Professional The Travelling House Sitters Brit and Jay share their top reasons why you should start house sitting right now! Plus their top 5 tips to getting started!
Imagine getting to spend a month in Rome. Exploring at your own pace, seeing one attraction every couple of days and then heading home (past your local gelateria or pizza place) before the crowds arrive.
Now imagine, that this month is Rome is rent-free!
Not only that, you have a gorgeous pooch to explore the local parks and streetside cafes with.
About House Sitting
How and why you ask?
The concept is called house sitting.
In a nutshell you care for someone’s animals and home in exchange for accommodation.
We, The Travelling House Sitters (Britt & Jay) recently spent that month in Rome.
With a month of 30°C+ days, it allowed for a lovely slow exploration of the city, not to mention the food scene!
We have been house sitting for the past two years, cared for over 29 homes in 13 countries.
Including Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Ireland, The UK, France, Italy, Montenegro & currently, Greece (before we head to the Caribbean to care for a catamaran).
Benefits of House Sitting
We want to show the benefits of house sitting along with some of our best strategies getting involved and landing the assignments of your dreams.
If you want to find out more about getting started with house-sitting head over to the Travelling House Sitters.
Long Term Travel
Like we mentioned, house sitting allows for a slower pace of travel.
You're able to explore local neighbourhoods, including their markets, cafes & bakeries.
You also get to know the local people in the shops. This gives you a different perspective on an area rather than their number one tourist attraction.
Comforts of Home
The comforts of home are also certainly welcome. Rather than traipsing around town to find a washing machine, you have that luxury along with a kitchen.
As most travellers know, eating out can be one of the most expensive parts of travel.
We love exploring the local farmers market & supermarkets to taste and create the local delicacies at a more affordable price.
Homeowners are always overjoyed to direct you to their favourite bakery/ fishmonger/ café or farmers market.
The Animals – Pet Care
If you travel full time, you know it’s pretty much impossible to have animals.
We didn’t realize how much we missed snuggling with a cat or taking a dog for a walk.
During one of our first house sits, we were pet sitters too, and we had a friend while house sitting in London when we were living there.
The sheer joy, we got from walking the dog with her got us intrigued. So, we could still travel and get to care for animals?
Since then we have cared for over 27 dogs, 29 cats, 1 turtle & 6 chickens.
Each time we finish a sit, we declare how much we love that breed (that we previously had never heard of!)
A personal favourite is still a cocker spaniel.
We cared for this 8-month-old cocker spaniel in Melbourne and we learned all about how cheeky yet loving this breed could be!
Change of Scenery
For many people, it doesn’t take much to feel like they’re on vacation.
Even if you’re just house-sitting for someone on the other side of your town, the change of scenery can be enough to be an adventure.
This is only amplified if you find yourself traveling to another town, state, or even country to house sit for someone.
We also work from home, so we find that changing our work environment helps with productivity, as we don’t get stuck in the same patterns.
The savings we have experienced from house sitting have been integral to our long-term travel.
We have been able to spend the money we save on experiences, flights, our families & most importantly, food!
We have been starting a business, so not having overheads such as rent or bills has allowed some freedom to build it slowly in an orderly fashion (not just throwing money at while we contract our time out).
Visit Friends/ Family
When we have the opportunity to house sit near friends or relatives we don’t see often; we jump at it.
This can be the perfect opportunity to spend some time with them that would otherwise mean an expensive trip.
And, if we don’t have family or friends in the area, it’s a perfect opportunity to make friends somewhere you never thought you’d be.
We have made lifelong friends with many of the homeowners & neighbours.
You truly bond over their love of their animals & the concept of house sitting.
We often stay for a meal with the homeowners and we find we have so much in common.
It’s a wonderful way to learn and experience another culture, their way of life, their food & the way their families interact.
Our Top Tips for House Sitting
If you’re new to house sitting it can be hard to prove yourself. Just like your first job, you hope someone will take a chance on you.
What we find works best is looking at supply and demand.
Take Advantage of Busy Holiday Seasons
During the holiday periods & long weekends, you will see an influx of assignments. More than likely there will be more assignments than house sitters.
Use this time to lock in a few assignments and ensure you get a reference from the homeowner.
Sign Up for Updates
Most sites will allow you to sign up for email updates about new postings and opportunities they have.
Be sure to sign up to get these in areas you want to visit, so you can be the first person to contact someone about an opportunity that interests you before someone else gets it.
Read All of The Listing
House sitting can be very competitive for some locations. When searching for house sitting assignments, respond immediately when you see a good match.
As soon as you see an opportunity that you’re interested in, you need to respond to it (that’s why updates are so handy!)
Always read the listing carefully.
If the homeowner mentions something that you have the skills or experience in, then outline that in the application.
They might have an animal that requires medication, if you have animal first aid training or experience administering medication this could put you at the top of the pile
Be Creative and Self Advertise
Sometimes you need to think outside the box (or the house-sitting platform). Take your services to the people.
Some homeowner doesn’t even think of house sitting when it comes time to planning a vacation or work trip.
They may beg family members or pay to put the animal in a kennel (which can be quite distressing for the animal).
Some ways to advertise as a House Sitter include;
- Creating leaflets and letterbox drop them suburbs we want to house sit in.
- Make posters and put them up on supermarket notice boards, cafes, yoga studios, and community centres.
- Drop business cards at local pet shops, homeware stores, and real estate agents.
- Head to the local dog park and speak with owners. Sometimes referrals and word of mouth is the best type of advertising.
As you can see house sitting is a win-win for both parties.
We love seeing happy comfortable pets along with discovering a new place.
House sitting can take you all around the world or maybe just around the corner in your local city.
You never know what’s out there, so we recommend getting started today!
What’s your dream house sitting location?
Thinking of house sitting? Save this to Pinterest for future travel planning.
Brittnay is one half of the Travelling House Sitters.
They are professional house sitters, who have looked after homes in over 10 countries including Italy, France, Greece Thailand, New Zealand, Australia & The UK.
If you want to become a house sitter, they have just released a brand new course.