Are free holidays possible?
Fancy a ‘Free’ holiday?
Stressed? Broke? Need a holiday? Want a free one? Well, who wouldn’t want one or three of those! It seems too good to be true doesn’t it. Infeasible, gimmicky and quite possibly untrue. But woah, hold your horses. The concept is mutual assistance and is building on the Airbnb model. I was intriqued to be contacted by this company recently.
The holidays aren’t completely free, it’s true. But all they need cost you is the travel there and back, your lunches, possibly a really nice gift for your host, and nothing else except a bit of conversation!
I thought I would checkout the website, just to see what was there. I’ve been thinking of planning a weeks break in London for a bit of sight seeing etc. So, to give it a good test, I searched for people in London who want to practice English. Hah, I thought, if you’re living in England already, why would you want to practice your English? But of course, there are many people who learn the language whilst living here. And there are quite a few people we could potentially stay with in London. Allesandro in Crystal Palace, an Italian, Legosee in Whitechapel, who is French and Maxime in Manor Park, also French to name but three. There were a few annoying little problems when I set up a test account, but overall easy to use. For the amount of money potentially saved, I’m prepared to put up with a few bugs!
The possibilities for travel really are quite enormous and I’m quite excited by it. You can’t get a better bargain than free! Just think, an Easyjet to Barcelona, Paris or Mumbai (not sure Easyjet goes there, but you know what I mean!) and the world is your oyster.
The company have written this explanation of how it all works, with all the links you could possibly need. Have a look at the website and click the airplane icon to explore where you might go. Let me know if you go anywhere
TalkTalkBnb: a social network for travelling and language learning
Launched on March 1, 2016, TalkTalkBnb is a totally new, totally free, collaborative platform that connects international travellers with hosts around the world who are looking to improve their language skills.
These days, it is almost necessary for everyone to know a second language: children, students and even working adults. And to speak a language properly, books just aren’t enough. You need to practice it… by speaking it! This means having the opportunity to interact with native speakers, but that’s generally very costly.
What’s more, there are young people in every country that would love to travel the world, but are constrained by a small budget.
Food and lodging in exchange for a service
Based on the principle of bartering, the French start-up TalkTalkBnb offers an entirely free-to-use online community of “Hosts” and “Travellers.” Hosts offer free food & accommodation; in return, travellers speak with their host in their native language throughout their stay, to help their hosts improve.
A different kind of travel
Hubert Laurent, founder and CEO, explains: “Travellers don’t pay for their stay in cash, but by offering their host the opportunity to practice a foreign language with a native speaker, at home, completely free-of-charge. It’s a win-win situation, a mutual cooperation on a totally altruistic basis.”
Simple, friendly & free
In contrast to other forms of free accommodation, TalkTalkBnb is a true exchange; the traveller doesn’t feel like he’s disturbing his host, and the host doesn’t feel like he’s giving something for nothing. You give as much as you receive. And when you look at the cost of traditional conversational courses, it’s very clear that no one’s losing out.
“What’s more,” says the website’s founder, “you’ll often find guests offering to prepare a typical national dish or introducing a local art, while hosts give them valuable tips about their destination. Different cultures have so much to share.”
Between Couchsurfing and Airbnb
TalkTalkBnb slips subtly into the space between free-but-basic accommodation, like Couchsurfing, and the pay-for-comfort Airbnb.
In the six months following launch, the TalkTalkBnb community has grown to 16,000 users and 37,000 Facebook fans. These numbers confirm that there is strong demand for a language-themed travel start-up.
It also demonstrates, as if it were necessary, that sooner or later all sectors of our economy will adopt a collaborative model.
The revolution is happening now, and TalkTalkBnb is part of it, without a doubt.
Hubert Laurent / email@example.com