Aside from international plane tickets, accommodation eats up the majority of a traveling budget.
Because of this, world travelers are constantly looking for inexpensive places to stay while traveling abroad. By figuring out how to travel for cheap, they can travel longer, and accommodation is a major part of that.
But the options for good, cheap, safe places to stay seem to be dwindling.
Thankfully, a safer FREE way to travel has entered the worldwide scene, based on a mutual and more open exchange.
What if you could cash in your native language speaking skills (no matter what language it is), for free, secure accommodation and food?
With GoCambio, you can.
Travel for Cheap with GoCambio
A bartering-based travel platform, GoCambio matches up hosts looking to learn a skill while providing accommodation and other benefits with guests seeking to travel while offering 2 hours of instruction per day.
Whatever your language – there is a host looking to learn from you!
If you’ve never taught before and you’re a bit nervous about teaching your language, have no fear. GoCambio offers a free course with tips and techniques for teaching languages. Additionally, the informal and conversational aspect of the lessons is emphasized – guests usually want to practice existing language skills, rather than learn completely from scratch. Regardless, hosts and guests discuss and agree upon expectations and skill levels before the guests arrive.
While language is by far the most popular GoCambio exchange, it isn’t the only one. If you definitely don’t want to teach your language, but you have any other skills – from cooking to athletics to academic tutoring – there are hosts in search of guests like you.
Worried about safety?
GoCambio is the safest homestay platform I’ve ever come across, and they address safety and security openly and with the importance it deserves.
The company seems to be much more concerned about guest and host security than similar house exchange/ homestay platforms, including the infamous AirBnB. GoCambio offers three steps to ensure safety in the exchange – verification of host and guest identity, references from past or present employers or educational establishments, and endorsements and reviews (also called character references). Completely different than AirBnB, which conceals the identity of hosts and guests and does not perform accurate verification checks or any reference checks whatsoever, GoCambio also encourages hosts and guests to check out each other on LinkedIn, and social media.
GoCambio was founded in Ireland, by Deirdre Bounds (UK businesswoman, former comedian, and star of Wife Swap) and her brother Ian O’Sullivan, who have been involved in other travel ventures in the past.
Deirdre and Ian discussing their genius plans
Since the opening in March, over 5000 GoCambio participants have signed up in over 100 countries, and the numbers grow daily.
GoCambio is receiving rave reviews from hosts and guests who have already participated, including guest Sinead Gould, who traveled to Zaragoza, Spain to share her language skills. In addition to the standard arrangement of accommodation (and sometimes food, and transportation – all details are clearly laid out in a GoCambio-provided customizable formal agreement), Sinead received invitations to social occasions with her guests, and allowed her to practice her Spanish.
GoCambio Guest Sinead is on the right in Zaragoza
Should you be a host or guest on GoCambio?
Hosts gain a great opportunity to learn a language skill, while making use of a spare room that they otherwise wouldn’t utilize.
Sometimes, one of the most difficult parts of learning a language is just getting to a class. Finding a class or teacher that works with your budget, schedule, and location can seem almost impossible, especially if you’re busy. GoCambio solves ALL of those potential issues, right off the bat, by placing your language teacher within your home.
Participating in a GoCambio as a host is like traveling – you get to learn about another culture, language, and lifestyle – without ever needing to leave your country… or even your house.
Guests receive free accommodation and sometimes other benefits, pre-agreed upon, in exchange for sharing their language skills. Obviously, this saves in money spent on accommodation (usually the biggest chunk of a budget), time finding a place to stay, and provides a more authentic and in-depth cultural experience.
Providing language lessons is a great way to hone your language teaching ability – which is a very valuable, marketable skill especially in today’s globalized economy. Additionally, your extended travel won’t leave any dreaded blanks in your resume, as tutoring in a foreign country is an attractive addition to any set of business skills for future employment purposes.
Guests and Hosts
Perhaps most importantly, GoCambio is just FUN! What better way for both parties to share their culture, learn about another culture, and make new, sometimes lifelong, friends?