The challenge: barter for a night in a B&B without having to pay a dime.
It’s getting easier than ever to travel for free – and it’s not all about hitchhiking and camping. Once a year you have the chance to stay for free at B&Bs all over the world. Here’s how you can do it.
Money isn’t the only means of receiving services. Indeed, more and more hoteliers and landlords are prepared to offer you a night at their guesthouse in exchange for a small repair, a set of shiny new photos of their property, a new painting, or even some books… The list of all the things you can offer to receive a free night is long. Equally long is the list of B&Bs, hostels and guesthouses taking part in the annual Barter Week.
Inspired by the original concept of Settimana del Barrato – which has taken place in Italy every year for the past nine years – this week-long event now spans far beyond the Boot, from Burkina Faso to Cape Verde and Canada.
Bangalue – a student-run project that provides aid to disadvantaged local children in the eastern Ugandan district of Mbale – is a great example of the Barter Week spirit in action. The project offers free accommodation to any travelers arriving with books, comics, computers or other materials that are useful to its educational programs.
How does Barter Week work?
- If you are a B&B owner, you should register your property and describe what creative or tangible work (or items) you are willing to accept as payment from your barter guests. For example, perhaps the piano in your dining room needs tuning, or your house needs new professional images for its website. Or maybe your garden just needs some maintenance from a careful hand.
- If you want to stay for free, you should register and browse through the list of places to stay, choosing a city or country you’d like to visit. You should then send a proposal with specific dates and the service you can offer. When the owner confirms your stay, you are ready to embark on your barter trip.
It’s that simple!
In 2017, Barter Week takes place from November 13 to 18, with more than 800 properties registered. As you browse the list of options, note that some places happily welcome barter guests year-round.
Pin it for later, because you never know when you’ll need a free place to stay: