Warmshowers: 10 reasons why you should use it on your cycle trip
You want to tour on your bike, and you’re looking for meeting people, saving money, to share experience and above all: to get a warm shower after a long day of cycling, than www.Warmshowers.org is the perfect community for you! I use it wherever I can and it works fantastic. Without it, I might not even come this far.
1. Get a warm shower
It sounds obvious, but having a warm shower can literally wash away all your concerns. Sometimes you might be annoyed by the so-manieth flat tire or the horrible roads and its busy traffic, but as soon as the warm water drops on your skin, you forget about this. And, of course, refreshing yourself is always comfortable. Especially after a sweaty day, it’s nice to be able to clean yourself.
2. Get a bed
Don’t worry about setting up your tent and sleep on your air mattress, but sleep in a real bed. Quite often you will have your own bedroom and a proper bed.
3. Share experiences
Warmshowers is for cyclers, by cyclers. Almost everyone in this community did do cycle trips, varying from just a few days to a few years and from close by to the other side of the world. Get inspired by others, or let others inspire them by you.
4. See culture
You can visit a museum, or a touristic attraction, but the real culture of a country can be found inside the local houses. You will actually see, smell and feel how life in another region is. There are other habits and different house decorations.
5. Become part of the natural trading system
The community is based on a system of give and take, so the one time you are the host and the other time you can be guest. The system has to be in balance in order to work. In many cases it sells itself, because once you have been guest, you will feel the need of give something back. And it feels good to be part of the system of trust, respect and simplicity.
6. Save money
When you travel you can save a big bunch of money by using this platform. The main costs of travelling by bike are sleeping place, food, maintenance, visas and touristic attractions. By deleting any costs for sleeping you save a lot of money. And if you get dinner and breakfast you save even more. On a good days you only spent money on lunch.
7. It fits better than Couchsurfing
With much more members and a better function website, Couchsurfing is the big brother of Warmshowers. But the big difference between the two hosting platforms is that Couchsurfing is meant for every kind of traveler, while Warmshowers is only for cyclers. A host-cycler knows what a guest-cycler needs and that he might be late, dirty, tired or even changed his plans.
8. It’s a party
Especially in the smaller places where there are only a few hosts available, not so many guests pass by. So when you as a guest do pass by, it is a special occasion for the host. Quite often there is a special dinner, and a special drink, sometimes even special guests come by to meet you. It truly does feel like something special is going on.
9. Get dinner and breakfast (don’t expect it, but be surprised when you do)
Cyclers eat a lot, more than the average person does. And when you are a guest, people naturally want to be a good host and provide dinner and breakfast for you. However, Warmshowers is basically only to provide a shower and a bed, and you shouldn’t expect food. Or at least, you can’t blame a host if he doesn’t. But when he does, it’s fantastic. It saves you the effort to cook and to do groceries. In most cases you will get food, but let yourself surprise and you will appreciate life even more.
10. Receive local information
Your hosts probably know the region better than you do. They can recommend you to take particular routes, or they know some stories that you otherwise wouldn’t have heard.