Sleeping for free is possible, not necessarily giving up the comfort. I prepared the full list of ways how you can sleep totally free!
How to sleep for free when you travel?
In my opinion Couch Surfing is the best way to meet locals, deeply explore the culture and share. Admittedly, it is an amazing community which makes my trips unforgettable. For me it is much more important to meet local people, see how they live, what they eat and how they normal day looks like, then visiting monuments. Culture and people you will always remember the most, especially if you make some friends forever. Moreover, plenty of times my hosts change totally schedule of my trip recommending places not mentioned in the guide books. I belong to the community since few years and had hundreds of amazing experiences, but of course also the bad ones… Like always we need to be careful if we choose to stay with a stranger. What is more, site becomes more and more commercial and some people use it wrong, as a dating site. If you still haven’t tried, here is the beginners guide on how to start Couch Surfing.
It’s another free platform used as a protest, since Couch Surfing became commercial. Be welcome is known for keeping the idea of hospitality and sharing which couch surfing unfortunately loosing.
Hospitality Club has the same idea as the previous sites, unfortunately less active members. The idea, again, is to bring people together, share the culture, experiences and have networks all around the world.
Not a very popular website but again with the awesome idea of sharing the accommodation with locals. You choose the city, dates and get the list of hosts which you can approach. Global Freeloaders is another great community with holistic cultural exchange, where you can make tons of new friends.
Are you cycling?
Warm Showers is a community for bicycle tourists. If you travel by bicycle, you can find a place to stay with locals for free. Check where you can have rest on your route.
Sleep on the airport
It is an option for those who booked a supercheap flight with overnight connection. I highly recommend to check, if it is possible to sleep in the airport you are heading to. Here Sleeping in Airports comes handy! It can be that it is closed by night and you will have to wait outside until the morning… This happened to me in Bordeaux, France. I arrived at the airport with the last shuttle bus after midnight to take a plane early in the morning. Local couch surfers told me, it is possible to stay there all night, but they didn’t know that airport closes at 11 pm and opens at 5am. Thanks God some worker secretly let me in, because I would freeze to death outside.
Have your own roof and save tons of money on transport as well as accommodation. Pack your tent and sleeping bag and make camping wherever you reach! If you want to pay nothing or less for fuel register on car share websites.
Swap a night and exchange it for free accommodation! It’s a great idea, where you collect “nights” by letting travelers stay at your place. Depending on which standard you offer (just a couch in the living room, a separate room or the whole house), you gain nights respectively in your account. Under those circumstances free nights you can use traveling wherever you want!
If you own a house or flat (lucky you) you can swap it with someone for the time of your travel. Register on Home Exchange or Stay 4 Free and travel around the world staying in someones houses. Using house facilities will let you save a lot on food and laundry and give you opportunity to explore the area.
Volunteering is an option to help someone for getting free accommodation and meals. It can be a great way to make your trip rich in beautiful experiences. There are plenty of options and websites which can help you find one. Try for example HelpX or Workaway to see a bunch of opportunities. Or else, visit places, where help is always on high demand, like Africa or Palestine. There is much more though, which I promise to develop in a separate article.
In fact with a sleeping bag, a hammock or tent, you can always sleep for free on the ground. I did it a hundred times from the city’s parks, through beaches, until bushes next to the highway while I was hitch hiking. Just set the tent wherever you reach before the night and try not to be visible to residents (just in case).
Monasteries often offer free accommodation and food. They mostly work on the donations basis, so you are welcome to contribute but it is not mandatory. I stayed in one Christian Ortodox monastery in Syria. It was hidden in the mountains, and everyone was welcomed to stay there for as long as needed and join their rituals. Another time I participated Vipassana meditation course in Buddhist monastery in Thailand. They offer free courses for short or long stays. Truly amazing experiences.
Visit Trusted House Sitters to see who is leaving house for the vacations and needs someone to look after the house. You can have free accommodation and visit places around having comfort of the house with all its facilities.
Maybe you have heard about an action of occupying an abandoned land or a building? Squatters do not own the place but have a lawful permission to use it. There are over billion squatters in the world, living for free in different parts of the world. You can join them and see how it looks like.
The Bee is a nature lover and tea addict. Loves the idea of slow life and responsible traveling, constantly trying to improve to bee more eco-friendly. Appreciates old cultures and traditions, loves to immerse with locals, listen to ethnic music as well as taste regional food and drinks. Her favorite spots while traveling are family houses and street markets.