House Sitting Around the World – 8 Travel Blogger Tell Their Experiences
House Sitting around the world? That was a dream of mine when I heard of the concept for the first time. It’s pretty easy: People have to leave their homes to go on vacation or business trips and need somebody to take care of their pets, plants and houses. So, house sitting is a win-win for both, the house owners as well as the sitters, who get to stay for free. Most people use platforms like Trusted Housesitters to find the perfect match. Click here to read more about how it works and who it’s for.
I did it three times in 2017:
- 1 #1 House Sitting in Dubai
- 2 #2 House Sitting in Singapore
- 3 #3 House Sitting in Saigon
- 4 These were my three house sitting experiences! Let’s see what kind of house sits other travel bloggers have done…
- 5 Sarah from Live, Dream, Discover
- 6 Lynn and Steve from A Hole in my Shoe
- 7 James from Worldwide Shopping Guide
- 8 Tom from Travel Tom Tom
- 9 Megan from Meganstarr.com
- 10 Jessica from Notes of Nomads
- 11 Shelley from Finding Beyond
- 12 Annik from Misses Backpack
#1 House Sitting in Dubai
My first house sit ever brought me to Dubai. I got to stay for a week, which was fine for being my first sit. Now, I would probably not travel to a place just to do a house sit for one week. Still, it was an amazing first sit! Caramel was a great cat, easy to take care of. The apartment was really nice, there were three pools in the near surroundings that I could use and a bus stop 5 minutes from my place…
#2 House Sitting in Singapore
The second one was much easier to get although I didn’t have the review from my first sit yet. But the house owners from Singapore had a really good feeling when they read my application, checked out my blog and could get a glimpse into who I am. They decided without a Skype call and in summer, I was staying at their place for 25 amazing days. Pool and tennis court included! The cats were a bit more difficult: One was sick when I arrived and needed medication twice a day. And in the second week, the other cat got hurt when he was roaming and I had to go to a cat hospital with him. The owners decided to make him stay in a pet hotel for the rest of my time. But still, this might have been my favorite sit since 25, almost a month, makes you settle a bit and get to know the pets.
#3 House Sitting in Saigon
My last house sit was in Saigon, Vietnam. When I applied, I didn’t think I would get. So I encourage you to try even when you think there’s no sense. The house owner had to leave Saigon BEFORE I arrive. She still said yes to me because she didn’t want somebody to just get free housing but somebody who would come to Saigon anyways and wanted to stay for a while. I was the perfect fit to what she had in mind so she arranged a friend to come to take care of the cats for three days until I arrived and took over for two more weeks. And again: a pool, a gym and even a spa right at my condo. I loved the sit and would always do it again!
These were my three house sitting experiences! Let’s see what kind of house sits other travel bloggers have done…
Sarah from Live, Dream, Discover
When we started our nomadic life and location independent business five years ago we decided to try housesitting. We signed up for three sites initially but have since narrowed it down to Trusted Housesitters and House Carers. It has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made in regards to our travel lifestyle.
We love housesitting for so many reasons. You may think that saving money would be the number one reason but in fact that is not the case. It’s true that housesitting does help us to stay on budget but the biggest reason we love housesitting is for the experience itself. Being without a home base means sacrificing many of the things we used to take for granted. Sleeping in the same bed, having a kitchen, hanging your clothes up, and enjoying the company of pets to name a few.
Then there is also the added bonus of trying out different lifestyles and getting to know a local culture in a more authentic way. We have been farmers in Southern France, lived in an eco-community in the Mexican jungle, cared for three dogs in a typical Thai island neighborhood, lived in a stone cottage in the English countryside as well as a luxury flat in central London. How else could you experience such an array of things in one lifetime?
Lynn and Steve from A Hole in my Shoe
In 2011 we wanted to begin some travel but had a beautiful brand new home, a dog, a cat, 3 chickens, a pink & grey galah and a few fish.
After some thought we advertised on Aussie Housesitters and selected a New Zealand couple to house sit while we went on a 3 week Asian cruise. The couple would be in Perth for 3 weeks to be near their daughter who was due to give birth so timing was great. Hubby prepared a booklet for them, instructions to use all appliances, where to get great takeaway, what day to put the bins out and anything else they would need to know about our home and the general area. Of course he included a section about our pets, how much, how often and what to feed each of them, any health conditions, etc. Details of wifi password, emergency contacts, insurance, vet and other required numbers were also included in the information package.
This preparation was worthwhile, we returned to a spotless home, happy pets and small gift and thank you card.
Our frequent travels are now longer, but we’ve continued using advertised house sitters and have always had a great experience. We have come home to a home cooked meal, fresh ingredients for breakfast, even a tasty orange cake made with oranges from our tree.
We are Lyn & Steve from A Hole in my Shoe and every day we are one step closer to our next big adventure. When we are not travelling or working hard to pay for our travel we are home, in Perth or surrounding areas exploring local markets, gardens, cafes or wineries. We enjoy spending time photographing street art, both at home and in our travels.
James from Worldwide Shopping Guide
Tom from Travel Tom Tom
Last year I was offered a huge 3-bedroom villa in Sanur, Bali to take care of while the owners would go on a holiday. I had never done a house sitting job before and did not know what to expect. Through my network I was recommended by friends of the house owner to contact me. I was asked to come to Bali a couple days earlier and stay at their place while they were at home so they could show me the house. It was the best thing that could have happened as I was living for a month in a luxury pool villa for free on one of my favorite islands in the world. I did not even have to do anything as every morning the maid would come to clean the house and when I asked for it she would even cook for me in the evening. This was paradise! The owner even told me to host a party and invite friends but honestly I did not feel comfortable inviting strangers to the house. In 2018 I will do it again as the owners were happy with me in the house and asked me to come back for another house sitting job.
I am a Dutch travel blogger who has been traveling continuously around the world since December 2012. I turned my passion for exploring the world into a lifestyle and can mostly be found in South East Asia.
Megan from Meganstarr.com
For the past year and a half, I haven’t had a visa in Germany and have been hopping in and out of Schengen. It has been brutal for me as my dog is living in Germany and I miss him so much when I am on the road. I decided to sign up for Trusted Housesitters this autumn and take on some petsitting jobs in England as I was going to be there for two months. It was quite possibly the best decision of my year. My first job took me to Wales to a small town right on the sea. I was going to be watching Rocco and Scully, two Jack Russell Terriers who were living in a cozy cottage that had a historical graveyard as its backyard. That week was one of the best of my life. I connected so well with the pups and the experience made me fall in love with housesitting. I took on a few jobs after, but that first job really stuck in my mind as it confirms I will be actively housesitting as part of my travels from now on.
Megan Starr is an American travel blogger based in Germany. She writes about Scandinavia/Nordics as well as Eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries. She is passionate about dogs, craft beer, good coffee, and concrete. In addition to running her travel blog, she is a digital marketer.
Jessica from Notes of Nomads
My husband and I have done house sits in a number of destinations now, including London, Rome and Berlin. We especially love doing housesitting on longer trips, at times when we want to spend a quieter time and catch up on some work.
The best part about house sitting has to be the pets. With our current travel lifestyle, it’s difficult to have pets of our own, so we love that we can be in the company of someone else’s, while helping them take their holidays stress-free.
We have found all of our assignments on a house sitting platform called TrustedHousesitters. We’ve found platforms to be a great way to apply for a variety of opportunities.
The hardest part is getting your first assignment when your profile is new and you don’t have any reviews yet. If house sitting is something you’d like to get into, I’d recommend working on your profile long before your next trip by offering to house sit for family or friends, or doing house sits for others in your local area. Even if the house sit is not via the platform, the homeowners can still leave you a review, helping to build trust before applying for those big assignments you really want.
Jessica Korteman is an Australian travel writer, currently based in Tokyo, Japan. You’ll most often find her on her blog, Notes of Nomads, delving into culture and expat life, and how to create a lifestyle full of new experiences.
Shelley from Finding Beyond
House sitting allowed us to visit family and friends in the Summer last year without having to sponge off our parents for accommodation. We house-sat for three months in London and Brighton in the UK so we were close to family and friends but still had our own space to work from, for free! We got to stay in three beautiful properties in areas of London and Brighton that we usually could not afford to rent.
The two house sits in London were in the affluent areas of Wandsworth Common and Balham with one property being a traditional London Victorian terrace house with heaps of space and character. The Brighton house sit was a stylish property in the heard of Kemptown, a trendy and buzzing neighbourhood with everything we needed on our doorstep.
All three house sits involved looking after a dog and we fell in love with all of them. Bruno, Maizie and Gracie became our good canine friends by the time we left and we loved every second with them. Neither of us had owned a dog before but all three made our lives super easy and enjoyable. With our profile now having three 5 star reviews, can’t wait for more house sits this year!
Annik from Misses Backpack
I did not come to the cottage center via internet platform, but more by chance. I was visiting friends in Perth. We started talking about their vacation in Germany at the end of the year. In previous years, the two have searched and found a Housesitter on the well-known websites, now I have taken this mega chance and told them that I would love to do this. I got the gig!
I told a friend about it and you know what happened the next day? She asked me if I would like to do the same thing in Madrid. My sister was dumped by the guinea pig sitter for July. Of course, I agreed to sit her pigs in Spain for two weeks. The agreement in Madrid was quite relaxed. I talked to the sister of my acquaintance and discussed everything important. She sent me an e-mail with all the necessary information about the house, such as address, code for the alarm system and the feeding preferences of the guinea pigs, how to clean the cage.
As a thank you, I filled the fridge and put a bouquet of flowers on the table. And, no question, passed the house nice and clean.
The house sitting in Perth felt different because I knew the house and its inhabitants.
In both cases, I had a really good time. Having a real home away from your own home is just great! I’m definitely a huge fan of House Sitting and would do it again and again! However, I find it difficult to get a house-sitting gig on internet platforms if you’re just starting out and you do not have reviews yet. Nevertheless, I want to sign up there, because I think the concept is great.
I am Annik and since November 2015 I am writing on www.missesbackpack.de about my travels. Alone and individually, it suits me best. In autumn-winter, I’m drawn to overseas, in spring / summer I’m mostly in Germany and Europe around.
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