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Bartering: a mode of consumption to follow

The trend of barter is developing in travel and regularly invites itself into our daily life. We have analyzed for you the actors and companies of this new niche of tourism and lifestyle.


The example of Canadian Kyle Mac Donald perfectly illustrates the power of barter and its impact on a society in search of a new style of consumption. His story is unbelievable, he started by bartering a red paper clip, and over the course of the barter, he ended up getting a piece of land on which to build his house.

One learns through its history that barter often allows you to obtain much more than what you are looking for. It is a mode of consumption that puts human beings at the centre of negotiations.

This trend of barter is very present in travel and also invites itself into everyday life. We have analysed for you the actors and companies in this new niche of tourism and lifestyle.

Accommodation barter

Bartering accommodation in exchange for dog sitting

  • TrustedHousesitters puts pet owners and pet-friendly travellers in touch with each other for a fee of €99 per year. With more than 100 destinations, the platform is a world leader.

The model is particularly collaborative, since people who love animals are put in contact with each other. A scoring system makes it possible to validate the selected profiles and to reassure the owner of the house and the dog.

  • Its competitor Nomador also has a global community, the principle is the same with a slightly lower commission, in fact TrustedHousesitters offers in its subscription additional services such as 24/7 veterinary assistance.

Bartering one’s house for another

We all know AirbnB, the essential holiday rental site, this successful model has opened up mentalities and now direct relations between individuals have become very common.

Here are a few examples of companies that are relying on a collaborative economy linked to barter to develop an accommodation offer.

  • Since 1992, home exchanges have been presented on the Home Exchange platform (formerly Trocmaison). This site counts 400,000 houses in 187 different countries. The emphasis here is on the authenticity of living like a local on holiday.
  • Sphère Travel Club, a newer service, offers to share unoccupied second homes with other owners, allowing them to travel around the world staying in exceptional homes. The houses are selected according to the soul of the place (its design, location, character and modernity).
Credit : headerpop.com
  • The global Couchsurfing community represents 14 million people in more than 200,000 cities. The concept is a little different from home exchange because the host doesn’t plan to go and sleep at the guest’s home. The guest agrees to welcome the visitors of his or her choice for one night free of charge. The pleasure of meeting and exchanging is at the heart of the subject.
Credit : Couchsurfing

In short, home exchange or home stay offers a real life experience and an exchange of culture. The human and relational aspects make the difference with more traditional accommodation solutions.

The barter of services

Bartering an accompaniment with a train ticket

  • OuiSNCF offers a service to accompany children during train journeys. In order to become an accompanist in the Junior & Cie service, you must meet several conditions and hold a BAFA (childcare training).
    In exchange for this child escort service, travellers receive privileges in the form of discounts or transport tickets.
    The advantage? Travelling everywhere with advantageous fares.

Kidygo puts parents of children in touch with “KidySitters” (people qualified to accompany children by train, plane or bus). To become a KidySitter, you must meet the selection criteria and take out a subscription which costs €9.90/month, with no obligation. The parents are responsible for the KidSitter’s ticket (totally or partially).

Bartering a job for a welcome on a farm

WWOOF (The World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a global network of organic farms. In exchange for room and board, travellers come to lend a hand to the farmers and thus exchange know-how and knowledge.
Woofing is another way of travelling that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the daily life of the farm and meet the locals. Like the voluntary work, this barter system puts human exchanges at the heart of its structure.

The barter of objects, an ecological aspect

Another important value, beyond human exchange, which is expressed through barter, is respect for the environment, especially when it comes to the barter of products. In fact, we participate in a gentler and more conscious mode of consumption, we exchange products we no longer want instead of throwing them away, we favour short circuits and the economy of proximity.

  • Troque Ta Plante is a project that offers to give and exchange plants, cuttings and seeds for free via Facebook or Instagram. In order to barter nearby, Troque ta Plante has created Facebook groups by city or region in France and Belgium.

An ecological idea with its short circuit, natural products, for a trendy lifestyle.

Credit : @troquetaplante
  • The aim of Mytroc.fr is to make people consume differently, to reduce over-consumption, and to develop a community and a spirit of solidarity. You can offer or find services rendered and objects.

Isn’t it said that money perverts human relations? Exchanging money is a good way to restore confidence in our consumer acts. Companies that will be building their business model in the coming years or those who wish to change their commercial approach should take an interest in barter, which is making a strong comeback!


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