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Please don't leave potential hosts up-in-the-air about whether you're coming

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WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Please don't leave potential hosts up-in-the-air about whether you're coming

I have had three parties contact me to stay, all the interactions had an element of oddness to them.

One person said he had a medical condition, so he changed the direction he was traveling. Not sure how that helped, since he was now camping, but the bottom line was that he didn't bother to call me to tell me. I discovered this when I called his cell phone on the day he was supposed to arrive. Not nice.

The same kind of thing occurred for another party, in which they folks just didn't know whether they were really coming, as, perhaps, they would do something different. But again, no contact to inform the host that it wasn't happening.

The last party was not inconsiderate, but they called for the next night and we were out of town that week. It's not a problem for me that guests might choose to contact me at the last minute. If I am able to host them, I will. If it's not possible, or just too inconvenient to accommodate their arrival at that time, that's something they just accept.

But listen... If you're on a multiple-day journey and you've got a commitment from someone to host you, they're assuming you'll be coming, are no doubt reserving time to share with you, introduce you to the area, perhaps planning a meal for you, and so on. It's just not good form to leave them hanging. So be clear about any uncertainty you might have in your plans, and agree on what will work for both parties regarding updates, change of plans, and method of communication.

That's it.

Unregistered Imagen de anon_user
calling ahead

Your suggestion is eminently fair. We're new to WarmShowers, planning a cross-country trip, and wondering what the etiquette is regarding when to query a potential host. Given that riding plans and itineraries can change once a trip is under way, we're thinking it's best to call or email two or three days ahead of the day you'd like to stay with a host. Is contacting a potential host farther in advance acceptable if, as you suggest, you take pains to promptly notify the host if your plans change?
Dave in Tacoma, Wash.
sds99harbornet.com
(registered w. Anne Seago)

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
calling ahead

I've used a few different hosting systems before, but I always made a few calls to give updates on my plans. There's usually the first contact about 7-10 days in advance. Anything farther away is generally too much notice, and difficult for many hosts to agree to. I then follow up a day or two in advance, usually by email, just to say that I am indeed on my way, plan to be there on x day, and will call if something happens. I'll then call when I'm about 1-2 hours away, just to make sure that someone is home so that I don't end up awkwardly waiting at the door.

That seems like enough contact so that the host never feels like they are hanging, and hopefully it's not too much contact to be awkward or rude. Emails are nice because they can be short and sweet and a quick reminder. I've had one bad encounter when I showed up, and the host said that they forgot to let me know that they had to leave town and I needed to look elsewhere. Since that incident, I have no problem sending a few extra messages just in case.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
2 No shows

It seems like the problem of no shows is more prevalent than I thought. At this point, I am finding that 1/3 of the people that contact me for a place to stay actually show.

Both times I had had to contact the travelers. The first time wasn't so bad because I contacted them a month out to see if they were still coming and to get a date they were anticipating being in the area as it was close to conflicting with my own touring scheduled. The second time, was more aggravating as I changed my work schedule to accommodate someone and only found out the night before because I called him to make sure he was on schedule. I understand that you need some wiggle room because of weather, mechanical difficulties, etc. He had decided not to stop at my house, so we went through the effort of getting the extra bed ready and I gave up a night of pay!