Picture this, you are sitting on your balcony overlooking a little beach cove in Greece. You have an iced coffee in hand and a gorgeous border collie begging for your attention. Sounds pretty good right?
We, The Travelling House Sitters recently spent that time in Greece. With a month of 28°C days, it allowed for a lovely slow exploration of the island, not to mention the delicious food! How did we end up here? We are house sitters, in a nutshell, you look after someone’s home and animals in exchange for accommodation.
Over the last three years, we have cared for over 29 homes, in places such as Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Ireland, The UK, France, Italy, Montenegro & Greece (before we head to the Caribbean to look after a catamaran). We aren’t always aboard, we spent a year in Melbourne (Britt’s home city) for 12 months of house sitting.
We want to outline the amazing benefits of house sitting (or using a house sitter), along with our top tips for getting started as one! If you want to find out more about getting started house-sitting head over to the Travelling House Sitters.
The Benefits of House Sitting
Long Term Travel
House-sitting can allow for a much more comfortable pace of travelling. You have the time to explore a city or town at your own leisure. Allowing you time to discover the best cafes, bakeries and markets. The homeowners are always happy to share the local gems around the area.
It also means you have the practicalities of a kitchen and washing machine (which make travelling that much easier!). If you’re not keen on a campervan but want to travel for longer this may be the perfect match for you!
The savings you experience when house sitting both short and long term are wonderful. You could be looking to experience more places around the world and this can help your money go much further. Or maybe you’re looking to reduce expenses at home. No matter what, you can forget paying for rent, hotels, power bills, internet connections or water when house sitting.
Those of you are spending your free time exploring the world know it’s hard to have pets in this lifestyle. Using catteries and kennels can be deeply distressing for animals (not to mention extremely expensive).
This is why we find house sitting a win-win-win situation! The animals can stay in their comfortable and familiar surroundings, the homeowner can enjoy their trip knowing the animals are happy and house sitter get to enjoy free accommodation and the company of pets!
It’s a lovely experience to explore a new city or town with a dog. You stumble across many things you would have never seen on the regular tourist trail!
Visit Friends/ Family
House sitting can also be beneficial for visiting friends and family. If don’t want to overwhelm your hosts it can be great to have your own home base. Not only that it can get very expensive to rent a hotel or motel in some areas.
We have made many friendships that will last a lifetime house sitting. Not only do you meet the homeowners but lovely neighbours. You truly bond over their love of their animals & the concept of house sitting. Sometimes we stay for a meal with the homeowners and discover how much we have in common. It’s an amazing way to experience another culture.
Some of Our Top Tips
References for Those Starting Out?
Being new to house sitting can make it hard. It’s like your first job, without any experience you made to prove yourself!
What we have found that supply and demand can help with this. During seasonal and public holidays there is a sharp increase in demand. We have found that this usually outnumbers the sitters in our area. Use these periods to secure a few assignments and make sure you get a reference from the homeowner.
Be Creative and Self Advertise
There are many house sitting platforms out there to use (some much better than others). However, you might find that some are very competitive or maybe there aren’t any listings in your desired location. This might mean you need to think outside of the box! We have found that taking our services to the people works well!
Some creative ways to advertise your services
- Creating business cards and doing a letterbox drop in suburbs you want to house sit in.
- Make signs and put them up on supermarket notice boards, community centres, cafes, yoga studios, and cafes.
- Drop business cards at local pet shops, homeware stores, and real estate agents.
- Head to the local park and speak with animal owners. We have found that word of mouth and referrals are some of the best advertising!
This lifestyle is very enriching and can be suited to anyone. Whether your an adventurous traveller or someone who justs needs to save some money. If you’re ready to experience this for yourself we are here to help! Head over to The Travelling House Sitters, we have lots more tips and tricks to get you started!