If you’re an animal lover who likes to travel, then I have just the job for you…
Two weeks in Bordeaux, swimming pool, a car included – it had to be the ideal holiday. But this was no vacation. I was looking after a stranger’s cat in exchange for free accommodation.
I’d heard about house sitting for a while and decided to sign up three years ago. I’ve always struggled with anxiety and often had panic attacks many times a week. Travelling, even though I really wanted to do it, felt off limits.
I live alone and am self-employed, so I am more flexible then most of my friends and family which makes house sitting fit in with my life perfectly.
As a potential house sitter, the first step is finding a destination and dates that work for you and the owner. This is the fun part on Trusted House Sitters. You can search the world for your ideal destination, homes, and dates easily on the site.
Multiple pet sits are added everyday – France, Germany, Spain, America, Australia… the list rolls on.
Sits can range from a day or two to several months, and housing may be luxury homes, apartments or even farmhouses with horses and sheep. Many places require pet and plant care or other types of property maintenance, but many simply require that you occupy the property and take in the post.
Places I’ve been…
Bergerac, Paris, Amsterdam, Malaga, Garrucha in Spain, New York, Zurich, Toulouse, Barcelona, London (many times).
All have been amazing in their own way. I try to do longer sits so I can explore more and get used to a good routine with the animals I’m sitting for.
I also pet sit locally for which I am paid, so that helps with the costs of travelling.
There are several house-sitting sites to choose from, so there are good options for everyone.
Ultimately, success in house sitting comes down to the effort put into it. House sitting lets me travel, see new places, meet great people and take care of cute animals.
But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. House
sitting comes with challenges and hard work. Some animals are challenging, some places are not what you expect, you have the responsibility of looking after something important and you are out of your safe routine at home. It worked for me, but that doesn’t mean it works for everyone.
Skills you need…
You should be a pet lover and should have a decent amount of experience with dogs/ cats/etc.
You should be flexible. You’ll need to adapt to a new home, routines, and ways of doing things. You will be going into someone else’s home and caring for their home and pets in the way they ask. If you are set in your ways, house-sitting will be difficult for you.
House-sits are usually better for those who want to use the house as a home – a place that they spend a decent amount of time each day. If you want to be out all day/ night, I wouldn’t suggest house sitting.
When you live in a house, things can go wrong so you need to know what to do in these kinds of emergencies such as the boiler breaking down or pet illnesses.
I would encourage solo sitters to be sure they feel comfortable with the duties required. Make sure you read the guidelines thoroughly and have lots of contact numbers in case you’re unsure of anything.
I normally spend a couple of days with the homeowners to make sure I know what to do.
To be successful, you need to be flexible about dates. If you have a narrow window of set dates that you are available to sit, and a set location, it’s not very likely you will find an exact match.