This travel site helps you find accommodation in exchange for your skills. Mmm sounds like work, but what if I tell you that these skills include helping with social network, promoting parties or preparing cocktails?

If there is something I envy of our ancestors (apart from living life without social networks) is that they used barter as a way to market their products.

And if there is something I love about travel is the power of collaboration. That was how one day I arrived to Worldpackers, a website that connects hostels that are interested in giving lodging (and sometimes food) to travellers in exchange for some hours of work by. In fact I recommended this website last year in my article 10+ ways to get really cheap or free accommodation.

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There are a lot of different tasks like helping in the kitchen or reception desk, language teaching, preparation of alcoholic drinks or manage the hostel’s social media.

Why do I like this idea so much? Because I was doing this in New Zealand! In the legendary Fat Camel hostel I was in charge of cleaning the kitchens and that the food of the refrigerator was properly identified by its owner. My German friend Eva cleaned the bathrooms (and she loved it) and Richie, a crazy Irishman, changed the bedsheets. We hardly worked more than 3 hours a day and had such a good time that everyone expected one of us to die to steal our positions. Thanks to that we became friends with the whole 5-story hostel.

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The Worldpackers system is very simple to use and it is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. You must first look for establishments by city, see what they ask for and what they offer in return. Once you find a hostel, you must apply to one of the positions offered. You can talk to your host, resolve doubts and set a date that will suit both of you.

“In just three years, the Worldpackers community has reached half a million users in more than 98 countries around the world and more than 4,000 hosting opportunities in 2,613 cities,” says Karina Beck, Worldpackers General Manager in Chile.

And surprise! This is a Brazilian entrepreneurship. Worldpackers has their headquarters in Sao Paulo and their service has reached half a million people in 170 different countries.

Important: Worldpackers charges you a fee only when you confirm a trip. This fee is paid only once and it varies according to your host, no matter how long you stay. So, it is a trip, a payment, which is always going to be a lot less than it would cost you to pay the accommodation with money. Sign up now using my promo code 10FROMFRAN and get US $ 10 on your next trip with them!

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But, uhm, this smells fishy. Is this advertising? Maybe it’s the first time you read me, so I’ll tell you that I like to be honest about what I do in my blog and in my social media networks. And no, this is not paid advertising.

A few days before I published this article (and it was already written), I was contacted by Worldpackers to tell me that I was selected as their exclusive ambassador in Chile. What does that mean? That we will work together and that some surprises are about to come. For me there is nothing more rewarding than working with people and companies that I trust because I am not interested to recommend you services that I would not use.

 

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Fran Opazo

Journalist with a mention in Digital Communication and has a diploma in History. I collaborate in different media outlets and I do public speaking about the digital transformation in the tourism industry. In 2018 I started working in a Digital Marketing Agency and writing SEO content for the Official Promotion of Chile for the local and foreign market, Chile Travel and Chile Es Tuyo. If you need my professional services, do not hesitate to send an email to lavidanomade@gmail.com. Let's see each other on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

4 Comments

Tamika Jones · 8 July, 2017 at 12:43 am

Nice!

Carolin · 4 May, 2017 at 5:43 am

Hey Fran, thanks for sharing. Like Ryan, I usually do house sitting which so far has enabled me to find accomodation pretty much wherever I wanted to go to. But this sounds like a cool alternative and might be worth a try 🙂

Rohan Cahill-Fleury · 1 May, 2017 at 9:03 am

Thanks for this! We’ve been looking for more ways to stretch our budget when we start travelling indefinitely. Glad you had such a great experience with it 🙂

Ryan Biddulph · 28 April, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Neat stuff Fran. I know a travel blogger who was struggling to earn coin through her blog so she dove into this type of thing full bore and circled the globe through it. She exchanged work for lodging and also earned an income in some cases, and was fed too. Not bad. I am lazy. So I do house sitting and just make my daily bread through my blog 😉

Ryan

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