Before we leave home we purchase HyVee gift cards and a think you card for each home stay. We have been giving eight to ten bucks per person. A cold high school shower will cost you five so what do you value a hot private shower, A/C and other civilized amenities??
our team puts a tin cup in the bathroom and those that shower contribute to defray the cost of hot water, clean-up etc.
usually the host refuses compensation and offers a party for his guests..that is what Iowa is like.
when RAGBRAI came to Indianola we had about 10 people acheduled to stay with us in tents in the yard or they could stay in the AC garage. about 15 people showed up. They were able to use the bathrooms, they were able to wash there clothes (they took full advantage of that, we only had to do to loads because they put there clothes together to make full loads) the fridge in the garage was full of drinks and snacks that they were welcome to, grilled out dinner, they asked if we could give them a ride to the main area for the party (which was no big deal since we were going there to) some came back with us others found there own ride back (make sure you get the address and store it in your phone so you can ask locals for directions.
now to answer the question, we love RAGBRAI and we would have people stay with us in a heartbeat. We refused money but it was great getting a team shirt and coozie, we found money in the bathroom and by the washer. The best part was the respect of them cleaning up before they left all the trash was picked up and they were so greatful. I love the Hy-vee gift card (kind of bias to hy-vee)
We’ve always done team t-shirts and/or caps. There is one particular host we stay with on Friday night before the ride and even Saturday night if the ride starts in Sioux City or Sargeant Bluff and have probably stayed there 7 or 8 times. I know money would not be accepted so we try to take them out to dinner or have done things for their niece and her daughter.
I find that most Iowans would be insulted if you offered them money. They don’t host to make money, they host because they want to help.