Have you ever wondered how to cut the costs of traveling by as much at 50%? Did you know that when you see your favourite travellers on Instagram, lounging around an exotic looking pool, that they are often getting their accommodation totally free? Yep, much of the time that’s how they afford such an exciting life full of travel and beautiful destinations. It’s a tactic I’ve used too, and I’ve gotta say, I’m a rather huge fan.
The cost of accommodation is a major part of traveling, often costing as much as 50% of your budget (and sometimes even more!). If you didn’t have to pay for where you slept, would that mean you could get out and travel more often?
I know it does for me.
House Sitting is a super-secret weapon in many travelers arsenal, and one that is gaining massive popularity amongst travelers around the world. In exchange for feeding the dog, watering the plants and treating somebody’s home as if it were your own, you can get that extra 50% of your budget back and travel the world for a whole lot less.
What Does House Sitting Involve?
House sitting, at its most basic, involves looking after a persons house as if it were your own. Bringing in the mail, keeping it safe and watering the plants. However, most people who get in a house sitter do so because they have pets. Kennels and catteries can be so expensive (not to mention distressing for the animals), that it makes more sense to have them cared for in their own home.
House sitting can be as simple as feeding the cat once a day, or as complicated (taken from my actual experience) as 4 horses, a foal, two dogs a cat and a flock of chickens.
You take on only what you are comfortable with, and the animals you are experienced with. House sitting exists around the world, whether your looking for house sitting in Europe, Australia, Asia or further abroad, there are opportunities everywhere for you to get involved. The houses you’ll sit are just as varied as the inhabitants you’ll find within – from Amsterdam apartments to Australian ranches, many happy house-sitters have found themselves sitting retreat-like Balinese villas and gorgeous Mexican beach-front condos.
Finding a house-sit in the area of your choice is as simple as setting up alerts. Through these, you’ll receive notifications and emails each time a potential house-sit comes up in any of the countries, regions or cities you’ve specified. Once the alerts roll in, you need to get in quickly and apply. If you’re successful, then you will go on to discuss the finer details with the home owner before accepting, and beginning, the house sit.
Does House Sitting Pay?
One question that seems to come up a lot is ‘Is house sitting paid?’. The simple answer to this is.. sometimes. Yes, professional house-sitters exist and they earn an income from house and pet sitting. Through some of the house sitting platforms you also have the option to specify whether you charge or not. However, isn’t it enough to get your accommodation free? I have never felt the need to charge for something that already reduces my living expenses so considerably.
Professional house sitters who charge money for there services usually have an extensive background, many references and often a veterinary or other animal-related career in their experience too. So, do house sitting jobs pay? Well yes, they can. But for those of us without the experience to do so, or the patience to out-compete all the sitters offering their services for free, then simply having beautiful accommodation without charge is enough payment in itself! House Sitting Websites More house-sitting websites pop up each day
Where Do I Signup?
House and pet sitting websites are becoming more and more popular, with new options popping up all over the place. Membership fees are generally annual, and range from $20USD – $100USD per year. Each site has it’s own pros and cons, and sometimes it’s a matter of trying a few out and seeing what fits.
With almost all of these sites you are able to browse available house sits without even signing up – You just cannot contact the home owners or apply. This makes it easy to get in there and take a peek. Have a look at the part of the world your most interested in, and see how many relevant listings they have. Different providers tend to feature better for certain parts of the world – if you’re mostly going to be in Australia, you may find one website better than if you were planning a summer in Europe.
The most popular housesitting sites:
Which is the ‘Best’?
Choosing the ‘best’ is all about personal preference. For me, I love Trusted Housesitters. They have tons of new listings each day, and as well as offering an abundance in the UK and Europe, I am more recently impressed by the quantity of daily housesits coming up in Australia in New Zealand, now that I’m back here. If you want to use my affiliate link you can get 20% off the membership fees.
Highlights & Takeaways
- House sitting is an excellent way to save a ton of money on travelling.
- It’s the perfect solution if you miss the comforts of home, and would like a bit more space than a hotel room.
- Often features luxury facilities like a proper kitchen or a swimming pool.
- Generally speaking, house sitting doesn’t pay – especially if you’re just starting out.
- Home owners will usually pay for the utilities and other expenses occurred during your time such as pet food. However for longer-term house sits, you may have to contribute toward your power and water usage.
- There are a number of options available for house-sitting. It’s best to take your budget, as well as your ideal house-sitting destination, into consideration before choosing a website.
Key Tips for Your First Application
- Get in fast! House sitting is competitive, and you ideally need to get straight in there to be in with a chance.
- Don’t use cookie-cutter email templates. Write something original to show you really read and understood the advert. With so many candidates to choose from, home owners are unlikely to pick someone who hasn’t even taken the time to personalise their message.
- Complete your profile. Highlight your relevant experience, even if it was walking the neighbors dog when you were younger! Everything counts, and people love to see your personality shine.
- If you’ve got one, upload a snap or two of you hanging out with animals! Profile pictures of people with their pets improves their odds of scoring a housesitting gig with pets.
- Get your police check sorted. It varies between websites, but whether a police check is optional or mandatory, it’s a useful thing to have and really improves your chances of looking like a trustworthy and safe option.
Who would I recommend House Sitting For?
People who are flexible in their travels and looking to cut costs, or perhaps experience a sense of home-away-from-home. You need to be willing to go with the flow, and travel to countries, cities or areas you might not have considered before. If you’re cool with a bit of spontaneity, and enjoy the company of pets, I think you might love house sitting.