Our Guide to Housesitting
Housesitting – A Great Way to See the World
Since 2012, we have carried out around 300 housesits. From our home town of Brighton to Toronto and Guatemala housesitting has become a way of life for us. Furthermore, not only has it been a wonderful way to see the world, stay in some amazing properties and enjoy the company of an array of cats and dogs, but we have saved thousands of dollars in accommodation costs.
We kicked off our housesitting career in Brighton where we took care of a duo of dogs – Snoop and Biscuit. From then on, we were hooked. We then headed to Toronto for nearly five months, where we housesat for Connie, a Maine Coon cat.
On return to the UK, we continued to housesit in Brighton where we’ve lived in all types of properties from a multi-million dollar house to a tiny floating cabin in Brighton Marina.
We have met a wide variety of pets and their owners and have returned to the same housesits multiple times. We’ve become familiar with the quirks and personalities of our pets, laughed at their antics and cried when we have heard of their passing. In fact, housesitting has been a life-changer for us and we are looking forward to continuing our housesitting adventures when the world becomes safe again.
What is Housesitting?
Housesitting is a reciprocity arrangement between travellers and property owners. It allows housesitters to travel affordably throughout the world and property owners can go away safe in the knowledge that their property and beloved pets are being cared for.
The duration of housesits can be anything from a weekend to a year. The homeowner has someone to take care of their pet and doesn’t have to send them to a kennel 🐕or cattery 🐈. In addition, they will have someone collecting their mail, watering their plants and generally keep an eye on things while they are away.
In return, the housesitter is able to stay in the home rent-free. It could be anywhere from an luxury apartment in Hong Kong to a hacienda in Mexico. The system is beneficial to both parties and is perfect for long-term travellers, digital nomads, retirees or simply those who want an affordable vacation.
Creating a Profile
When you have decided which website to sign up to, you will need to set up a profile. Use an eye-catching heading and explain why you are the right housesitter for the job. Refer to past housesits, your interests and provide a brief employment history. Mention why you want to housesit and include any relevant skills which may improve your chances of scoring the housesitting gig of your dreams. In addition, you will need to demonstrate that you are reliable, tidy, self-sufficient and organised, as well as having plenty of experience with pets. Make your profile personal so that the homeowner will have an insight into your life. Choose any photographs carefully – if possible including one of yourself and pets you have cared for previously.
Homeowners will inevitably check your references. Even if you are just starting out and haven’t got many housesitting reviews yet, bump them up with character references from people who know you.
Our Furry Friends!
TrustedHousesitters is the largest and most well-known of them all. It’s based in our home town of Brighton in the UK and in addition, is the website that we have been with since we started out in 2012. The listings are updated daily and there are housesits available all over the world. There are an abundance of housesits on the website, however, there are more housesitters, so competition can be tough. Membership is on the hefty side at £99.00 per year.
MindMyHouse is another long established website. The major advantage of this one is that at a mere $20.00 US, it is the cheapest. It’s easy to navigate and has an alert system so that you can be informed of a potential housesit if you are looking in a specific area. Although there are housesits all over the world featured, the majority of them are in the United States and Europe.
HouseCarers are Australia-based, but offer housesits worldwide. The annual fee for housesitters is $50.00 US. They are an established, trustworthy, well-respected company who have been around since 2000.
Housesitting Websites which specialise in specific areas:
Aussie House Sitters
Kiwi House Sitters
House Sitters Canada
For further information, check out the following articles:
Housesit Your Way Around the World
5 Reasons Housesitting is Great for Travel Writers