One way I've been able to save money while traveling has been through house sitting. I've been able to save big $$$ on living expenses, but that doesn't mean I got off with a free vacation. When a person agrees to a house sit, you'll still have to fulfill responsibilities like caring for plants, feeding and monitoring pets, and maybe some light cleaning. Of course the requirements are set by homeowners and pet parents, but I highly encourage you to apply for things that are well within your energetic capacity and comfort zone. After all we're talking about living in someone's house with their personal belongings, and caring for their pets. It should be fun and enjoyable but it shouldn't be something that you take too lightly.
How to Find Housesits.
From what I've learned, there are dozens of ways to obtain housesitting gigs, but I can only vouch for what I've used. There's only one website I can suggest, and that's Trusted Housesitters. This is the ONLY site I use to obtain house sitting gigs. And nothing against the others, but its with Trusted Housesitters that I've had much success. Their website is easy to navigate, and it just overall feels very secure. I've been connected with decent opportunities in Berlin, London, Zurich, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Charleston, NYC, and LA.
Now I will say, the requirements of my stays were all different, but they were each within the confines of tasks I was comfortable performing.
How it works.
The process is fairly simple:
Create a profile with photo and brief bio, upload personal identification to verify account (not displayed on the profile!)
Search for listing by dates and location of desired travel (there are listings available everywhere in the world!)
Pay the membership fee of $119/year.
Apply to housesits by submitting a brief introduction about why you're a great fit, and wait for them to contact you back.
Im most cases, you'll schedule a video interview via Skype/Zoom to meet with the pet owners and get a feel for their vibe before confirming a sit. In most cases, you'll know whether it's something you should follow through with or not.
Who is house sitting most ideal for.
This is ideal for solo travelers, low key couples, remote workers, and responsible folk with laid back personalities, practical travelers who like to save money, and don't require the hype while traveling. House sitting is ideal for those who have a particular interest in exploring other cultures outside of the buzz and nightlife of touristy attractions. And lastly, it is IMPERATIVE that you are fond of animals because pet owners are leaving their fur babies and their homes under your supervision.
It's important to mention that house sitting is not the time to host a party, nor is it time to invite folk back for a night cap. It's just in poor taste. So if you absolutely need in-home gatherings to be apart of your trip to make it complete, house sitting might not be for you. Try a different option for lodging: hotel, or an Airbnb.
Keep in mind that you are staying in someone's home, nearly FOR FREE (i.e. exchange for home/pet care) and you have to respect their personal space just as you want to have your things respected.
Although the platform isn't free, I have saved thousands of dollars in lodging from using Trusted Housesitters in lieu of Airbnb, and hotels. Finding housesits aren't always the easiest, but the right ones for me have definitely been worth the search.
It's important to note that your health is important, and you should always be forthcoming with your viewpoints on COVID protocols, especially since being around pets and in people's homes. But don't let anyone force you into doing something you're not comfortable doing.
Get started on Trusted Housesitters today!
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission.