There is a worldwide community of open-minded people who are willing to lend a spare room or couch to travelers as a way of offering hospitality and fostering cross-cultural exchange. To the uninitiated, it sounds a little random and risky, but the free and friendly couchsurfing movement has become a widespread phenomenon beyond just the backpacker set. Couples, families and professionals tired of sterile business hotels are also experiencing the benefits. Often a meal is shared and some local insights dispensed, so the travelers get more than just a no-cost place to crash. Not all hosts want to hang out with their guests beyond a casual meet and greet. It’s a very fluid, organic concept that evolves with the chemistry of the parties involved. Check out CouchSurfing, Global Freeloaders and Servas to explore this option.