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Globalfreeloaders.com is a website where members (now around 30,000 strong around the world) can exchange offers of accomodation at each other's residence.

The website was established by Adam Stains in 2000. The young Australian was travelling the world, crashing on the couches of complete strangers, and thought that the Internet is the perfect medium for travellers to make acquaintances with potential hosts, rather than just looking lost and pathetic outside a foreign railway station when last train of the night has left.

Budding guests search through the online database to find hosts, write their own letters of introduction (giving the impression of being interesting, friendly and emotionally stable), and see who will be willing to provide a spare room, bed or just a patch of soil to erect a tent. The site is based purely on trust between its members, and there can really be no effective way to vet who is coming to your house.

Cities with fifty or more Globalfreeloaders registered include:

London..............384
Sydney..............382
Melbourne...........360
New York City.......309
Brisbane............259
Montreal............253
Vancouver...........197
Paris...............196
Seattle.............190
Toronto.............187
Perth...............180
Istanbul............176
Los Angeles.........172
Helsinki............162
Portland............154
San Fransisco.......150
Seoul...............148
Berlin..............145
Singapore...........144
Chicago.............133
Austin..............119
Adelaide............114
Auckland............108
San Diego...........103
Budapest............102
Kuala Lumpur........101
Minneapolis.........100
Calgary..............95
Wellington...........92
Copenhagen...........92
Stockholm............90
Canberra.............90
Denver...............90
Mumbai...............85
Philadelphia.........84
Boston...............84
Moscow...............80
Munich...............79
Manchester...........75
Edmonton.............74
Ottawa...............73
Atlanta..............65
Hamburg..............65
New Delhi............65
Washington DC........65
Tampare..............64
Bangladore...........60
Dallas...............59
Dublin...............59
Houston..............58
Edinburgh............57
Taipei...............56
Christchurch.........55
Vilnius..............54
Amsterdam............54
Salt Lake City.......53
Cologne..............53
Barcelona............52
Gothenburg...........50

Which is a good indicator of who likes to travel, and who is prepared to be a host.

I have used the site to get accomodation in Los Angeles, New Jersey, London and Budapest, and in turn have hosted travellers from Spain, Japan and Canada. Generally you should host as often as you get hosted, but this can be difficult if you live in a large city which nobody wants to visit.

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