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Read up-to-date tips and advice for expats based on my own experiences of expat life including our recent move to Australia.

 

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5 reasons house sitting is a great way to travel

5 reasons house sitting is a great way to travel

5 reasons house sitting is a great way to travel

Housesitting seems to be the way to travel the world these days – everyone is in on the act from young digital nomads to the empty nest generation and beyond. Why? What is it about housesitting that makes it such a popular (and growing) trend?

As fairly novice house sitters  with one Aussie house sit and one in the UK under our belt I have realised the advantages of this way of living. There are definite advantages to becoming a house sitter and if it is something you are considering – either doing a Aussie house sit or house sitting further afield then check out my 5 reasons house sitting is a great experience!


5 great reasons to house sit


1. You can explore new places


There are house sits available throughout the world so you can basically pick a place and start looking for house sits! It makes it possible to explore an area before renting if you are thinking of relocating. It also makes some places that may be out of your budget a little more affordable. I have spoken to sitters who move from sit to sit exploring their way through regions/countries and even entire continents!

It is certainly an option we are exploring more and more – and something we intend to do on a full time basis when the opportunity arises (digital nomads aren’t all in their 20’s!)

We have seen some amazing places during our Aussie house sit!

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Visiting Whitehaven Beach at the Whitsundays in Queensland

2. You can enjoy looking after other people’s pets


This may not appeal to everyone but most house sits involve you taking care of the home owner’s animals. This can vary from the typical family pets – cats and dogs to larger animals – horses and even sometimes farm animals. We have looked after dogs during our housesits but we are happy to also look after cats and small animals (guinea pigs/rabbits) too. We have owned both dogs and cats so are very comfortable with their care. You can indicate what animals you are happy to care for when applying for sits (but more about that later!)

5 reasons house sitting is the way to travel the world - the beautiful labrador we looked after

It is worth noting though that you are responsible for the animals in your care – we have had to give medications for example. So ensure that you are comfortable with all aspects of an animal’s care before you commit – daily walks, health care and of course picking up their poo is all part of the job!

One of the dogs we looked after had an argument with a snake and was bitten so be prepared and aware that in times like this you are responsible for getting the best care for pet you are looking after. This may be an extreme case but an animal emergency can occur so be prepared. (The snake luckily was harmless and the dog was fine but there were some frantic phone calls to the vet.)

A snake and a dog during our Aussie house sit

What would YOU do at this point?

TIP!

From experience! One thing to think carefully about when taking on a house sit – if you are house sitting animals you obviously can’t leave them for extended periods of time. If you are planning to explore the area consider what things you want to do and see whilst keeping in mind the need to be there for the animals. This is particularly important on longer house sits where you will not be able to stay away overnight during the length of the sit. I would suggest if you are only staying in the area for the length of the house sit to try and do these things before or after the sit. This might sound obvious but if you are in an isolated spot it can be something to think about before accepting a longer sit.


3. You can save a lot of money on hotel costs/rent and bills


Of course when you house sit there is no hotel bill, rent, mortgage to pay and no bills! It is a great way to travel on a limited budget – I have seen some great budget planners on other blogs with the exact costs of housesitting for a year and it can be done within a smallish budget. Food, transport costs, mobile phone and of course a contingency for between housesits. If you are exploring a large country like Australia if you own a caravan or camper van costs for in-between sits will be even cheaper!

With some housesits you also get the use of a car which can be incredibly useful.

And you get to stay in beautiful homes.

house in mackay

TIP!

Be prepared for a little gardening/pool care etc as part of the sit and also remember to keep the home clean and tidy while you are there.

pool in mackay house

It takes work to keep the pool this beautiful!


4.You can experience life as a local in the area


What a way to truly get a feel for an area! No rushing around fitting all the tourist things in before moving onto the next port of call. Nope you can truly experience life as a local – go to the local markets – and enjoy living in the area.

We recently completed a 13 week housesit in Northern Queensland. It gave us a great chance to get to know the area and meet new people. We have even been lucky enough to visit a local cane farm belonging to the brother of a friend I have made since being in Mackay as well as experience a smoko with the family! (Clue – it doesn’t involve smoking!)

reasons to house sit - beautiful Eungella National Park 5 reasons house sitting is the best way to travel

The beautiful Pioneer Valley

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Visiting a sugar cane farm in Northern Queensland

5.You can make new friends


And then you make new friends – I am still in contact with people who we have house sat for. So far we have met some lovely, friendly and quite frankly amazing people who have let us into their homes and lives to look after their pets and property. We look forward to meeting many more on future housesits!

Dogs on the beach - 5 reasons house sitting is a great way to see the world


How to become a house sitter?


I hope my reasons to house sit have convinced you to give it a go!

TIPS

  • For a yearly fee you can sign up, create a profile and start looking for those housesits! Just like that! We have found both our recent house sits on trustedhousesitters.com
  • There are other house sitting sites available and in Australia aussiehousesitters.com.au is popular.
  • Try to put together the best profile possible (I am constantly updating ours) – the housesitting world is becoming very competitive so you need to stand out!
  • Respond promptly to e-mails etc and maintain a dialogue with your prospective house/pet owners.
  • When you are housesitting keep your pet owners up to date with things. I send regular photographs and updates as I know when I have been separated from my pets I wanted to know how they were!



Click on the link above to find out more about Trusted House Sitters !


PIN FOR LATER – 5 reasons house sitting is a great way to travel!


 


Travelling has in my view so many great benefits – check out Helen’s post all about “The Health Benefits of Traveling”

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30 Comments

  1. November 9, 2017 / 11:58 am

    This must be such a great way to slow-travel the world for someone who has that freedom. I can’t imagine a better way to get to know any area than by actually living there with the locals for a short while. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I can see why it’s becoming such a big success.
    Jurga recently posted…Top Travel Gifts for 2018 – New TrendsMy Profile

  2. Linda Tallett
    November 9, 2017 / 6:19 pm

    Great tips there Tracy. This is something we definitely want to try in the future!

  3. November 10, 2017 / 8:23 am

    I don’t know why we still haven’t done this yet! We talk about it as we would be good house sitters – married couple, no pets, no children, we don’t smoke and we’re really tidy people! But you have given me an idea bc we are currently discussing moving back to the States! #FeetDoTravel

    • TracyJane
      Author
      November 14, 2017 / 9:37 am

      Definitely recommend it!

  4. November 10, 2017 / 11:35 am

    Great tips, I have a friend who has housesitted for the last two years in the Gold Coast/Brisbane area. They love it and it has allowed them to take some epic holidays as they haven’t had to worry about rent or a mortgage. #feetdotravel
    Sarah recently posted…Top 5 Must do activities at Disneyland for kids.My Profile

  5. November 10, 2017 / 12:22 pm

    Housesitting is awesome. I’ve used it and I am very happy with it. I definitely agree with all of these reasons, Tracy. Experiencing a new place like a local is an ultimate experience!

    • TracyJane
      Author
      November 14, 2017 / 9:37 am

      Yes we have really enjoyed it!

  6. November 12, 2017 / 9:17 am

    Oh, I would have been very nervous with that snake who bit the dog! We had a snake biting the gardener in Kenya which wasn’t funny either.

    • TracyJane
      Author
      November 14, 2017 / 9:36 am

      No it was all a bit scary!

  7. November 13, 2017 / 12:23 pm

    Great tips…and gives me some ideas that this might be something I’m interested in. You provided some good links and I will definitely pin this for later use. How amazing to visit new places by housesitting but good point if you are babysitting an animal you can not go far and to plan to venture out farther before or after your sit. Love your article and pinned for later use. Thaks for sharing! #feetdotravel
    Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) recently posted…Calico Ghost Town Holiday FestivalMy Profile

  8. November 14, 2017 / 12:53 am

    We plan to housesit and couchsurf when we hit Australia, as you said, it’s a great way of living like a local and getting to know an area better. I would love for us to have started housesitting already but I don’t think there are many options in Indonesia/Gili Air haha. #feetdotravel

    • TracyJane
      Author
      November 14, 2017 / 9:35 am

      We definitely plan to do more of it!

  9. November 16, 2017 / 9:55 am

    I don’t mind doing a bit of housesitting as it suits my style of travel. It’s been a while since I did my last gig though so I might have to get back into it!
    Barry recently posted…How to Get Cheap Car Hire in AustraliaMy Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      November 25, 2017 / 3:52 am

      Yes something we like too – we will be doing more in the future!

  10. November 17, 2017 / 3:40 am

    Definitely great reasons to housesit. A wonderful way to really feel like a local while the homeowner can rest assured their precious pets and property are well looked after.
    Shona recently posted…HOTEL REVIEW: Amari Phuket!My Profile

  11. November 18, 2017 / 6:46 am

    Thanks for the tips! It sounds like something I would enjoy for sure. Moreover having a chance to bond with some pets – sign me in!

  12. November 18, 2017 / 7:55 am

    Amazing Tracy! I had no idea you have already had a housesitting gig in Australia! I have always wanted to try it, but I thought it always to be hard to get into! I wouldnt let anyone in my home without reviews and the only way to get reviews is to housesit.. Maybe one day lol!

    • TracyJane
      Author
      November 25, 2017 / 3:51 am

      Yes we have been housesitting since we arrived!

  13. November 20, 2017 / 4:52 am

    We really nearly house sat when we arrived here, thinking surely there would be plenty of options in Sydney. In the end we decided against it, as it was really hard to get an assignment (like you said, it’s very competitive especially here) and frankly I was a bit worried about the animal care side of things. I’d be a nervous wreck the whole time in case something happened! The point you make about not being out of town for long stretches is a really good one; with work travel I suspect long term house sitting wouldn’t have worked out for us. I’d like to think I’d give it a good go one day though.

    • TracyJane
      Author
      November 25, 2017 / 3:50 am

      It is definitely something we want to do more of – hope you get the chance to try it one day!

  14. December 11, 2017 / 11:59 pm

    So the idea of house sitting sounds like a total no brainer. but the problem I have is I joined sites like trustedhousesitters and other and everytime they always want people with experience yet I cant get experience without someone giving me a shot. Any tips on how to get the first or second house sitting gig to get past this obnoxious objection?
    Eric Gamble recently posted…Making An Adventurer’s InvestmentMy Profile

    • TracyJane
      Author
      December 17, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      I think try to do one near where you live – the odd weekend? That seems to be the way people start out. We were lucky – after we put on our profile we were approached for a sit!

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HI THIS IS ME – TRACY

Hello from Australia

Traveller, teacher, train lover, and milkshake connoisseur.Now living and working in my 7th country and experiencing life in Queensland, Australia.

I write to inspire others whatever their age to explore the world - near and far!

I have travelled for over 30 years including solo in my 20's , as a single parent in my 30's and now in my 40's and beyond with my husband. House sitter and aspiring grey nomad a life of location independence is my goal.

Over 40 years ago I dreamt of a life well travelled and that is the life I live!

Dream it, plan it, do it!!

Tracy

“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”
-- Michael Palin