Your barter points represent what you are worth to a host
What is a Barter Point?
A Barter Point is Working Traveller’s approach to helping Hosts and Travellers work out an agreeable exchange of work for compensation. That compensation is usually in the form of a bed and meals, but sometimes it extends to drinks and use of additional facilities – or payment.
This system will help you make exchanges simpler, if, for example, you have a skilled mechanic who you’d like to work more than a usual volunteer schedule and need to determine how to compensate them fairly. If they deserve more than just room, board, and bar privileges, how should they be paid?
What’s A Barter Point Worth?
One Barter Point is equal to the price (in your part of the world) for the following:
- Price of a hostel bed +
- Cost of three meals +
- A backpackers night out
…Divided by three. That is the value of a Barter Point varies in the location in question.
A Few Barter Point Examples:
A Barter Point in London
- Price of a dorm bed = £25 a day
- Cost of food for the whole day = £15
- Booze for an evening, back packer style = ~£20
Added up, bed + food + booze = £60 and …divided by 3 comes to £20. So, one barter in London is worth £20.
Western Desert of Egypt
- Price of a dorm bed = £5 a day.
- Cost of food for the whole day = £6
- Booze for an evening, back packer style = Around £5
Added up, bed + food + booze = £16….divided by 3 comes to £5.20. One barter in the Western Desert of Egypt is worth £5.20 or 63 EGP (local currency).
Depending on which country and region you are in, value of a Barter Point varies. Go to your Country Page in the Work in? section and make sure the recommended Barter Points for your area are accurate in order to help the WT community.
How Do I Choose my Barter Point Rate?
Rate yourself from 1 to 10+ in the edit my profile section to let hosts know the number of Barter Points you ‘charge’ to work at their place.
- If you are just starting out and looking to get a bed and food and nothing more, charge 2, one for each item.
- If you want hosts to throw in some alcohol or use of the swimming pool and you are a good hard working and happy to do a days graft, charge 3. It’s up to you.
- If you choose 3 Barter Points, that means a host who is charging 3 Barter Points a night to stay with them will expect you to work as a volunteer. So there is no exchange of money, but you will receive a bed, food, and the agreed up on ration of alcohol (or other item in its stead, such as use of a facility, etc).
Barter Points Help You get the Right Compensation
- If you feel your skills are worth it, or you are happy to work 10 hours a day, you might want to charge 5 Barter Points a day or more.
- If you charge 5 points a day and you are in a region that suggests a Barter Point is $10 a day, if your Host is charging you 3 points to stay, they will owe you $20 a day. This is based on the fact you receive 3 Barter Points worth of food, bed, and booze, but are owed compensation for the additional two points they Host agreed upon. $10 a day per Barter Point, times two, comes to that extra $20.
- It does not have to be money, it just has to be what you both agree upon, as you are charging 5 points and the host 3 to stay. It can be free days at the end of your work agreement, use of a pool, boat privileges, or whatever is of value to you.
How Do I Set my Barter Points in My Profile?When setting up your profile add your rate and it will show on your profile and in the Work Searches.
It might sound complicated as we aren’t used to using barter and more used to money.
Let’s explain it as if you were using money. In the area where you will be working, one Barter Point is $10.
- The host charges $30 a night to stay at their place including three meals a day and the local moon shine.
- You have agreed to come to work for $30 a day…… so no money changes hands and keeps it all as volunteering.
- If you agree to work for $50 a day and the host charges $30 a day to stay with them, they owe you $20 a day for each day you worked… Or two Barter Points.
- That means they might throw in some good wine, or let you stay on an extra week for free or pay you the $20 for each day you worked. It’s all down to the host and you to agree.
- That is why it is called barter, they are just guide lines to show travellers what it would cost them if they stayed in a hostel when they are in your area.
By keeping the system to Barter Points, you are legally volunteering for the majority of the hosts you will stay at to begin with whilst you build up your references and so do not have to get involved in work permits etc. Charging travellers $30 to stay and then paying them $30 per day for the work they have done over complicates things. The barter system keeps it simple and legally as volunteering.
Where will my Barter Points appear?
- Barter Points appear on your full profile and in the work searches to let hosts know what you charge per day for the work you do.
Barter Points are Only Guidelines
- You will need to negotiate with hosts, and if their Work In? page is up to date, you will be able to see what one Barter Point is worth in their region.
- If you want to charge £200 a day no matter what a bed, costs in their area, that’s your choice, and good luck to you! 🙂