An important part of research for any potential stay is what the weather is likely to be during the dates of the stay. Years ago I almost booked a beach trip in April before realizing it wasn’t going to be nearly as warm in that location as I thought it would.
WeatherSpark is a great tool for historical weather summaries presented in a way that’s human-readable and particularly useful for travelers. (I’m not affiliated with WeatherSpark in any way, but I think this would be helpful for everyone.) You can even compare the information to your home city or another location:
I would like each listing, below the map, to include a link to WeatherSpark (or similar service?), pointing to the weather for that location for the month of the stay. An alternative would be for THS to connect to a weather data API and display the data right on the listing, but it probably wouldn’t be as detailed.
I think this will be very low down in the list of priorities. I must admit, I’ve never concerned myself too much about the weather….more about the kind of animals, area and dates… but then I am in the UK not US
A little research on the internet with the keywords : weather, climate, best period to go to such a place
and you will have the answer.
I personally do not find it important at all. There are numerous websites providing weather services for free (which every traveler should know about). But, if, if, if pet owners like to provide such info they can always link to the local weather site in their listings.
p.s. The more unnecessary client-server requests the less functional (slower) THS website will become. Eventually, even milliseconds add up.
Not really important for us, usually we plan a bit ahead and there’s no way of knowing what the weather will be like.
Surely that should be factored into your personal research? Along with dog type traits, where’s the nearest supermarket, do I need a car, nearest walking trail ……
This should all be done (in my humble opinion) even before an application is sent then there are no surprises when the sitter turns up for the sit. As said before, many times, this is an introductory service not a all inclusive holiday shop.
What a great site, @mahkato. I agree with the others that it isn’t the responsibility of THS to provide this info, but if a link to Weather Spark was included in search results it would be a nice touch. Thanks for this.
Not much use to sitters in the UK….so I disagree
A bit of clarification for what I mean with my suggestion:
@Flora, yes, you can certainly manually search for climate information for each listing. But since the location of the sit is already right there, THS could automatically generate a link to WeatherSpark as a starting point for that research. This way, you’d simply have to click one link. The alternative (as it is now) requires switching from THS to Google or elsewhere, typing in the sit location, trying to find what the weather will be like in 6 months or whenever the sit will be, etc. I don’t understand the opposition to having a link on the bottom of the listing page. It’s not like you are required to click it if you prefer to get your climate summary from elsewhere.
If the listing was for Orlando in July, the link at the bottom of the listing would point directly to WeatherSpark’s “July in Orlando” page.
@RadarInc, if they just create a link to WeatherSpark, there are no additional requests made between the client and server. If THS presented weather data as an API, then there would be some additional overhead, but that’s what caching is for.
@Timmy, there’s no way to know what the weather will be like, but WeatherSpark shows you what the weather is likely to be. I love hiking. If I’m considering a sit in a city where it rains nearly every day in April but it’s pretty dry the rest of the year, that might change how attractive a sit is to me.
@ElsieDownie, yes. This is just a way to jumpstart that initial research with a resource that’s particularly useful to the THS users. Most other travelers have a few locations in their heads of places they’d like to visit and likely already know what the climate is like in those locations. THS users are more likely to be open to visiting any location (within financial reach) that matches their dates, which means they’re less likely to know about the local climate. Especially in mountainous regions, climate can vary significantly between adjacent cities.
I would think this would be a lot of technical work for THS when it only takes a few seconds to type something like “chicago weather in June” into a search bar on any internet browser and have an answer.
I think it’s a fabulous idea. It helps to know how to pack, driving conditions, tornado / hurricane possibilities, et al.
It’s not zero work, but definitely not a lot of work. It would require adding one column to the table where they store place data (place name, place coordinates, parent region, parent country, etc.). In that column, a THS employee would have to add the URL to the matching WeatherSpark page. Then on the listing page, if there’s a URL in the column for the location of the listing, display it.
The idea is that one to three THS employees do several hours of work one time, thereby saving many thousands of users a few seconds of work repeated multiple times for the rest of THS’s existence.
If this link is clicked on just 50 times a day by users and saves them 5 seconds of Googling the weather, that’s a combined savings of over 25 hours in the course of a year. I suspect it would be clicked on many, many more than 50 times a day because it would be at the bottom of most listings and THS has a lot more than 50 active users each day. SimilarWeb estimates that THS gets 70,000 visits per day averaging 9.25 pages per visit. If that’s true, this link could be clicked on literally tens of thousands of times per day.
Yes, this is a small thing. But lots of small conveniences add up to happier users and it gives THS an additional edge over the competition.
I don’t understand the ins and outs of web advertising, but THS could propose a paid advertising fee. For each click by a THS member, the weather app could pay a commission to THS. I would use this app if it was clickable on a listing as long as I was not inundated with ads.
I would think that when a sitter and HO have their initial facetime, the HO would be able to advise the sitter of the local weather pattern. I’m in Florida and I can tell you that hurricane season runs from June 1-November 30. That doesn’t mean we have hurricanes all the time. But I would give thorough instructions to a sitter who stays during the hurricane months as to how to handle if suddenly a hurricane pops up while I’m away. I am very aware of potential hurricanes and actually, rarely go away in Sept. & Aug. which is our worst months. And, if I am away and see a hurricane on the way, I would head back home and send the kind sitter back to their safety net of home!
In UK here. I have only had two sitters so far, soon to be three, each at different times of year. I amended my listing each time to show photographs of the outdoors at the relevant season. In one case, this included scenes of snow and ice, but equally scenes of early spring sunshine and clear skies. I can understand that climate expectations might influence the willingness of a sitter to apply, and always best to be honest if there’s a chance they might spend the whole time holed up in front of the fire rather than hiking the hills.