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Accommodations away from home comprise some of the priciest expenses you’ll encounter when traveling. Can’t afford a hotel? Usually, that means you can’t afford a vacation. If your plans to travel internationally are flexible, and you can prove you’re a responsible person, have I got an incredible suggestion for you!
Homeowners around the world are looking for mature, responsible house sitters to care for their property in exchange for free accommodations. And what accommodations they are. As just a few examples of the housesitting availability “situations” that come up on my social media feeds over the last several months, I am seeing gorgeous suburban mansions with refreshing swimming pools, luxury townhouses in the middle of vivacious London, and even a breathtaking hillside Swiss chalet. The possibilities are endless!
The cost for this luxury living? Um, pretty much nothing! Other than the negligible fee charged by housesitting coordinators online, there is no cost to you to participate! So cobble together the money for the plane, boat or car ride, and don’t be too picky about the exact location of the house or dates of travel; it’s pretty random what will come up and where. So far so good?
Now, let’s discuss what to expect.
It should come as no surprise that there is fierce competition for no-cost lodging. Homeowners may receive dozens of applications from eager vacationers looking for free accommodations. As a result, it’s important for you to prepare an application that will highlight your maturity along with any related talents and capabilities. Let’s talk about how to bowl over prospective homeowners and get you some sweet living space abroad!
Do you speak the host country’s language? How well? Do you have any experience living away from home? Sport a green thumb? What activities have you done in your life that make people trust you? How do you handle responsibility? These are some of the questions you should be prepared to thoroughly answer in your housesitting application. We’ll discuss more such details in a second.
Most importantly, understand that, like housesitting in the USA, most homeowners will need you to look after their pets. For most of us pet lovers, this is a huge bonus! It’s fun to play with dogs, for example, when you only have cats at home!
As to the pet care aspect of housesitting, think about the kind of person you would wish to care for your animals if you spent time away from them. Imagining you are this person will help further inspire your application content. Upon approval, ensure you ARE that person!
What are the cons of housesitting? As stated earlier, you must have a flexible schedule and be willing to live wherever the demand is. You may be stuck several miles from the nearest town, which is obviously a problem if you wanted to keep to a city’s center. You’ll be tethered to the residence, having to return each night to take care of your charges; you won’t be able to spend random nights wherever you please while you travel. If any of these considerations cause you to hesitate, your best bet is to seek other lodging options.
Hopefully you’ve decided that housesitting is a dream come true, whether your plans involve living a frugal, nomadic lifestyle or you’re simply needing to get away for awhile. Whatever your motivation, I’d like to help you find the housesitting situation of your dreams.
Pets, pets and more pets!
Since petsitting is a primary task of the vast majority of housesitting situations, you will want to emphasize how good you are with animals as you endeavor to find the perfect situation for you. Having taken care of others’ pets grants you a “leg up” in this regard, and you will want to highlight your experience. With your previous clients’ permission, share their contact information when you apply to housesit for references. As you can imagine, being able to call on references provides your prospective pet/homeowner great comfort and easier choice (YOU!) in selecting a sitter.
There are, however, many other aspects of pet sitting that you will want to keep in mind. You’re looking to sit for critters overseas – and there may well be added responsibilities in doing so that you may not have even considered.
Update: Please click on this link for your must-have housesitting abroad pet care tips!
To this end, I have asked Mrs Kim Coonis, owner of Furever Haus Pet Sanctuary and professional pet sitter, for her advice and tips on successful overseas petsitting. I am thrilled to share Kim’s suggestions, and am confident that, having taken them to heart, your chances of becoming a housesitter will skyrocket!
Applicant Qualities Sought
In the meantime, as you think about your housesitting application be mindful of the ideal housesitter your prospective homeowner is looking for. Again, what kind of person would you want, watching your own beloved animals? Describe yourself as this person. Additional qualities you should emphasize on your housesitting application include the following:
- Experience with pets
- Experience with houseplants
- Experience housesitting
- Maturity (You do not have to be “old” – but you must demonstrate maturity of mind!)
For more information and to locate the housesitter situation of your dreams, please visit the following websites, presented in no particular order:
Should you decide to become a housesitter abroad, I hope you will keep in touch and let me know how it goes for you!
What would you look for in a housesitter for your own pets? Let me know in the comments!
This is great! I didn’t even know this was a thing. I will definitely be looking more into this.
This is so cool! I never even knew this type of thing existed. This would be great for people who want to travel the world for little to no expense. Thanks for sharing!
What an exciting opportunity this is! I wonder if they do this in the USA. It since interesting how many opportunities there are to creatively travel.
Yes! There are opportunities to housesit right here in the USA. When I got into housesitting locally, I was hired via word of mouth, primarily.
That is awesome, wish I had known about it after high school.
Rae, a responsible adult of any age (18 or over) may apply!
Interesting article. I had never thought of house sitting but I find your blog got me intrigued. However, I’m I won’t be able to let sit. Maybe in another season of life 🙂
This a wonderful experience to promote. I kind of wish i would have tried it before settling down. Jobs like this can open up a lot of opportunities.
I agree. Even though it may too late to traipse around the world housesitting, though, why not make a relatively short vacation plan of housesitting for someone else? 🙂
This sounds like an amazing way to see the world! In fact, this could be an even better way for people hoping to really dive in and experience a new city more like a local than a tourist.
Couldn’t agree more, Jody!
This is an excellent idea! My boyfriend and I are going to Costa Rica in the late summer/early fall sometime and thought this might be a good idea before we found a place of our own!
Don’t wait too long to seek something out! It takes a lot of flexibility to make a housesitting situation work 😉
This would be ideal for someone that love animals and traveling all in one!
I was not familiar with this type of travel, and your post is very specific and helpful, particularly the points about how to set your application apart from the crowd. For mature, flexible travelers who love pets, this is awesome!
Wow you have given us something wonderful to consider. Love the integration of the pet care too. I shared with my friends on facebook and pinterest.
Great read! I had no idea this was even a possibility, I want to be a travel blogger and this is a great way to travel more often! Thanks for sharing (:
Keep in touch, Shaye, I look forward to seeing your blog! ❤️
I really enjoy reading about the different ways to get to travel, I always save them for my daughter.
What a great mom you are 😁
This sounds so interesting! I didn’t know there was such a thing. It’s definitely good for people on a budget!
Oh my! I never knew such existed. What a neat idea.
I love this idea. As a fellow traveler, I am always searching for different ways to save money.
What an interesting concept! My daughter loves to airbnb and hostel, and I think she would love this as well!
House sitting is a great idea! I never thought of that! Can that be done in the states as well?
I love this idea of letting someone stay in your house to watch over your pets. I hate leaving my pets, but it would be nice to know they are taken care of and in their home when I do go on vacation.
This made me want to go housesit abroad immediately! Sounds like such fun! I enjoyed reading your tips
Hmmm, new career once I retire.
IKR? Save a critter for me to care for, Terry!
This is such a great idea to travel and see the world for cheap! I know a lot of people that would love this idea.
Hey very interesting blog!