Sleep on a couch


Use the Internet to find a couch to sleep on.

One way to get a free nights lodging is to break in to someone's house. You are then likely to have several more free nights lodging under lock and key.
Perhaps a better source of free accommodation is staying on a mates floor or sofa, or camping in their garden. Don't wait to be invited, tell them you are on a trip from A to B and ask politely if it would be ok to stay the night. Only pretty hard-hearted people will say no. Be sure to offer to return the favour and invite them to stay with you.

As I discovered recently, gate crashing a stag do is a good option for a nights kip (or a nights partying). I guess the moral is to keep an open mind and be in the right place at the right time. If you were incredibly good looking you might be able to rely on being invited back to a bed somewhere where ever you go. . .
If you don't have mates in convenient locations, and you are not as hot as Penelope Cruz, you could try becoming a member of one of the reciprocal hospitality networks on the Internet such as globalfreeloaders, couchsurfing or the hospitality club. There is also one specifically for cyclists called warmshowers.
Isn't that dangerous? Well, crossing the road is dangerous. These sites tend to include a few security features such as giving references from previous hosts/guests or some kind of personal vouching scheme. There needs to be a bit of trust and you may feel safer if you don't go alone. Mostly you will meet and stay with nice people. However, exchange a few emails first and if you don't like the sound of them, don't stay with them.

In actual fact having people come to stay with you can be good fun, and is rarely much of a nuisance. As a rule of thumb, each time you stay with someone you should invite someone to stay with you. Bringing a gift to say thank you is a nice touch too.

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