House Pet Sitting : The New Way To Travel
What is house sitting
House sitting is where you look after someone’s house whilst they are away. It can be for a few days up to months at a time. Quite often pet sitting is also involved. It is a non paid gig but I think it is a great way to travel and I have just done my first house sit. It will give you the chance to live like a local in a new destination.
Who can do house sitting
Anybody can do a house sit. If you want a few days away in your home country you could do a house sit, if you want to visit a destination abroad look at house sitting. If you want a longer term stay then house sitting is also great. People will say whether they are looking for singles, couples or if it is OK for a family so there really is a choice for everyone.
There is no age restriction obviously over 18 as no one is going to let children look after their house but you can do it in your 20s 30s 40s every age. Some people wait until they retire and other fit it around their holidays at work.It is suitable for just about everyone.
One exception is someone with a criminal record might find it hard to become a house sitter. You normally have to do a disclosure or have a check as at the end of the day people are trusting you to look after their home and worldly goods.
Best websites for house sitting
There are a number of websites and Facebook groups dedicated to house sitting and it is important to choose one that is going to meet your needs. As I am based in the UK I wanted to start of doing my house sits in the UK. I am doing it to not only travel but also to look after pets as I can not commit to having my own.
I found that Trusted Housesitters had the most in the UK so this is the one I signed up to. It was £79 per year but I figured this is worth paying if I get a number of housesits as I will save in the long run. If you google house sitting sites there are now lots of options and I can see this growing as it becomes more poplar. This site also has a lot of house sits abroad which I hope to do when I gain more experience. There are much cheaper sites including Mind a Home which is £15 annually and they have quite a lot of UK house sits.
What are the responsibilities of a house sitter
Each house sit will state what they want from their house sitter. It varies I have seen some that are to just occupy the house whilst someone is away to full on gardening, housework even one for a B&B with full duties which I thought was a bit extreme as surely this should be paid but it might be perfect for someone out there.
I personally am looking for house sits with as little responsibilities as possible to be honest I don’t do the gardening at home so I am not going to go and do it somewhere else so I make sure I check out what the responsibilities are before I apply for a house sit. I am happy to do pet sits for small dogs and cats as I dont have my own pets so I enjoy looking after others. There are all sorts of pets you can look after from lizards to alpaca’s I think I will stick to cats and dogs for the time being.
The main responsibility is to stay in the property, this is pretty obvious if you are committing to a house sit then you need to be staying at the property. If it is a longer house sit then you may come to a understanding with the owner that you have to spend a few nights away but mostly they are going to want you to stick to your end of the bargain. If they have pet sitting included they might state that the house sitter can not be away for more than a few hours as the pets can’t be left alone.
Etiquette for house sitting
Respect – Obviously it is someone’s home that you are staying in so treat it respectfully
No Visitors – Unless agreed prior do not invite people into the property if this has not been agreed.
Do not disclose personal information – Do not be posting on Facebook the address or personal information about the house sit. Do not do anything to put the owners of the property at risk
Security – Make sure you take responsible security precautions i.e. locking up, not leaving the property unattended for long periods of time.
Keep it clean – clean up after yourself leave the property as you found it
Dont be nosey – Would you like someone to go through your personal belongings, I know I wouldn’t.
How to become a house sitter or pet sitter
Now I have given you this information and you think that house sitting is for you, it is easy, head to one of the websites or Facebook groups and get started. Find a website that meets your requirements, become a member and apply for house sits.
Dont be disgruntled when you are declined for house sits, it took me a few applications and I was just about to give up before I got accepted to do my first house sit. I have come to realise it is nothing personal if I am turned down for a house sit as they might have got many applications or they might even have a certain house sitter that they have had before and is available again.
Good luck if you decide to do a house sit let me know how you get on!!!