The concept of staying with locals has become extremely popular in the gap year industry in recent years, and Go Cambio is a new service in this sharing economy. It is a free website where backpackers and independent world travellers alike can find alternatives to expensive hotels, guesthouses and crowded hostels by exchanging their native language skills in return for a nights stay with a local.
As independent world travellers have sought out alternatives to the more traditional forms of accommodation in efforts to both save money and get a more authentic travel experience away from the tourist trails, they have turned their attention toward elements of the sharing economy that allowed them to do just that.
There have been a number of hospitality networks that have sprung up over the years, but what travellers have really needed is a truly organic and mutually beneficial network. Now they have it.
What is Go Cambio?
Go Cambio is a new network that brings locals and travellers together. For free. It allows locals wishing to expand their language skills to open up their homes to travellers, and for travellers to get a place to stay and a couple of home cooked meals, all it costs you as a traveller is a couple of hours of your time.
Go Cambio are essentially on a mission to connect the millions of people around the world who want to improve their language skills with the millions of travellers and backpackers who want a real, local experience and a good bed for the night.
A simple exchange and new friends made. That’s Cambioing!
The benefits of Cambioing.
As a traveller the immediate benefits are obviously a free bed for the night and some (at least hopefully) good home cooking. Let’s face it when you have been in crowded hostels for extended periods and are eating on a budget these things alone are more than enough reason to sign up! But the benefits go far beyond that too.
Hosts share their homes, and guests share their skills.
As independent travellers, the benefits that learning about and experiencing a local culture as we travel cannot be overstated. It expands our mind, makes us more rounded, more knowledgeable, simply better in so many ways, and frankly there is no better way to do this as you travel than by actually interacting with a local!
Not only do you get to experience first hand local culture and customs with an actual live in homestay experience, you get their first hand knowledge of how best to see their city, where to go and what to do from a local viewpoint not just a guidebooks.
And if you can think out of the box a little bit, imagine what a couple of hours a day as a ‘language tutor’ can do for your CV when you get back home and need a job? Not to mention all the soft skills that you will develop as a result, more confidence, better communication skills, maybe even smatterings of an extra language yourself? All of these things and more are desirable traits that employers look for.
What do hosts get out of it?
One of the best things about Cambioing is the fact that this isn’t just a one way street. Both parties mutually benefit from the relationship. In return for hosting you and giving you a meal, your host gets to improve their language skills from a native speaker without having to shell out for tuition fees!
If you want a unique, local experience on your travels as well as some free accommodation, and you don’t mind giving up a couple of hours to hone your skills as a language tutor, then why not Go Cambioing!
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This article was written in partnership with Go Cambio. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.