For a week and for its second edition, Barter Week, an initiative that pairs a free stay in B&Bs worldwide in exchange for goods and services, will run from 18-24 November 2019.
The International Barter Week, #BarterWeek, connects B&B and hotel owners with travelers who can offer decoration advice, carpentry work, tech know-how, good Instagram photos or other various skills. Many of them keep the offer open all year round.
More than 600 B&Bs, hotels and self-catering businesses across the world have signed up this year, according to the organization: “From Albania to Uganda, B&B hosts and travelers are ready to swap.”
“We love good food and we’d like to discover new culinary secrets. So, we’re offering hospitality in our country house to anyone who will teach us how to make the best pizza in the world,” reads one of the offers from a couple in Brittany, France.
Like that friendly couple, there are many other hosts offering potential guests a free stay in exchange for all kinds of services or goods.
“The demand, by world travelers and holiday-makers, for B&Bs and similarly small lodging organizations is increasing, as a clear signal of a growing trend towards an informal, friendly and less expensive style of accommodation,” explains the Italian Barter Week, which lists more than 900 properties on its website.
“On the third week of November, in thousands of Italian B&Bs, you can barter goods and services for your stay,” the website explains. “Such items as homemade marmalade or a DVD collection can be suitable examples of ‘barterable’ goods. Alternatively, the provision of gardening or plumbing services, or even of music lessons, can be just as much welcomed by a B&B owner.”
The 2019 international edition offers locations in over 65 countries and the list of services required by the different hotels and B&Bs that register their ‘wishes’ on the site is very varied, including webmaster, watchmakers and restorers, architects, tree pruners and musicians.
It also includes exchanges of lodging for products such as antiques, appliances, christmas decorations or books.
A B&B in Livorno, for example, is requesting vintage globes while musicians or acrobats are invited to join a community setting up a vegetarian campsite south of Tarragona in Spain. Another in Ecuador ask for “electronics (very expensive here), lodging, or professional services if you have skills that could help build our brand.” A hostel in Moscow wants board games.
Potential guests then make an offer.
The website offers listings of the B&Bs participating in the barter scheme, organized by country. Once you select the accommodation you are interested in and if you meet the requests posted by the hosts, it’s time to start bargaining. Some hosts don’t have wish-lists and are open to hearing what you have to offer.
All the B&Bs participating this year can be found here.
by Cecilia Rodriguez | forbes.com