The Lazy Loafer’s Guide to House Sitting
Don’t be alarmed if you’ve never come across the concept of house sitting before.
I won’t judge you.
But listen up.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about living rent free in awesome locations across the globe.
Don’t worry, I’m highly qualified on the subject. You see I’ve been utilising house sitting assignments to travel the world in a financially sustainable way for the last 3 years, and I’ve looked after 17 properties to date!
I’ve had assignments in 6 different countries and I’ve saved well over $20,000 in rent.
Want to know how you can leverage this savvy travel tool too?
What is House sitting?
House sitting is essentially an exchange of services. Home owners in need of property and/or pet care, utilise a house sitter to step into their shoes and take over responsibility running their home in their absence.
House sitting takes you way beyond the hotel experience. It offers you the chance to connect with local people in the locations you visit and serves to immerse you in the culture of the local community.
A far cry from the often impersonal hotels which so many choose to book into when they travel abroad, house sitting is an opportunity to connect with local people all over the world.
Why Would I Want To Look After Someone Else’s House/Pets?
People take on house sitting assignments for a number of reasons:
- They could be like me and be looking for a way to reduce the cost of their travels. Accommodation costs can eat up a good chunk of your travel fund, so by sourcing a zero cost option you’ll have more money to spend on enjoying the locations you visit.
- Some folks choose to test out the waters of expat life and house sit on location before purchasing a holiday home or making a permanent move abroad.
- Having your house remodeled and need short term accommodation close by? Want to be close to your family over the holidays….but not too close?!
Whenever you need or want to get out of your neighborhood, house sitting can offer you the chance to do so without having to fork out for a hotel or high priced resort.
Who Can Become a House Sitter?
The short answer is anyone. There are really no restrictions.
Single travelers, couples even families all make great house sitters!
As long as you are willing to take on the responsibilities listed in the owner’s advert you will make a great house sitter for that assignment. Not all assignments suit everyone so it’s really important that you take the time to ensure you’re a good fit.
Remember to consider the logistics of house sitting abroad, such as visa requirements and seasonal weather. Do some research into the local area and make sure it is somewhere you’d like to visit. Just because the owner lives there doesn’t mean you would.
What Does a House Sitter Do?
House sitters can be tasked with practically anything, but the majority of assignments involve basic property maintenance and pet care. Owners expect you to care for their home as you would your own, keep it clean and tidy, cut the lawn, walk their dog and put the bins out.
Some might ask you to take on some additional tasks such as weeding flower beds, painting the garden fence or maintaining a swimming pool.
When you apply for a house sitting assignment the advert will detail exactly what the owner is looking for, so there should be no surprises when you rock up at their house.
The most important thing to remember when house sitting, is that you’re not in a hotel. You’re in someone’s home so treat the property and their belongings with the utmost respect.
Where Can I House Sit?
Again very simple, the answer is anywhere!
Well anywhere that there are house sitting assignments advertised.
I’ve looked after properties in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and I’ve just secured one in the Caribbean. Not bad for a nomad with no home herself!
I am registered with the largest online house sitting service, Trusted House Sitters and they have over 2000 house sitting assignments listed in countries all over the world.
I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find one that suits your itinerary!
Look out for the 2nd part of my house sitting series to find out how to become a house sitter yourself and secure an assignment in paradise!
Author Bio – Charli Moore is a house sitter and travel addict with a penchant for dark chocolate. In 2011 she and her other half Ben waved ‘Adios’ to the corporate world and jumped head first into a life of perpetual travel. You can follow the adventures of this writer/photographer team over at Wanderlusters or find them on Twitter and Instagram.