Housesitting – All You Need To Know

Heather and Pips

I love long-term travel because there are so many options for travelers on where to stay. You can stay at Airbnb’s, VRBO’s, hostels, hotels, and my favorite is housesitting. When I mention that I spent six weeks in Wales housesitting, people ask me how I did that? Well, here is all you need to know about housesitting.

Heather and Pips
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Trusted Housesitters

I heard about this program through other travelers and digital nomads that travel full time. I was fascinated and wanted to learn more about housesitting. Trusted Housesitters is the program that I choose to be affiliated with. They connect homeowners with reviewed and verified house and pet sitters. Now, there are other housesitting programs like Mind My House, Nomador, Housecarers, and HouseSitMatch that you can look into as well. When choosing a program, look for things like the company’s size, where they operate, how competitive it is to get a housesit, whether they provide insurance, verification, and how much does it cost?

How to Become a Housesitter

Trusted Housesitters costs $129/year for the membership. It is the pricier version of the housesitter programs, but you get what you pay for. I find that the housesits are more reliable and plentiful and you are considered a valued and trusted housesitter. Once you sign up with a program, you will need to create a profile. Also, you’ll need to provide references and go through the verification process. Your profile needs to stand out among the many other sitters out there. Add pictures, stories, and the more animals you are comfortable with, the better your odds to find a good housesit. After, that the rest is up to you applying, and fingers crossed that you get picked!

For the Home Owners

Pips sitting by the window

If you consider looking for a house sitter to watch your pet while you are on vacation, check out Trusted Housesitters. As a homeowner, you purchase an annual membership of $129, which allows you to choose your pet’s perfect sitter and travel with the peace of mind that your pet will be taken care of. Once you have your travel dates figured out in advance, add pictures to your request and then wait for the applications to come in. Sometimes you might have a lot of pet sitters to go through. I would recommend getting a hold of the sitter ahead of time to see if you are comfortable with them and to ask any questions you might have and answer theirs. Once the day gets closer, I recommend sending the sitter a list of what you expect for your pet and any extra notes to make their stay easier. Then when the day comes to leave for your vacation, know that your little family member will be happy and well taken care of while you are relaxing on your vacation.

For the Sitters

Heather with Max and Izzy

After you have a standout profile, all you need to do is figure out where in the world do you want to travel. The good thing is that with Trusted Housesitters, you can choose International and Local destinations. You can search for cities, dates, and duration and then see how many housesits are available for that area. Look for how many animals you will have to watch, do you need a car, is there anything to do in the area, do they have reliable and high-speed wifi? Then start applying for as many as you would like. It helps to apply WAY ahead of time as well as soon as you know when you will travel. If you get chosen for a housesit, make sure to ask any questions you might have. It also helps to find out if it is okay to show up a day before they leave, so you can get to know the pet with the homeowners still there.

Benefits of Being a Housesitter

Monty hanging out with me while I work

There are several benefits to being a house sitter besides the obvious of a free place to stay in a new place. Some of the benefits include unlimited pet care-apply for as many housesits as you want for a year, veterinary advice (24/7) if you need it, insurance while you are housesitting for anything that might go wrong, safe and happy pets, and the opportunity to enjoy slow travel in a new country or city. This is how I was able to spend six weeks in Wales housesitting the adorable Monty. I explored so many places in North Wales like Caernarfon, Portmeirion, Conwy, Beaumaris, and Llandudno. I would take short day trips during the day and made sure to be back later in the afternoon to take care of Monty. It was the most relaxing and enjoyable time taking care of her.

What I Offer Home Owners on my Housesits

Monty's Photoshoot

One thing that I make sure to offer the homeowners is a photoshoot of their pet. Since I’m a photographer, I enjoy taking photos of animals and send them photos almost every day. This is beyond the casual candid, but I find that the homeowner appreciates them and knows that their pet is happy. I know that not everyone has the gear to do this, but a photo on a camera phone would do just as well.

Pips Photoshoot

Summary

Pips and Remote Working

I hope this article gives you more information on how housesitting works. If you are interested in being a part of Trusted Housesitters, go ahead and sign up here. You’ll get a 25% discount on your membership. And a great way to get started is to look for a local house sit in your home town or close by. This will help you get reviews, which are essential for getting those high-quality housesits where you are competing against 20+ other housesitters.

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Further Reading

If you need some travel tips, check out these posts for extra travel inspiration:

2 Comments

  • Lori K 2March2021 at 8:40 AM Reply

    Thanks Heather! This is great info. Could be a retirement option for me??? I find now that I am older I prefer the “slow” travel so that you really get to experience a new place as opposed to 5 countries in 2wks…..

    • Heather 2March2021 at 9:25 AM Reply

      I totally agree with you, Lori! I love staying in one place for a while and getting to know the locals and becoming part of the community! Plus, I know a lot of retirees that do this all year long. They go from one housesit to another.

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