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.
Accommodation and food in exchange for work
- 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)
- 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.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.
- Mennonite Your Way – A hospitality service with over 1,600 hosts, mostly Mennonites and Schwarzenau Brethren, in more than 69 countries. Guests are expected to contribute financially to the host.
- lghei.org - worldwide network of the LGBT community who offer each other the gift of short term hospitality during their travels (25€ per year)
- hospex.net - 20€ per year
- http://www.racespace.org - for athletes
- Airbnb – The largest network with the most members and home-stay options to offer, Airbnb has over 100 million users. Guests must pay in advance for their home-stay via credit card and Airbnb earns a fee on each transaction.
- CouchSurfing (or CS) is the most popular and well known of these particular 'free accomodation' community sites. It connects surfers with hosts all over the world. With 15 million users it is still the biggest hospitality service, but it is in decline since it was sold to the private for-profit corporation Better World Through Travel in 2011. Many interactions cost money now, like vouching people.
- Couchsurfing groups: Longterm couch - Rural couch - Wwoof - Wwoofers Unite- Helpx - Farm stay around the world - FYI Families & Aupairs : (or nannies) - Europe AuPairs -Traveling Caregiver -House sitters club -House-sitting -Traveller Housekeepers - Family hosting long term language & culture exchanges -Travel and Teach/learn language worldwide -Global language swap accommodation
- 9flats – A network offering home-stay accommodation primarily in Europe. Guests must pay in advance for their home-stay via credit card.
- ThirdHome – a worldwide luxury second house sharing service of vacation homes.
- Wimdu – A hospitality service focused renting homes for vacation purposes.
People offering places to stay in rural areas (villages and farms).
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.
- List of platforms on DMOZ
- Spontaneous hospitality
- Moneyless.org about hospitality exchange networks
- Comparison of Hospitality Exchange platforms
- Sustainablecommunitiesaroundtheworld.blogspot.com (dormant since 2010)
- Viagensverdes.wordpress.com : Wwoof, ecovillages, ecotourisme... Template:Lang