I have hosted dozens of cyclists and have had no bad guests. This suggests that it is not difficult to be a good guest. Or perhaps I am lucky - I live in a remote area and only the hardy and resourceful reach me. Not knowing what if any arrangements to make about the evening meal of the first night when I start to get hungry and my guests have not arrived. In my case it is difficult for cyclists to predict their arrival time because of the vagaries of the road and weather.
They have limited options for telephone or internet communication along the way. Guests who ask permission before they do or use anything.
If I say they can use anything in the kitchen, I mean it. I love the last two. I had 2 riders who stripped the beds and placed the sheets in the washer. As I was saying good bye I noticed the washer running and asked if they forgot something.
If they had not "fessed Up" I would have thought I had Alzheimers. I have too many guests each year now to feed them 21 in , And I no longer have my address posted, I meet them in a shopping center bandstand park across the street. So I go about my normal routine, they can wait if I'm not home or have gone to bed.
My wife and I have hosted 7 cyclists over the past 5 months. We got good reviews and now we get about a request a week. Guests must understand that the main reason we do this is because we enjoy sharing experiences with people with a sense of adventure and who have been to places we have not. So please, spend time sharing your experience. Leave a trace..
We believe that we are naturally generous people so we tend to be pretty cool on sharing our meals or taking visitors along with us to a party or an outing. Unfortunately lately we have started to feel that we are being used by some of our visitors. After days we often realize they have not spent a single cent during their stay or made any sort of contribution to make up for the small efforts we make.
They eat your food, use your internet, use your tools, leave the room not clean In the end we have decided to stop hosting for now which is a shame because we did get a few really nice guests. Sorry guys but some people have spoilt it for you! It might be helpful to limit your guests stays to 1 night; helping people along who need it and keeping yourself from feeling abused by those who are "overly opportunistic" and wishing to live off of others. Don't give up! I am going to give up, feeling like many others on this thread, used by yet another freeloader whose idea of being a guest is sucking up as much he could and offering zero, nada, but his holly presence.
This guy was just past the door yesterday with his bike and trailer when he jumped into the kitchen and washes his hands over my dishes piled up in the sink. I was a bit surprised and told him, pointing toward the bathroom, that I'd prefer him to use the washroom for that since I am eating in those dishes. I thought, just a mistake, no big deal, let's try to make him at ease. But it just went on and on. Total lack of "savoir vivre" from start to end. I told him to not go around with his shoes on I have carpeted floor, unfortunately. But, no, here he is in the living room putting his shoes on.
Seemed like he couldn't care less He arrived empty handed in the afternoon, then went out to get some money. When back, he told me he bought himself some pizza. There is 2 grocery stores, one liquor store, etc. A bit latter, I prepared a meal.
He did not contribute anything, or rather better , he generously offered some pasta, the only thing he said he had in his bag. I declined. As he finished his plate when I hardly started on mine, I told him to help himself for more, which he did without hesitation. He then proceeded to help himself on the cheese, repeatedly, as it was all for him to devour. Same on the dark chocolate I offered for desert with a glass of rum.
However, I did try to maintain a friendly atmosphere. We did had some conversation latter that evening but nothing stellar. Next morning, he was still in bed in my office at a quarter to eight although I told him the night before I have breakfast at 7am as I need to get to work. Regardless, I prepared breakfast, coffee and home made chocolate croissants.
When ready, I knocked on the office door, got inside to open the window as he was still in his sleeping bag. That's when I saw his dirty socks on my desk, over my work papers I couldn't believe it I asked him if it was his. He vaguely apologized and took them away. I made no comment, just turned away in disbelief. He finally came out for breakfast, swallowed everything without one word to even vaguely express some form of thank. An hour latter, I had found an excuse to kick this pathetic moron out. I believe he eventually sensed that I was pissed, although I am not even sure.
A guy in his thirties behaving like an 8 y. I think he just has no clue. So what to expect? It's the second time in a row that I experience such a self centered freeloader through ws. The first two guests were very nice.
Sorry for the long rant, I just had to vent it out. Not sure I am going to risk the disagreement one more time. Not sure how to filter these lemons out, as they really spoil it for the rest of you good guests. I was quite sorry to read about several hosts' experiences with cycling guests. I must admit that I readily accept the food and beverages that hosts offer, and assume that all offers of hospitality are genuine.
Since I like to consume alcohol, I've taken to picking up a 6-pack at a convenience store and contributing it to the refrigerator. As to bad experiences with cycling guests I really hope that the reaction is to give a scathing review on their profile. It won't take too many of those until a cyclist finds that hosts aren't "available" when they're coming through.
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My wife and I would love to host, but over three years we've yet to have a single request--partly because there are a lot of hosts in our area Raleigh, NC. So don't give up on us touring folks on a budget, or for whom the ground isn't as forgiving as it was 40 years earlier--give bad reviews.
Sounds like you had a pretty bad time. Originally i was on couchsurfing and stopped my account after a couple of negative experiences but none so bad as yours.
Hell, I still cannot talk about it. All of these memories, the sunk costs, keep you grinding a grind that should no longer be grinded. They even used our soap to bath instead of using theirs. We have a knack for ruining a good show. Hence, another reason for writing this post and thinking about the irony of spending so much time and money on education know when everything is free. As you were going to get something for nothing, then you should just be prepared to deal with it. As a result of this simple change—one attribute improved and skewed—he tripled his sales.
However, after a long break, i have more recently had another go and also started using warm showers. I generally try to protect myself more. I tell people what is espected of them with regard to looking after themselves but of course its not so easy to spell out bathroom etiquette and the like. And so often enough i have minor disappointments but i can cope with the odd little mistake a guest might make eg leaving their used towel in the room rather than bringing it down to the laundry or when they leave their toothbrush and shower stuff in the bathroom.
But generally I do my best to ensure that the most important things are clearly spelt out at the earliest opportunity. And most of the time, people only stay one night which reduces the opportunity for creating problems. But perhaps it is time that each new member was given a list of etiquette rules when they join. And hopefully with that and the feedback you give them, should pretty soon learn what they have to do to improve their style.
I'm sorry you're experience has been so negative, but I hope people don't give up hosting based on these negative reports. I have actually been really surprised by how "good" my guests have been.