The world of travel and tourism is slowly changing. People no longer want to appear as a tourist, feeling they stick out in a foreign city like a sore thumb. Now more than ever, there is an urge to experience new places like any local would and truly immerse yourself in a different culture. Fading are the days of resort style travel, with companies like airbnb adopting this type of experiential tourism. Italy’s Barter Week is the newest addition in travel and tourism where you can find free accommodation in Italy, and the innovative idea is here to stay.
What is Barter Week?
From the 13th to the 19th of November, tourists can experience a simple and money-free approach to B&B traveling in Italy, known as Barter Week. Travelers are able to trade goods or services in exchange for free lodging at participating B&Bs. Due to the economic crisis, Italian company bed-and-breakfast.it came up with the ingenious idea to increase tourism in Italy. As a result, 800 Inns across Italy now participate in BarratoBB, which has members that operate by the barter rules year round.
What Goods and Services Do B&B’s Ask For?
Get involved in barter week by picking a location, looking through owner wish lists, or creating a listing with your offer. The wish list ranges from typical services to requests with creative twists. Bettina and Rolf Mueller, owners of Borgo le Caselle, said it is their pleasure to host anyone who can help with their olive harvest. Love collectibles? A foodieB&B in Modena asks for Coca Cola memorabilia. For millennial travelers looking to put their skills to good use, owners at the beautiful Residence Podere San Giuseppe say they will offer an apartment to anyone who can create online advertisements and teach them about social media platforms.
Some requests almost seem too good to be true! Such as Petit Chateau B&B in the heart of Tuscany, whose owners are looking to swap vacations. (Just like Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz in The Holiday!) In addition, Owners at Buenaonda B&B will exchange sushi lessons for a stay in their seaside villa. Also, take the two dogs at Bed and Breakfast Brianza Est to the veterinarian for all their vaccinations. Most noteworthy is Luciana, Catia and Antonio at Gaia B&B, whose listing requests two peacocks to roam their massive grounds in exchange for a weeks stay. (Probably tricky getting peacocks through customs!)
Before You Barter…
Do not sell yourself short during barter week. There is no need to be shy or embarrassed making your offer. Most of all, be polite, respectful, and reasonable when interacting with any participating host so both parties get the most out of the agreement.
There are always new ways to explore Italy! With an open mind and plenty of wanderlust, your Italy experiences can be truly out of this world, just look for the hidden gems and seek advice form locals like us! Happy bartering!