Hospitality exchange is an amazing way to travel without spending much money. You get to stay with locals for free. And when you're home receiving guests is a bit like traveling yourself.
There's a history to hospitality exchange networks. The gist is this: CouchSurfing is now by far the biggest but is generally considered to be in decline (partly because it's now a for profit corporation). BeWelcome is a much smaller but growing nicely.
Couchwiki's page on how to be a good guest is a great read to get started.
- BeWelcome(often abbreviated as BW) is a hospitality exchange service that is run by a non-profit organization. The website was founded in February 2007. As of September 2013, the organisation has more than 48,000 members in more than 150 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.
- CouchSurfing is the most popular and well known of these particular 'free accomodation' community sites. It connects surfers with hosts all over the world. Not as popular with some since it was sold to the private for-profit corporation Better World Through Travel in 2011.
- Warmshowers 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!
Hospitality Club aims to bring people together—hosts and guests, travelers and locals.
People offering places to stay in rural areas (villages and farms, not towns).
"The Hospitality Club is an international, Internet-based hospitality service of appr. 300,000 members in 226 countries. Its members use the website HospitalityClub.org to coordinate free accommodation and other services, such as guiding or regaling travelers." wikipedia couch:Hospitality exchange