Wonder How Bloggers Get Free Stays? Stay On Skill could be the answer you're looking for!

By Rutuja Bhagwat - September 08, 2018

A couple of months ago, when I heard of Stay On Skill and their brilliant concept, I was honestly taken aback. I could see fellow bloggers boasting on Instagram about winning free stays and then after following their account, I could see a bunch of meetups happening which was conducted by Stay On Skill. At that point, I only wished to get to taste offbeat homestays myself at some of India's exotic locations. 

The expression continued as everytime someone mentioned Stay On Skill or when the company's Instagram account announced travellers who were a part of certain meetup happening at a certain place; I could only sigh, and wished I was a part of this group someday. However, as luck would have it, two months back – in June, to be precise – I received a message on Instagram from Stay On Skill asking me if I was interested to be a part of their meetup and my happiness knew no bound! Finally, I was a part of this ever-growing family.


WHAT IS STAY ON SKILL & WHO CAN APPLY?


Stay On Skill principally has two legs: The skilled Travellers and the Hosts wanting to learn a skill. You can be the skilled traveller or the host and to apply for both, you need to fill a form.


If you're a skilled traveller who wishes to stay for free with verified locals, then you must share your skill-set with the hosts. And if you want to learn a skill (fancy baking red velvet cake?), you can host someone who knows the skill. The skilled guests share the knowledge with you by conducting classes at your home until you finally become a beginner in that skill. What's better is that neither the skilled traveller nor the host is a dummy; team Stay On Skill ensures all the participants are genuine. Also, if you're a host who doubts your guest's skills, then don't worry, as it is a prerequisite of this scheme to submit some proof of the skill in the form of a certificate or a video. 

Who can apply? Well, anyone with a set of skills who wish to stay at someone's house for free. (And anyone who wishes to host someone in exchange for learning their skill.) This is especially for those looking for a local experience and learning the many ways of the domestic lifestyle. This is also a fantastic option to escape from life and fill the void of loneliness by spending time with a local family. This could especially benefit those who want to travel solo but are dubious of staying alone in a hotel room.

WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER IT?

By staying at someone's home, you learn the actual way of how things function in a certain locale. For instance, what do people living in the remote villages of Sikkim have for their breakfast, what time is their bedtime, what do kids learn at their schools, how are the raw materials acquired – and a plethora of questions that you always had on your mind. Living in a luxurious resort as opposed to living in a local homestay is what I feel is completely distinct. Of course, staying at someone else's house might not be as luxuriant, but everyone must experience local living at least once in their lifetime. 

STAY ON SKILL HELPS THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

The aspect that hit me the hardest about my trip with Stay On Skill was the scheduled meeting that was to happen with the locals. I was impressed seeing the efforts put by Arjun Tuli – the co-founder of Stay On Skill – and his team to really helping the locals in brainstorming and putting forth pointers to actually provide aid to them. So you see, the meeting was not namesaked or shadowy; genuine efforts were put behind each word that was spoken in the meeting. 

Through Stay On Skill, apart from benefitting the traveller folks, even the local community is largely benefited – so may it be inferentially or straightforwardly. In a huge gamut of today's travel business, the smallscale homestays and cottages are badly whacked. More flourished businesses advertise to blossom their brands and reach to a fair portion of people, however, the local businesses seem to have a chance only if certain someone spots their offbeat property and then the word spreads or a startup like Stay On Skill cruise out of their way to give the indigenous homestays the attention they deserve. I believe, a destination can be righteously enjoyed if you experience it the local way. 

Stay On Skill lets people with skills – whether it is painting, teaching a language,  marketing, sharing the basics of a musical instrument, photography, coding or cooking – stay at a home for free in exchange for a skill! And, some of the houses listed are located in such a picturesque setting that you don't need to search for an offbeat resort; the aesthetics of these homes and the smile of the friendly hosts will provide you with just the apt experience you're looking for. 

The best thing about this idea could be that everyone – not just bloggers or influencers – can avail free stays in exotic homestays. I have seen the way people react when I announce visiting a property in exchange for a review. Stay On Skill lets any of you stay for free; you just need to educate the hosts with the skill you possess! 


HOW DOES IT WORK –


  1. List the skills: List the skills you are good at on Stay On Skill. It needn't be artistic skills like painting, sketching, dancing, singing, etc. You can apply to this program even if you are a coder, a blogger, a marketer (social media marketing works too!), a writer, a baker or a cook.
  2. Explore hosts: Browse the hosts in the cities you want to visit. The locations are dreamy and include some of India's exotic ones like Gangtok, Dharamshala, Ooty, Leh, and Goa, to name a few.
  3. Send request: Send request to hosts or experts when you find the right match.
  4. Travel for free: Get free stays in exchange for teaching your skill. You are required to spare about 1-2 hours of your day. (You can prep for your classes beforehand for being a lovely guest and a lovely teacher!)

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