House Sitting

House and Pet Sitters have a Travel Secret

You - Yes, YOU can go on a slow motion trip around the world. House sitting opens doors to the destinations of your dreams ... and accommodations are FREE!

If you have a thirst for travel and want a depth of experience that a two-weeker in a holiday resort won't come close to quenching, you're going to LOVE what house sitting offers.

So ... what if I told you that you could live in a Tuscan vineyard one month, France for a couple more months then move on to England for a 5 week stay ... or whatever combination of countries and timelines strikes your fancy, AND that it wouldn't cost you anything for accommodations?

Or maybe you'd rather spend some quality time in Hawaii, Asia, Alaska or Down-Under ... it's all doable if you're willing to take care of a household and sometimes a pet or two in exchange for free rent.

In fact you'll actually be doing someone else a favor by staying in their house and looking after things while they're away.

This is one of those things that seems too good to be true but it is a win-win situation for both homeowner and sitter.

You provide a service - taking care of the house and often, pets - in exchange for living in their home.

Opportunities for House Sitters

These two websites should keep you busy for a while, they both have huge databases of house sitting opportunities.

Get started by going to House Carers or Trusted House Sitters for an inside look at the world of house sitting.

If you scroll around you'll see gigs available worldwide, some that just want a human living in their house and others needing care for a variety of animals ... dogs, cats, hamsters, chickens, llamas and bunnies.

There's a fee involved to join and enjoy all of the benefits of membership and to be able to contact homeowners about their opportunities However you can freely roam both websites without signing up and jump in when you've decided to go for it.

Both House Carers  and Trusted House Sitters  will let you set up a limited profile for free to get yourself out there and even send you information about projects that fit your criteria. You only pay the fee if you want the contact information for an assignment.

The Short and the Long of House Sitting

House sits range in duration from 2 days to more than a year but usually about 2 - 4 weeks. People new to the idea usually start with a few short assignments close to home but once they get a bit of wind in their sails they go for the life expanding long term gigs in other countries.

Things to Ask About Your House Sitting Assignment

  • Contact information - Phone number, email address, is there someone I can ask questions of?
  • Building manager or caretaker - Name and contact details.
  • Infrastructure - Location of main water valve, breaker or fuse box, gas shut off.
  • Household - Cleaning supplies, outdoor taps and hoses.
  • Sleeping - Where you'll be sleeping.
  • Security - Alarm codes, who else has keys to the house?
  • Mail - What to do with mail and deliveries. House sitters sometimes open, scan and forward important mail, even deposit checks.
  • Pets - Veterinarian's number, food, treats, habits, toys, medications, poop bags, leash, sleeping habits, medical conditions, walks, socializing, how should emergencies be handled.
  • Caged Pets - Where is clean bedding kept? Food habits. How often are cages/aquarium cleaned?
  • Phone numbers - Homeowner, plumber, handyman, etc.
  • Vehicle - Do you need a car, will one be supplied?
  • Gardening & Lawn maintenance - Location of tools, mowers
  • Chores - What chores will be required on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?
  • Utilities - Who pays? When there are pets to care for it is generally assumed that the heat would be on in any case for their comfort and that the homeowner will pick up the tab for some or all of the utilities.
  • Maintenance tasks - Are there things that need to be checked such as batteries and bulbs?
  • Pools & Spas - Where is the chemical and the testing kit kept? How often? How much?

Pampering Pets

Be prepared to put up with behaviors and habits you might discourage in your own pets..

Your mission is to keep them safe, happy and healthy - not to retrain them.

House Sitting Expenses

Although you won't pay rent for the duration of an assignment there'll still be expenses.

  • Gaps Between Gigs - There are bound to be times when you're "between assignments" and where you stay during that time depends on your financial circumstances. Some stay in hostels and lower end hotels while others rent a villa somewhere.
  • Utilities - In some cases you'll be responsible for paying some or all of the utilities. During long term sits the billing may even be transferred over to your name.
  • Travel - You'll pay your own airfare, taxi, train and other traveling expenses.
  • Food and More - The costs of food, medication, toiletries, clothes and such are still borne by you.

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