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.