It’s commonplace for backpackers to work in hostels in exchange for accommodation, but what if you could stay in some great places around the world in exchange for goods and other services?
Thanks to the global Barter Week program, now you can.
Described as an “event without geographical borders”, the concept and process are easy: simply choose the accommodation you would like to stay at, check out the host’s “barter wishes” i.e. what they would like in exchange for giving you free accommodation, negotiate the deal, then pack your bags! The service is free of charge for both hosts and travelers looking for accommodation.
Whilst the website is mainly geared towards bed and breakfasts, you can find other options such as hotels, vacation homes, hostels, nature lodges, tents, farmhouses, and more.
Each of the listings gives the host the option of including a list of features, a description, maps and location, photos, and reviews. Some have the ‘barter’ suggestion or requirements listed, but some don’t, allowing you to make your own bartering offer.
Skilled in manual, teaching, or creative tasks? Excited to share or provide something from your home country or your culture? Browse the listings to find the best fit for you and your host.
Some ask for second hand or old computers and smartphones for free accommodation and learning about traditional cooking techniques. Some require app and website developers and others would love some gardening work done, while you can make your own offers based on your skills for other hosts. A list of the ‘services’ on the website account everything from beauticians, to video makers, plumbers to tattooists, tilers to watchmakers.
The idea comes from Italy’s "Settimana del Baratto", the annual event promoted by www.Bed-and-Breakfast.it and successfully in its tenth edition. So far there are about 450 B&Bs across 60 countries, spanning every continent.
If you’re interested in getting involved and offering up your accommodation, you can become a host here.