Is it worth considering to become a trusted house sitter for long term travel? It is a good question to ask if you are looking for an alternative solution to your lodging needs while traveling.
After reading about other travel bloggers’ experiences, I decided it was worth the try to become a trusted house sitter. Not only that but a trusted pet sitter too.
Why House Sitting Is An Creative Solution
Lodging is one of the most common expenses, if not the biggest portion, of your travel budget. Everyone’s travel budget is different so there’s no right or wrong answer here. The same goes for preferences.
For example, there are those who do not like staying overnight in a hot area without air conditioning. Since I can sleep pretty much anywhere, whether it is indoors or outdoors, I am open to different experiences.
However, there are times I do have to sit down and take care of business.
More often than not, that means staying somewhere where I can access the Internet without distractions. House sitting is an option worth considering when Internet access is included.
Why Homeowners Need House Sitters
For those of you who are not aware, there are certain insurance policies that will be voided if a property being covered is vacant for more than 30 days. A common solution is to have a house sitter.
Another reason is pet owners who prefers to provide their pets with personalized attention for the duration of their trip. It never fails to amazes me to see how animals react when their companions go away for an extended amount of time.
House Sitting is Not for Everyone
I would say it depends on your personality.
You may be comfortable with house-sitting. You might not. Same goes for pet-sitting.
There’s just some pet-sitting I can’t do. For example, there was a listing for a small farm where you have to milk a cow every day. No offense to the owners or even the cows but I gotta say “thank you but moo”.
Cats and dogs, no problem.
Maybe a bird as long as it ain’t talking parrot trying to ask me for crackers. Beak-reading skills is something I do not have.
How To Become a Trusted House Sitter
There are several sites dedicated to connecting homeowners with sitters. TrustedHousesitters.com is one of these opporunities. You can check out the link to their site at the end of this post.
This site came well recommended by at least four travel bloggers I follow.
I admit I was skeptical at first. However, after being a rental property owner for 5 years, I decided to take the leap and created an account. I am fairly confident in my abilities to handle any emergencies around the house should a situation pop up.
It was just a question of whether this was a real possibility or not.
Sure enough, within a week, one showed up right in the middle of the sweet spot for my travel dates in Florida. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I decided to apply out of curiosity just to see what the application process would be like.
If anything, the feedback would help me improve my profile for next time.
My First Housesitting Assignment
Within two days of email exchanges, I could hardly believe it.
A house and pet sitting assignment with a pool and free Internet access.
All I have to do is take care of the owner’s pets, make sure the house is clean, take the trash to the curb for pickup. In return, I get to enjoy Miami for 5 nights’ worth of free lodging.
If you have never been to south Florida in the middle of the summer, let me inform you in advance that Miami can be HOT. Let’s not forget the humidity which can be tougher than a cutie patootie. So having a pool all to myself a bonus.
Tips I Picked Up During My First Application
If possible, have your criminal background check ready before you apply.
This is a common sense request that some homeowners may ask.
In fact, it is not uncommon for employers and rental property owners to request a criminal background check in the USA. As far as outside the USA, I do not know but TrustedHousesitter.com states it can be done.
If possible, have proof of travel available.
This was a surprise for me but after a few email exchanges, I realized it is a reasonable request. Especially for homeowners who need time to secure a housesitter before they go away.
From time to time, there might be a cancellation on the housesitter’s part which causes problems for the homeowners.
In my situation, because I was driving this was not exactly possible. I did explain the situation as well as provide them with a rough itinerary of my travel plans.
Fortunately for me, the homeowner who already has seen my blog understood the situation and felt reassured by my efforts to ensure I would be there. However, this is a good idea in the future especially if more than a month away when plans can change.
Is it possible to explore locally as a housesitter?
That’s a reasonable question to ask. After all, if you can’t leave the house, what’s the point of visiting somewhere? While checking out the various listings, I have identified three kinds of answers.
- If no pets, yes as long as it is not an overnight trip.
- If pets, maybe yes depending on the pet.
- If pets, maybe not.
Keep in mind if you are pet sitting, there is a degree of responsibility requiring you to ensure the pets are receiving the expected care and treatment while owners are away.
For example, some listings stated they have indoor cats where all you have to do is make sure there’s a bowl of dry food during the day as long as you feed the cat wet food once a day.
There was even a listing where you have to milk the cow at least once a day, spread the feed for the chicken, etc… on a small personal farm.
How Much Does TrustedHousesitter.com Cost?
They do have a membership both the homeowner and housesitters must pay. It does seem reasonable because the key here is being a trusted house sitter. That means you have to earn their trust.
I broke down the numbers based on the first housesitting assignment for 5 nights in Miami. This is just for lodging expenses only. I am not factoring in cost of meals, transportation, blah blah blah.
Editor’s note: The rates listed are based on quick averages of information available online. See the list breaking down the sources. By no means are these figures to be accurate but a guideline.
Since I purchased the membership for a 20 percent discount, or $80, that breaks it down to $16 a night for the first assignment. For less than the price of a hostel bed, I get to enjoy the company of furry animals in a nice home with free Internet to do work on.
Did I mention there’s a pool I can use all to myself?
Over time, with more house-sitting assignments, the less this will cost per night.
In other words, if considering house sitting for 20 percent of year, or 73 days rounded up. That’s less than $1.50 per night.That’s a hell of a deal worth considering as an alternative solution. Heck, there are campgrounds that charges at least $10 buck a night for a patch of dirt and composite toilet.
Granted, it’s not all fun and play but the numbers don’t lie.
Disclaimer: If you are interested in becoming a trusted house sitter, I encourage you to visit their website. The link provided below is a referral link that will give me a generous referral bonus of 2 months free membership if you choose to sign up through this link.
Do you have any concerns or questions or thoughts about house-sitting?
I invite you to share your comments here with the rest of my audience. By the way, if you are curious about my trip to Florida and Texas, I encourage you to follow me on Instagram to check out my travel pictures I will be posting on there.