Providing a means of communication between cyclists out on the road and those back home with spare rooms, Warm Showers is couchsurfing specifically for cyclists – and it was around first, too.
Set up in 1993, Warm Showers is a not for profit organisation run by a small group of volunteers. Despite the small size of the team, the company has members from all over the world meaning you can easily find a host for the evening as you pedal through Japan, Australia or Scotland.
Signing up to the site is simple and can be done in minutes by either clicking onto the website or downloading the app for iPhone, Android or Windows.
Once you’re all signed up you can create a profile letting potential hosts and guests know a little bit more about you and your touring experience. If you are currently unable to host any cyclists then be sure to set your status to ‘not currently available’ so that people don’t try and message you and become disheartened by your lack of reply.
If you find a host along your route that you would like to stay with, go on their profile and click ‘send a message’ to ask them whether it would be possible to stay with them on the dates you’ll be in town. Members aren’t obliged to provide you with accommodation but if they have the availability they normally will be happy to have you to stay.
Warm Showers is completely free and its members aren’t allowed to charge for accommodation. However, it’s always nice to offer to cook a meal for your host or leave them a small thank you present as a sign of your appreciation. And of course, promise to return the favour if they are ever cycling through your home country.
The accommodation you will be provided with will vary between a space to pitch your tent, to a sofa or your own room. This will usually be clear from the member’s profile but if it isn’t simply send them a message to ask.
An incredible resource for budget bicycle tourers out on the road, Warm Showers is the place to go for finding completely free accommodation for cyclists. And for those back home dreaming of their next trip but unsure when it will be able to happen, why not invite cyclists into your home for a night or two to hear all about their trip and share your own future plans with them?
Astrid Domingo Molyneux became a member of Warm Showers whilst cycling around the world for two years. Find out more about her trip here.
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