Sweat Equity Is Now an Acceptable Form of Payment at 1,000+ Italian B&Bs
Dust off your hidden talents, people
That random skill or talent that got you booed off stage at the high school talent show?
Hope you still got it in the bag — because it might just get you a few free nights in Italy.
La Settimana del Baratto (“Barter Week”) is a seven-year-old tradition that allows travelers to trade a service for a stay at a few thousand Italian bed and breakfasts.
The Barter Week system doesn’t just entail doing housework, though: hosts are looking for guests who can provide them with everything from social media assistance to belly dancing to knitting lessons. Earlier this year, a Roman B&B even bartered two nights for a mosaic of the helmet of Achilles.
While some barters are oddly specific — like a trained hawk or natural soaps made from waste oil — the most popular request is a travel swap. Out of last year’s 10,000 listings, 25% of owners offered their homes in exchange for a stay at someone else’s.
The annual event, which runs from November 14th to 20th, was started in 2009 by an Italian B&B booking site. In order to participate, just head over to the site and choose a region in Italy. After you pick a place to stay, contact the owners and let them know what you can offer them in return.
And while Barter Week only comes around once a year, approximately 800 Italian B&B’s accept barters all year round.
Looks like it’s time to go pick up a for Dummies book and start honing some new skills.
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