Housesitting is our new favorite way to travel. For those of you who have never heard of housesitting, here is how it works. Somebody somewhere is going on vacation, and they need a person to care for their pets while they are gone. Meanwhile travelers, like ourselves, need a place to stay. So, in exchange for feeding, watering, and walking the pets, we can stay for free in somebody’s house.
Aside from the obvious perk of not having to pay for accommodations, there are many other reasons to love housesitting. First of all, there are the animals. We would both love to have a dog and/or cat of our own, but we have put off pet ownership knowing that we were planning to head out on this grand adventure. It didn’t seem fair to get a pet just to leave him or her behind after a few years. Through housesitting we get to enjoy other people’s pets without that guilt. We get to snuggle and go on walks and enjoy all of the wonderful things about pet ownership without the long-term commitment of owning pets. It’s like being an aunt or uncle. We spoil them for a while then send them home with their parents.
Another benefit is the opportunity to see places we never otherwise would have visited. We spent three weeks in Lubrin, for example. Lubrin is a tiny town in the south of Spain. There are no major attractions there. We never would have heard of the town, much less visited, if it hadn’t been for housesitting. It’s a fantastic way to experience life in different places, and you really do get a chance to experience life there. When you are housesitting you actually have a home. After a day of sightseeing you aren’t heading back to a tiny hotel room or hostel. Instead you have an actual house with all of the comforts of home. You can cook dinner or watch TV or just snuggle on the couch with the dogs. When you are traveling long term it can be very comforting to have that little taste of home.
I know you are all wondering how you can housesit too. All you need to do is create a profile on a housesitting website. We use Trusted Housesitters and Mind My House, but there are several more out there. If you are in the United States, I would recommend House Sitters America. I know it’s something we plan to do when we get back. Each site will require a subscription fee. Sometimes the subscription fee can seem steep, but if you get one housesit out of it then it is worthwhile. Make sure your profile is as complete as possible, search for a sit, and send an email to the owner explaining why you thing you are the best person for the job. That is how you can get started in housesitting. Try it on your next vacation.