After 10 years of travelling we have finally found another great way of travelling that suits our travel style now. House sitting is become more and more popular as a affordable way to see the world. Through chance meetings with a few different people who both use house sitting for their own pets whilst they are away or use it to travel we were encouraged to use the site.
What is House Sitting
House sitting is when you have the opportunity to stay in someone elses house either to look after their pets or plants or as a way to keep a property occupied whilst someone is away. Typically you should get free accommodation whilst you are house sitting but longer stays often require a charge for things like utilities.
Where can I do House Sitting
House sitting is available all around the world. Typically on English websites you will find more opportunities in English speaking countries although many opportunites exist around the world.
What jobs do I have whilst House Sitting
The jobs you have to do as a house sitter will depend on each house sitting opportunity. If you are just looking after the house you may find you just need to water the plants and collect the mail. Most opportunities will involve looking after pets so expect to have to at least feed and provide water for the animals. If they have dogs then you will need to walk them usually at least 3 times per day and if they have cats then you will need to clean out the cat litter regularly. You might also find that some pets have medical requirements that can include giving them medication or special grooming requirements.Sometimes you might even find yourself looking after farm animals.
How do I become a House Sitter?
The easiest way to become a house sitter is to join one of the many house sitting websites on the internet. Some of the most popular international sites include
You can also find websites that are specific to countries like Australia and New Zealand. Each website will have a joining fee to participate fully on the site. The price can also vary by country, for example Trusted Housesitters cost $130 AUD, $119 USD, 89 GBP, 89 Euros for 1 year. If you look at the current exchange rate you can see that paying in Australian dollars is $30 cheaper at the moment.
(Prices correct as of 18 September 2018)
20% Discount-If you want to join Trusted Housesitters, I suggest using my unique referral code:RAF165689 which will give you 20% discount at checkout. (This code does not provide me with any commission it justs adds 2 free months to my membership which any member can use for referrals).
Creating a Great House Sitting Profile and Applying for House Sits
Once you’ve selected the house sitting site you want to join it’s important to create a really good profile that outlines your strengths and experiences. On Trusted Housesitters they also give you the opportunity to add a video about yourself. Make sure you add lots of photos especially any with pets or animals so it will show people that you will be great with their animals.
It can be a bit hard to find your first few house sits especially when you do not have any reviews on your profile. On Trusted Housesitters they give you the opportunity to send a reference questionaire to employers and friends so that some one can back up what a great person you are. Getting as many of these as possible completed when you join will help in finding you your first house sit.
When applying for house sits it’s good to be flexible to begin with so you have more opportunities. Another good option is to try and do a house sit closer to home as its a great way to get some credit on your profile without having to go on a holiday.
Our Experience with House Sitting
So far we have just completed one house sit through Trusted Housesitters but it has been a life saver for us. We joined the site whilst trying to find a place to live in The Netherlands. Unforunately in The Netherlands the site is not very popular so you might only see a few new opportunities each week. Any offers that appear for Amsterdam often get over 25 people applying so it can be hard to stick out from the pack. Luckily for us we were offered the opportunity to house sit a Golden Retriever in Amsterdam for a few days after applying for a few different offers. The timing for us was perfect and it gave us the opportunity to finally start staying in Amsterdam after 2 months of travelling around the country.
Our responisibilities were pretty simple in that we needed to take the dog out for a few walks a day and to make sure she is fed twice daily. We also gave her a brush a few times a week as well as playing games with her. She is a beautiful dog who has many interesting characteristics including the compulsion to eat anything including garbage.
Positives and Negatives of House Sitting
House Sitting has some pros and cons like most things in life. The most obvious positive is the fact that you are getting a chance to stay somewhere you might never have been without paying for accommodation.That means it is a great way to see the world without breaking the bank. Depending on the housesit it is also a great way to meet local people and get their recommendations as often you might stay for a night ot two before the hosts go away and you can get to know each other. Plus you get the company of some wonderful animals.
Not all housesits will be easy as depending on the situation the pets might need more attention and can’t be left alone long so you might only be able to leave them for a couple of hours. This situation wouldn’t be ideal for someone who is looking to do lots of sightseeing in the city they are staying in but would be more suited to someone like a digital nomad. Many pets might also require special grooming or medical attention which may not be suitable for everyone.
These reasons are why it is important to agree on what the requirements are before agreeing to do each house sit. Many hosts will require a chat with you to find out more about you and explain the requirements. This is a chance for you to ask any questions you might have.
Would I Recommend Housesitting?
I would definitely recommend housesitting if you enjoy looking after animals and you are prepared to take on the responsibilities that the hosts are asking of you. It is a way of seeing a new place that you might never visit otherwise and to live a bit more like a local. It is also a great way to travel if you don’t have the budget to be forking out money for accommodation every night. We loved our house sit and we look forward to doing more in the future during our travels. If house sitting doesn’t sound like the right option for you then Workaway is also another great way to travel on a budget.
Have you ever been a housesitter?