House and Pet Sitting – World Travel
Often, we get asked the same question about travelling the world.
“How can you afford to travel the World?”
“How can I do what you both do?”
Or “What do you think the chances are that we could also travel like you?”
Our usual answer is anything is possible as long as you have the knowledge on how to start.
Not that long ago, we were in a similar situation as most of the people that now ask us those very questions. We knew we wanted to travel the world experiencing new places, and like most people, just couldn’t afford to fund that type of lifestyle.
Cost of flights and especially accommodation, makes anything but a short stay in any location very expensive, unless you can find a way to travel without paying for accommodation. How can this be you ask?
- 1 The short answer is House and Pet Sitting.
- 1.1 What costs are involved for the home owner?
- 1.2 Travel Freedom exploring the World:
- 1.3 I want in so how do I start?
- 1.4 Initial application for House and Pet sitting.
- 1.5 But I’m the best qualified I hear you say.
- 1.6 House sitting Website Profile Tips:
- 1.7 The all important initial interview.
- 1.8 Your accepted! Now what?
- 1.9 Arriving at the House Sit.
- 1.10 Am I expected to pay for utilities? Gas – Water – Power
- 1.11 Will I get paid to House Sit?
- 1.12 Good luck your now on your way.
- 1.13 Any questions? What’s been your experience House Sitting?
The short answer is House and Pet Sitting.
Many home-owners are anxious when leaving there pets to go on vacation, and look for alternative ways to keep there fury friends happy in familiar surroundings. A growing trend is to open your home to house carers that can stay and care for your property, while also looking after pets with in home pet sitting.
If you love animals as we do, kind natured and caring of other people’s property, and like to meet interesting people from all over the world it’s very likely you too can enjoy the benefit’s this type of travel lifestyle can bring.
House Sitting is not a new concept it has been around for many years but most people either don’t know where to start, or understand what it takes to successfully get started in House Sitting.
It can be a very rewarding as you get the chance to meet some lovely people and have interactions with many different pets. Cats and Dogs are the main animals you are required to care for, while enjoying the sights, sounds, and scenery, of various locations around the world while staying in the pet owner’s property for free.
What costs are involved for the home owner?
Basically no cost at all apart from the normal household utility costs as most house sitters do not charge for their services. When you consider the cost and stress to your pet of having to relocate your pet to a boarding kennel plus leave your home vacant while you are away one can soon see the benefits of have a sitter. Some owners have asked us what are your dog sitting rates or cat sitting rates. Our response is always no charge! Just having the use of a home is payment enough for us.
Travel Freedom exploring the World:
We have met some wonderful people from different countries, while staying at their home caring for their pets as they enjoyed a holiday knowing that their animals and home are being cared for.
The fact is that we are now able to travel the world with a lot of our travel accommodation completely free, which is something we would never have been able to do had we not discovered house sitting.
Naturally we are not the only ones to discover such an incredible way to travel, and in the beginning we used to seek out other house sitters for advice on how to access house sits. We made some mistakes along the way and soon realised that it would be great if we could find how other people managed to get selected.
We soon discovered that in order to be successful in house and pet sitting you need to present yourself to the home owner in such a manner that they the owners feel comfortable that you are capable and trustworthy. You also need to find the house sits, and for that part there are numerous web sites that home owners and sitters can register and make that important initial contact.
I want in so how do I start?
First thing you need to do is sign up to a house sitting website. Here are a list of some of the some of the most popular House Sitting Websites.
Most House sitting Websites have a free option to browse properties for free but require paid registration to apply.
TrustedHousesitters.com – ($119 per year) One of the largest and most popular sites with sits mainly in UK and Europe but also gaining in popularity in America, Australia and New Zealand.
We use Trusted Housesitters for many of our house sitting assignments. Click here to learn more about membership.
Nomodor.com – ($85 per Year) Very large user base and also one of the largest with properties available worldwide. Nomodor does offer a free version which comes with restrictions. To see all listings and you will need to sign up to the paid plan.
HouseCarers.com – ($50 per year) Popular website with which has been around for many years. Many house sits available worldwide and popular for North America, Australia and New Zealand House Sits.
MindMyHouse.com – ($20 per year) Possible the cheapest house sitting site with good number of House Sits. Most house sits are in North America and Europe.
AussieHouseSitters.com.au – ($65 per year) Caters to Australian House Sits with plenty of properties available.
KiwiHouseSitters.co.nz – ($65 per year) Caters to the New Zealand House Sits with plenty of properties.
The initial contact is critical, as often there are many applicants applying for the same house sit and you need to stand out from the rest. This is where advice from people that have done it before comes in. Try searching for house sitting in Facebook and you will come across many support groups which have real world advise on how to get started. Sometimes house sits are advertised directly in these Facebook groups, so it’s worth joining a few and read from real world experiences.
Take it from us. Anything that gives you the following will help you succeed in getting the best house sits.
Confidence in your ability.
Being able to present as an expert with experience which immediately increases your chances of getting the best sits.
Knowing exactly what to do on your first day arriving at a sit.
Stopping that doubt – Can I do this?
Reducing your fears and anxiety of the ‘what ifs’ and the unknown.
Stopping Procrastination and putting off that dream to travel.
Being able to confidently handle unknown situations as they arrive.
Armed with this information from day one will help you succeed in this rewarding field and can make all the difference in getting that all important first house sit.
You owe it to yourself to get the knowledge from the people that have been there and done that and know exactly what’s needed to succeed so we have prepared the following list of what to consider prior to making that first contact.
Initial application for House and Pet sitting.
Most of the times your first contact with a home owner will be via one of the many House Sitting websites rather than the Facebook listings, as it can be very hard to gain credibility when your are unknown, so our advice is to pick a House Sitting website you feel offers the locations your interested in staying and sign up.
Now, before you jump in and apply, consider what the home owner is looking for and fully complete your profile. This is very important as home owners will check your profile. If they see your profile is not completed you run the very real risk of being passed over straight away.
But I’m the best qualified I hear you say.
True, you may consider yourself to be the best qualified person for the assignment, but remember, popular House Sitting locations get many applications so you need to make sure you stand out. Don’t stress about this just follow these rules and you will give yourself the best possible chance.
House sitting Website Profile Tips:
All House Sitting Websites will require you to complete a profile page with your personal details.
Our experience has taught us that to stand out you need to present yourself well in your profile, as this is the crucial first contact point. So it’s worth remembering these crucial steps when completing your profile.
Make sure your profile picture is friendly and inviting.
Try to include some pictures of yourself with animals as this shows your comfortable around pets.
Try to gather references from friends that know you personally and can vouch for your trustworthiness. References go a long way in helping for that initial house sit. Remember your unknown to the home owner so you need to have someone that can vouch for your trustworthiness. If you have looked after a friends house in the past see if they will also provide a reference.
Try and fill in all fields in the profile area of the house sitting site with as much information as you can.
If the House Sitting website has the option to upload a video then why not take advantage of that as well and do a quick introduction video of yourself.
The all important initial interview.
You’ve followed the steps above and passed the initial enquiry stage. Well done! First contact from the home owner is usually be via response on the House Sitting website. You have made it to the all important stage 1. From here it’s reasonable to expect that the home owner will request some form of face to face communication.
Depending on the technology equipment of both parties this is usually conducted via one of the many online video conferencing programs such as FaceTime or Skype.
Although it can feel a little daunting meeting the home owners over video this is your time to formally meet and build trust with the home owner so that they can feel confident to have you in their home. Try to make sure you find a quite place for the call and have any questions ready. Often during the call you can see the pets and surrounds so now is the time to find out directly from the owner if the House Sit is for you.
Remember that although you are staying rent free in someone else’s home you are actually bringing a service to the home owner so don’t hesitate to ask exactly what the house sit involves. On occasion we have had interviews and later realised that the house sit is not for us. It’s better to know from the outset the responsibilities involved so you can make an informed decision, should you be successful.
The next communication from the home owner is usually to let you know if you have been chosen.
Your accepted! Now what?
Break out the Champagne and congratulate yourself. Well done!
After the initial euphoria of being successful the home owner may want to send you some document to sign or other paper work outlining he details. All home owners are different so you just need to make sure your happy with the requirements. It’s always a good idea to let the owner know as soon as possible if your happy to accept the house sit.
Once both parties agree you then need to finalise the arrival date and time. Some owners may want you to arrive a day early to familiarise yourself with the pets and get to know the daily routine.
As some house sits are advertised months before the actual house sit starts, once you both agree it’s always a good idea to keep in semi regular contact to know if anything has changed. It’s also good to let the home owner know when your transportation is booked so they have piece of mind that your going to be on time.
Arriving at the House Sit.
Meeting in person for a new house sit is when the owner will introduce you to the animals and the daily routine of the pets and the household. It’s a good idea to make sure you find out everything that’s required before the owner leaves the premises such as contact numbers for emergencies and if a neighbour or relative is close by in case of something unexpected. Many owners have a check list available outlining contact numbers and details of the property.
Also it’s wise to ask what happens if incidental expenses are incurred as a result of the house sit. e.g. if you need to take an animal to the vet or need to purchase anything. Most home owners will leave some money for unexpected expenses just make sure it’s all accounted for when they return. As a rule we always email the owner a few days prior to arrival confirming our arrival time and if not previously received ask for a check list. The owner may also want updates on the pets while they are away so make sure you have equipment with you so you can send updates and photos if required.
Am I expected to pay for utilities? Gas – Water – Power
Our experience has been no your not. However that’s not to say we wouldn’t be prepared to contribute, especially if the house sit is for an extended period say a few months. For a short sit of a week or two in most cases no contribution is expected. If your in any way concerned that you may be asked to contribute make sure you understand from the beginning what’s expected.
Will I get paid to House Sit?
In most cases the payment is the free accommodation and use of the premises. Some professional house sitters do charge for there service however this is not the norm and the home owner will not expect to pay the sitter unless it has been agreed upon from the the outset.
Good luck your now on your way.
Enjoy your time at the sit. It can be very rewarding and the animals are an added bonus. It’s often sad to leave as you can become attached to your new fury friends but don’t despair you will get to meet many others during your travels. You may also find that you get asked back for another sit which is a great feeling knowing that the owners have built trust in you.
And with that we will see you on your travels.
Any questions? What’s been your experience House Sitting?
Drop us a line in the comments section below and we will be happy to answer.
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