How about staying at hotels in Costa Rica which may have an outdoor pool, a balcony overlooking the ocean, or rustic wooden bungalows, FOR FREE?
Barter Week is a new website offering free stay in B&Bs that can cost up to US$1,500 for a week or more.
All the guests have to do is perform some tasks at the ‘bed and breakfast’ accommodations to avail the free stay. Tasks may include posting pictures on Instagram, gardening and teaching the owners how to make pizza. Or make your own bartering offer. Interesting isn’t it?
How does it work? Every B&B accommodation listed on barterweek.com will host guests in exchange for goods and services on a date of your choice. Browse the photos, read the descriptions, reviews and features, see the map.
Then, check out the host’s “barter wishes” i.e. a list of goods and services he/she will accept in exchange for hospitality and then make your bartering offer through the website form. If a host doesn’t show a specific wishlist you can place any bartering offer.
While in some countries hundreds and even thousands of B&Bs are offering stays in exchange, there is only one in Costa Rica, the Villas Finca Talok eco lodge. So far.
Barter Week (La Settimana del Baratto in Italian) was launched in 2009 by Italian B&B bookings site bed-and-breakfast.it after the team discovered that one of the B&Bs listed on the site used to practice barter instead of normal payments for its business.
While, as the name implies, Barter Week is a week only event – this year between 19th and 25th November – many like the Finca Talok in Costa Rica, located 1 km from Playa Grande de Cauhita (Limon), barter is offered year-round.
Though there are some B&Bs participating without specifying any requests to avail free stay, tourists can still stay for free by offering a barter of their own. For example, they might like to bring wine or homemade food or perhaps teach a foreign language
So far 450 B&Bs from 60 countries have signed up to take part in the initiative.
According to Barter Week, last year the event saw over 10,000 requests and proposals listed on the site. According to data it has collected, the most commonly requested barter from B&B hosts was travel itself – with 25% of owners offering their home in exchange for a stay elsewhere. After that, B&B owners most commonly asked for home improvement help (19%) or assistance with communication and marketing (15%).
On the traveler side, the most commonly offered barter (37%) was help with communication projects – photo and video, translations or social media. After that, 14% offered to help with housework or repairs and 12% offered lessons in specialist skills, from knitting to belly dancing.
The B&Bs wanting to take part in Barter Week have to upload images and a description of their accommodation online and suggest what they would like in return for offering accommodation for free.
Editot’s note: This article is not an endorsement of the Finca Talok.