Trading Your Skills For Free Hotel Rooms & Apartments

This article is about how I obtained 3-weeks of free accommodations while traveling by myself in the country of Peru… and it’s about how YOU can do the same thing anywhere in the world by using the simple trick I am about to tell you about.

But before I tell you how to go about receiving free hotel rooms, apartments, condos, camping sites and more using this “not-so-secret” strategy, let me tell you how I was able to recently use this technique for myself and save hundreds of dollars by securing a totally free apartment in the city of Arequipa, Peru.

the apartment I got for free in arequipa peru

This Is How I Did It:

After a 10 hour bus ride, I pulled into the city of Arequipa, Peru – the second largest city in the country. Once in Arequipa, I set out to find a place to stay for the next few weeks. You see, I’m traveling and working at the same time, so my plan was to find an apartment in Arequipa where I could simply plug in my computer and get some serious work done before heading off to my next location within the country.

So, just a few minutes after arriving in the city, I happened to run across a guy who owns one of the hostels here in town. 1) We got to talking and I told him about my desire to find a place to stay for the next few weeks. 2) He then told me he was leaving town for the next three weeks and that he was in need of a new website for his business. 3) I soon thereafter explained to the man that I design websites for a living!

As you can probably guess, this was when the magic happened.

After exchanging all of this information, a deal was quickly formed. I agreed to make the hostel owner a new website for his business… and in return he would let me stay in his apartment in downtown Arequipa while he was out of the country.

In other words: In less than 5 minutes I had met a complete stranger off the street and exchanged my web design skills for his apartment in the city center.

In the end, I’ll spend just a few hours designing this man his new website… and I’ll save hundreds of dollars because I’m not paying a single cent for my lodging over the next three weeks.

Pretty cool, right?

But now I’m guessing you want to know how you can use this same strategy to obtain free hotel rooms and apartments for yourself.

This Is How YOU Do It:

The secret to obtaining free accommodations in this case is to simply trade one of your skills or services with a lodging owner. In other words, you simply trade a valuable skill that you possess for accommodations with another individual.

Now, you might not be a web designer who can create websites and work from anywhere in the world as long as there is an Internet connection. But maybe you are a massage therapist who could massage an entire hotel staff in exchange for a week-long stay in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Or maybe you are a plumber who could go in and repair a bed and breakfast’s leaky old basement pipe in exchange for a free night’s stay in Prague, Czech Republic?

Or maybe you are an accountant who could trade your bookkeeping services for an entire month’s stay in a high-rise hotel in Tokyo, Japan?

The possibilities here are endless. The trick is for your to simply determine whether or not you have any skills that you might be able to trade for free accommodations.

The Advantage Of Trading Your Skills For Free Lodging:

Whether you know it or not, this is just one of the strategies I talk about inside my guide to free lodging, and it’s a powerful one that many people overlook.

If you paid close attention to everything written above, you will have noticed that I traded my skills as a web designer for a free 3-weeks stay in the city of Arequipa, Peru.

What you may have not really thought about, however, is just how much money I saved by doing this. And more importantly, you may have not realized just how much money YOU CAN SAVE  by taking this same approach while on your travels or in your every-day life.

Consider this: I spend (on average) about $1,000 USD per month for my lodging expenses. With 30 days in a month, this breaks down to about $33 dollars per night.

With my free 3-weeks stay in Arequipa, that essentially knocks off 21 days within the 30-day month where I do not have to pay for a place to sleep.

So, if I multiply $33 dollars per night x 21 free nights in Arequipa, the end result is that I saved myself approximately $693 USD.

To some people, that may not be a whole lot of money, but I bet that most of you reading this now would agree that you could do a lot with an extra $693 in your bank account.

This is the power of free lodging, and it’s why I’m so obsessed with getting free places to stay whenever I possibly can.

For most people in the world, lodging is their #1 monthly expense. And for many people (myself included), their monthly lodging costs make up as much as 66% or more of their monthly expenditures.

Now, imagine using this technique that I’ve shared with you today to drastically reduce or even eliminate your lodging costs.

What would you do with all that extra money? Would you travel to a far off place? Extend your family vacation? Buy a new gadget or toy of some kind? Take a class you’ve always dreamt of taking? The options here are endless.

Now Here’s My Challenge To You:

Get creative, think outside the box, and determine which skills or services you possess that you could possibly trade for free (or deeply discounted) accommodations. Then, once you’ve determined the skills or services you can trade for free hotel rooms, campsites, apartments or whatever, go out and find a lodging owner willing to give you a free night’s stay in exchange for your unique skills or services.

Start by trading your skills or services for just a single night and then work your way up from there.

Give it a try… and let me know what kind of results you receive.

And if you’d like more tips like this for obtaining free accommodations while on your travels, be sure to check out The Ultimate Guide To Free Lodging, my 101-page resource chalk full of ideas just like this to help you save hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of dollars on your lodging expenses.


9 thoughts on “Trading Your Skills For Free Hotel Rooms & Apartments

  1. Stephanie Samek says:

    Oh my Ghod, Darren. You don’t know how many times I’ve stayed in a hotel or motel and wondered why they didn’t have a website (even in America, places often do not bother.) The business they lose! AND I DO MAKE WEBSITES! I have got to try this with somebody this year, as I want to travel, and rooms are expensive. It would be so worth it to get a place for a few weeks and cobble a site together for them in the evenings. This kind of trade has been suggested to me before (mostly my my fiancee looking to save a few bucks) but I never seriously considered it…

  2. Rob says:

    I have read Darren’s guide to free lodging, and can offer my “testimonial” again, which I’m offering just because I enjoy the website and hope it helps keep Darren’s dream going. I’ve learned more useful ideas from this website for free than any pay magazine I’ve read. He obviously worked hard at this. That alone makes it worth your throwing a few dollars at this book. I am on an excruciatingly tight budget as I’m going through life difficulties. So this free lodging idea seemed like it would be a huge help to me. When you think about the costs of hitting the road for an extended period, unless you want to try to rough it every night in a tent, the biggest cost on top of all your other expenses has got to be putting a roof over your head to sleep, and a comfortable place to get cleaned up. If you’re not made of money, that’s a challenge. The tent-only stealth camping method, even though I’m a camper, scares the snot out of me for long trips. But most times it’s crazy what even the cheapo hotels cost. I have swallowed hard and forked over the 100 bucks for a room in the past– minding the classy laminated warning sign stapled to the wall to not swipe the towels. In The Ultimate Guide to Free Lodging, Darren put his experience and education in marketing to work for you. There’s no begging involved, no cheats, no magic freebie giveaways.. just a creative way for you to look inside yourself and find that you have more to offer than you may realize. There’s also some really good insight from his education into the way hotels and other businesses offering lodging work, and how that applies to getting a room for no money. With just a little bit of effort, I believe this can pay off in a big way if you have a specific plan for your travels, and I look forward to trying some of the ideas in his e-book that have worked for him. More importantly, I walked away inspired by someone who seems like a great guy, had a dream and finds a way to make it work year after year. If you have had a trip in mind, the solid ideas in this book, together with other lodging and camping ideas on the website get the wheels turning, so to speak, and leave you believing you can actually pull it off.

  3. john says:

    Darren, how do you even bring something like that up to the owner? I would feel weird just saying it out of no where. What do you usually say to get the ball rolling?


  4. Jafafa Hots says:

    Oh great. Yet another thing in life where I would be able to do it if I actually had a marketable skill. 😉

    I suppose the “I’ll scan your PC for viruses and malware, and then remove them” thing wouldn’t be good enough. 🙁

  5. Bicycle Touring Pro says:

    Stephanie, yes, give it a try and let me know what happens!

    Rob, thanks again for your positive comments. I really, really appreciate it!!!

    And John, as for how to go about approaching a lodging owner about this sort of thing, there are a couple ways to go about it.

    1) You can send the lodging owner a letter or email ahead of time where you make your proposal to them (this is what I usually do… and it’s something I talk about at great length inside The Ultimate Guide To Free Lodging. I even give you sample letters I have written and explain exactly what sort of emotional and business triggers you should include in your proposal letter so you have the best chance or scoring a free place to stay).

    Or 2) you can simply approach the lodging owner in person and outright ask for some kind of deal.

    This second approach, obviously, takes a little more guts and it’s probably best if you work up to this after taking the first approach a number of times.

    In my case here with this apartment in Arequipa, I didn’t actually propose the deal at all. The owner of the hostel here in Arequipa, after learning that I designed websites, pitched the idea to me! And that happens sometimes. Sometimes people just want to help you, or they see the value in helping you, and they’ll make the proposal for you. This is great when it happens, but it is certainly more rare.

    Anyway, I hope that helps to answer your question. Thanks for asking!

  6. Chris says:

    I’ve discovered a similar trick to get free money. All I do is meet small business owners near where I live, and I offer to perform tasks for them related to their business (delivering pizzas, assisting customers, answering phones, filing paperwork). In exchange, they’re normally willing to give me totally FREE money!

    It’s so easy, and I can reliably get a HUGE wad of cash twice a month. I’ve been living off this free money system for ten years now, and it’s been great! I strongly urge anyone else out there looking to get some extra cash to try my method.

    (Exchanging one thing of value for another thing of value is not called “getting it free.” It’s called “bartering.”)

  7. Bicycle Touring Pro says:

    Ha! Chris, I love the way you put that. And you’re right! It is called bartering. But the thing is, most people don’t even think about doing it. Most people assume that trading money for the things they want is the only way to get those particular things. But I guess, that’s what I’m trying to remind people about with this article. There are ways to get the things you want (lodging in this case) without having to actually have or give away physical cash. So, yes, it is called bartering. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Thanks so much for pointing that out…. and in such a humorous way. ha ha!

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