Hospitality websites: Sleeping at a stranger’s home

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Hospitality websites are websites filled with members who want to meet fellow travellers and are willing to let you sleep in their houses for free. People will take you into their homes to have a cultural exchange or just because they want to do something good. Don’t expect too much: sometimes you will have to sleep on the floor, other times you get a private room including bathroom all for yourself. Yep, you are sleeping at strangers’ houses, but trust me, it is not as scary as it sounds. Most of the websites have profiles of the members with references included, so it is genuinely safe as long as you use your common sense. You can use different hospitality websites, based on what kind of traveler you are or what kind of trip you are doing. And don’t worry, it is not only for twenty-somethings. Although it is usually the biggest group, ages of participants range from 0 to 100. I have seen parents with a baby couchsurfing in the United States as well as an old grandma who wanted to experience something different. You will be hosted by people for free and can choose (but it is not required) to have your own couch or spare bed at home available as well when other travelers want to visit you.

Couchsurfing – The biggest hospitality website out there. They have over ten million members and are growing rapidly. Its still free, but you have to pay to be verified.

BeWelcome – A nonprofit and free hospitality website. An alternative to the commercial couchsurfing, but the website is not working optimal. 

Trustroots – A quite new hospitality website, free and especially for hitchhikers. Check the article about my experiences here.

Globalfreeloaders – A hospitality website based on offering free accommodation all around the world.

Warmshowers – A free hospitality exchange network aimed at touring cyclist.

Nomadbase – Nomadbases are places over the world where nomads can come together and share a place to sleep, food, etc. On the website you can find a video as well for anyone interested in living in or creating their own nomad base.

Nightswapping – Here you pay by ‘nightswapping’. You can exchange the nights you collected by having people stay over at your house to change for free nights at other houses. A bit less personal and less simple then the hospitality websites mentioned before and you will probably have more privacy as well.

Couchrail – A facebook page for getting hosts in Turkey. It works really well if you post a message about where you are planning to travel, and people will contact you if they can host you.

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