I came across a really neat idea. This website is something I thought you might want to explore for yourself, dear Pauper.
GlobalFreeloaders.com is a network of people willing to accommodate travellers completely at their own convenience, in any way that they can. Completely free of charge. Whether its just a spare mattress or a spare bedroom or even a granny flat. Most budget travellers aren't too picky. :) Think about it...on average approximately one third of a budget traveller's costs are spent on accommodation. Imagine if you could dramatically lower, if not completely eliminate, that cost by being able to stay for free in people's homes all over the world. That means more money in your pocket to spend on having a great time on your travels. Not only do you get free accommodation but you also get the inside knowledge, experience and culture that comes with staying with a local that you'd never be exposed to staying in a hotel or hostel.
So what's the catch?
There are two sides to being a GlobalFreeloader. The Host and the Guest. This site is about give and take. Therefore, you can't be one without the other. By registering as a GlobalFreeloader, you can become a Guest and gain access to this network of free accommodation and friendly people. All that is asked in return is that you also become a GlobalFreeloader Host, willing to accommodate other travellers, completely free of charge, whenever it is convenient for you. I also ask to give back to the site whatever you take from it. If you visit 20 other members then you're expected to accommodate 20 other members, over whatever period your comfortable with.
How often/When/Where do I host travellers?
GlobalFreeloaders can accommodate other members wherever, whenever and as often as they like. Whether its only for one night or for a hundred. Whether its before, after or during your own travels. Some people enjoy the company and cultural exchange that comes with hosting. Others will find it less enjoyable. It is completely up to each GlobalFreeloader to decide how accommodating they want to be. There's an interactive calendar so that you can select when people will be able to stay with you. For instance say, if you just don't feel like having guests in November, then you can block out that month. Or if a friend is visiting for the first 2 weeks in December, then again, you just block out those 2 weeks, and the search engine will automatically look over your residence. I also understand that you may not want to host travellers for the rest of your life, which is why you register with the site in 12 month blocks.
So I let just anyone into my house?
No. Privacy and security are of the utmost concern at GlobalFreeloaders.com. All addresses and even Hosts' email addresses are kept strictly confidential. It is up to the Host to reveal their address to a potential Guest. We just do the introductions. Hosts can acquaint themselves with potential Guests for as long as they like, before agreeing to accommodate them. You are not obligated in any way to accommodate anyone. At GlobalFreeloaders.com you are in control.
So how's the whole process work?
Ok, so you're ready to head off on your travels. Say you'd like to visit Sydney, Australia at the end of November. You simply enter your chosen destination (Sydney) and dates(say November 20th) into the GlobalFreeloaders directory and it gives you all of the Hosts that may be willing to accommodate you in that area. The listings will be general information about potential hosts .
Visit the website for more details. This apears to be for younger Paupers, but who knows? We definetly want to finf FREE whenever we can...it's a Paupers favorite price point!