Swap old travel guides for cds, dvds and games with Swap.com

Even the most amateur traveler will probably have a shelf full of unused travel guides sitting at home. Instead of letting them collect dust, you can easily trade them for something else. Swap.com is an online service that matches owners of books, music, movies and games – and helps them trade it for something that won’t go unused.

The service is extremely easy to use, and their database of swappable items is massive. Chances are you’ll be trading your unused Paris city guide for a Bob The Builder DVD in a matter of minutes.

Once you’ve signed up for the site, you tell it about all the products you’d like to offload, by using the ISBN number or bar code from your item – and Swap adds them to their database. Then, you can start searching for things you’d like to trade.

This obviously also works the other way around – someone with a whole stack of unused DVD’s may be looking for a Parisian City Guide – making you two the perfect match.

To complete the trade, Swap charges a very small fee (under a Dollar) and helps with printing a shipping label. The entire process is done by Swap, and you print the label off their site, so no need to mess around with stamps. Then, pop your item your mailbox and wait for your Swap to arrive.

Swaps are protected by “SafeSwap” – which guarantees your trading partner will complete their end of the deal – if they don’t, Swap will send you a replacement copy of the item you wanted. All Swap.com labels include delivery confirmation, making the transaction safe for all parties involved.

Trade souvenirs when traveling – International travel tip

That White Sox hat you’re wearing above your “I hiked the Grand Canyon” t-shirt may be a hot commodity in some countries. Many items we take for granted are both unique and highly sought-after in many foreign nations.

If you find something at a vendor’s stall you like, offer that vendor something of yours in exchange for that good. Maybe he’d like your hat, or that extra shirt in your bag. While you’re not allowed to bring a cache of items into a foreign country to sell, trading items you would normally have in your luggage is perfectly acceptable. No extra luggage room is needed — and you don’t need extra cash on hand, since you’re swapping goods.

It’s not icky to give someone the hat off your head! Trading souvenirs is fun; you get to interact with the locals; and you go home with souvenirs and a great story on how you acquired them.

[Photo: Flickr | Courtneysue75]