Hospitality is the act of offering accommodation to guests, inviting them for dinner or giving a guided tour through the area. There are many hospitality exchange networks, both online as well as offline to facilitate hospitality exchange.
Hospitality exchange is probably as old as humanity. It's part of muslim culture. In the 20th century Servas was probably the first organized way for exchanging hospitality. In the late 20th century several online hospitality exchange networks popped up.
It is cheap way to travel without spending much money and one meets locals for free. When you're home receiving guests is a bit like travelling yourself.
Home exchange or house swapping is a similar concept.
Free hospitality exchanges
There's a history to hospitality exchange networks in Couchwiki, a guide on hospitality exchanges. All platforms are different and have different features, see this comparism of hospitality platforms.
- hospitalityguide.net - overview of hospitality exchange networks
- BeWelcome (or BW) is a hospitality exchange service that was forked from Hospitalityclub and is run by a non-profit organization. The website was founded in February 2007. As of December 2014, the organisation has more than 100,000 members in more than 200 countries all around the world who offer free accommodation and help during travels. Joining is free and the software behind the site is free and [open source] software. It is much smaller than CS, but grows nicely.
- Trustroots (or TR) is a hospitality exchange community for hitchhikers, nomads and other travellers. You can find hosts easily through a map. It is a non-profit, [open source] and free project made by the same team you brought you Hitchwiki, Trashwiki, Nomadwiki & more. The website was founded in December 2014.
- Warmshowers (or WS) is a free worldwide hospitality exchange for touring cyclists. People who are willing to host touring cyclists sign up and provide their contact information, and may occasionally have someone stay with them and share great stories and a drink.
- globalfreeloaders is an online community, bringing people together to offer you free accommodation all over the world. Save money and make new friends whilst seeing the world from a local's perspective!
- Servas International – With a history dating back to 1949, it is focused on human rights and global peace.
- Hospitality club is one of the first internet-based hospitality exchanges, aims to bring people together — hosts and guests, travellers and locals (rejects profiles without reason).
- Pasporta Servo – A hospitality service for Esperanto speakers, whereby lodging is provided without monetary exchange.
List of profitable hospitality services
Accommodation and food in exchange for work
- WWOOF ("Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms") – a network whereby help on the host's property is exchanged for food, accommodation, education, and cultural interaction. (15-20€ per year for hosts)
- Workaway – A hospitality service aimed at budget travellers and language-learners whereby travellers provide help to their hosts in exchange for food and board. Approximately 25,000 hosts.
- Helpx.net: Bringing people together (20€ per 2 years / 1200 h in Europe)
- Workaway.info: Travel, language and work exchange, work and volunteer in exchange for food and acomodation (18€ / 2 ans / 736 host)
- The7interchange.com: free, low-cost volunteer opportunities, volunteering at host projects all over the world. (15€ pour 2 ans / 525 host)
- Friendship Force International – A network with 16,000 members that concentrates on building understanding across cultures.
How to be a good guest
Couchwiki's page on how to be a good guest is a great read to get started, after that you can also read about how to be a good host. It's actually highly recommendable to host yourself as well, as it gives you a good perspective of things.
- A brief history of hospitality exchange networks
- Spontaneous hospitality
- Moneyless.org about hospitality exchange networks
- Comparison of Hospitality Exchange platforms
- List of hospitality exchange networks (Couchwiki)
- List of platforms on DMOZ