will make more contacts as i move south....and thes dates will be a bit more, i am doing both, an early heads up with no commitments and also contacting when i get closer....ready to roll !

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
As a host.

I have never toured on a bike any long distances myself. but I have vacationed using my car and having no set plans stopping where something interest me . So as a host now, I can understand the need for flexibility on both the pedalers and host part. A couple of weeks ago a young man contacted me about staying a week in advance. it worked, as the time got closer the need fell apart on his end. He let me know not to expect him for which I thanked him and added that if he did end up coming through he would be welcome. Last night he contacted me about staying tonight. He apologized for the short notice. I assured him that 24 hours notice has been the norm and has so far worked out fine for me. The key is open, honest, and timely communication from both parties will normally work out for everyone.
Pedal Safe


WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Short Notice

I'm curious about notice as well.

I usually have no idea where I'll be or if or when I'll be there. Sometimes, I'll sit at a fork in the road and count the number of vehicles that go back and forth on each road. I often take the road less traveled and that can completely change my route, my plans, and my timing.

So I'm more of a short notice person -- like today or tomorrow...

Recognizing that a host can simply decline my request with no hard feelings, is it impolite to ask on short notice? As long as I say, "Hey, I know this is very short notice, so please, feel free to say 'no'...", I'm not really inconveniencing anybody, am I?

I do realize there are people who have trouble saying 'no' though.

Most of my invitations to stay with people have been spur of the moment, often in front of a grocery store while I was eating. So I know there are people for whom notice is no big deal. But I also know people who would be very uncomfortable with spontaneity.

Your insights would be helpful and appreciated.


WS Member Imagen de WS Member
A notice about 30 minutes

A notice about 30 minutes before arriving is best :) When you get a mail, you immediately know whether you are at home or not. And you still have 30 minutes to get ready.

I've got emails that people could arrive in lets say 3 weeks. I cannot be sure if I will be there or here in three weeks :) Of course 3 weeks is a good starting point, but in holiday time too much notice can be too much.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
30 minutes?

Wow you do cut it short. I generally have had folks ask the day before for the next night's lodging.
Honestly even for easy going me, having 30 min notice that someone wants to stay the night would feel a bit
odd. With today's modern communication capabilities of phones a pedaler that does not plan out where
he or she and be able to give more more than 30 minutes notice is not very considerate to any host

For one thing I enjoy having a real balanced meal to any guest who I host. granted I could get something around at the last minute . But might not be up to what i like to present.

I do find it helpful for a guest who has " booked' the day before and given a general time of ' early evening'
to call when they are 30-60 min before arrival so that I can do the final meal prep and have things ready after they get out of the warm ( or this time of year cool ) shower

WS Member Imagen de WS Member

..not sure just how i would respond to a 30 minute notice...i would definitely want to hear about the events leading up to a short notice, perhaps there was no means to communicate, and there should be desperation in your a thru rider, it seemed as though most folks were good with 24 hr or 12 hr notice...i would always offer to keep my host updated in regard to my progress, usually with a late morning text and then another text after far, my travels have usually been within range of cell phone service...when i suspect i will be out of range, i will probably make plans with my host a bit more in advance with the understanding that further communications may be difficult..always ready for the unavailability of hosts...

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
30 Minutes Notice


I think I'd be a bit shy about giving only 30 minutes notice but I'm with you in that I have no idea where I'll be in 3 weeks -- as a host or a guest.

I wonder if it's okay to just say, "Hey, I'm in your area and if it works out for me to stop by, I'd sure enjoy that. I understand perfectly if this is too short of notice though..." Then a person can say, "Sorry, we're not going to be around tonight..." or "Somebody's already here..." or whatever they wish.

When I go visit my parents and I bike up there, I stop in the downtown area about 4 miles from their house and sit and read a book for a while or have a bite to eat. That way, I can time my arrival for about the time they're expecting me. Sometimes I'll hang out for a while and dry out my gear before going up. At their age, they like predictability. Showing up later or earlier is hard for them to deal with.

But I don't know if it's that way for the average WS.Org host or not. In any case, if somebody wants 2 or 3 hours notice, it's easy enough to go hang out at a park for a while.

On a long tour, you get to where you don't want to ride anymore and just about any activity looks like fun. I've mowed lawns for fun and had the lawn's owner marvel at how happy I was walking behind a mower. I've swept driveways, pulled weeds, etc... just for a little break from the bike. I haven't found it hard to find such opportunities. Of course, I always have a book or two with me.

One thing I'm curious about though -- it sounds like some hosts like to cook for their guests. That's a very nice gesture but it would make me feel a bit guilty as I don't like to put anybody to any trouble. That and I don't eat what most people eat and I'm vegetarian. It would feel really awkward to tell somebody what I will and won't eat... ...I don't know... just feels like I could end up sounding rude and I wouldn't want to do that. So I'm not sure how to handle dietary restriction stuff.

That and I like to do dishes and help out where possible. I would feel so very uncomfortable not helping with dishes but some people consider that impolite as well. Whenever I stay with a friend or relative, I just want to do something helpful.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
cooking for a guest

...after having some very fine meals prepared for me and planned around my arrival, as a guest...i feel a tinge of guilt (for about 7 or 8 seconds)when i host because i dont do that...that being said, as a host i have treated to chineese and as a guest i have treated to pizza and beer...i am omnivarian(is that a word?..well. it is now!) and folks ask me if there are foods which i dont eat, and so far, the only foods that i have trouble with are those foods that are served with warm chicken blood as a condiment...there are many good folks out there, most are very flexible because they have been in the shoes of a thru rider or will be, or would like to be...or some of us just like hangin with someone from another place...its good to be here...

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
cooking for the guests

I very much enjoy cooking a real meal for my guest. I state in my profile that I will cater to the guest choice.
So I always ask, " is there something specific you are hungry for? anything you can't or won't eat?
It makes me no difference as to what I fix just as long as I have a half days notice to get the fixins to make it
I have found that a higher percentage of bikers than the general population are vegetarians
I am glad to prepare a meal for them, if the group is mixed I will serve up something for each
corn on the cob, fresh fruit , rice pilaf , mac and cheese. all seem to be hits with the non meat eating crowd
I do generally share the bumper sticker i saw years ago. " I am not a vegetarian because I love animals, it is because I hate PLANTS " gets a chuckle

I will admit that if someone were to state they were Vegan I would have trouble coming up with a meal
plan. But i doubt if there are many vegan bicyclist since i have no idea where they would get enough protein to function. I would tell them it hurts a cow more not to milk it , and what else are you going to do with what comes out a chicken's butt.

As for helping out, most offer, and i let them put the dishes in the dishwasher and wipe down the table
I do not do this for slave labor. Riders have had long days I want them to make themselves at home
relax chill out.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Cooking for guests

Wow, there are some really nice people out there!

I've been a guest in many a home on my various rides. I've always enjoyed that. Iowa was one of a few states I had a hard time getting through. I kept getting invited into people's homes.

On several occasions, I've been invited into homes and have sat while some nice person who continued to cook for me until I could eat no more. When I was in my teens and 20's, I found that older people really missed their grown children and even their grandchildren. I have been treated like family by so many people I'd never before met.

After watching the news for years, I used to be kind of cynical about people. After crossing this country on a bicycle, I feel very positive about most people. It is the rare person who isn't very nice.

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