Opportunities exist at every corner and it’s up to us to find the answer on what best fits our taste and needs. Were you the one looking for that free accommodation for your next trip? You may find the answer here. If house sitting is what works for you, you can definitely accommodate for free on your travels without worries.
How come the accommodation is for free?
If you haven’t heard of it before a house sitter is a person that stays in someone else’s house to live temporary while the owner is away for a few days, months or even years, for various reasons. The truth is that many people fear about the safety of their homes when they are not in their houses. And they certainly don’t like leaving their pets alone or to put them in a kennel or another home. Instead, they would look for some nice people, animal lovers that would gladly stay in their houses and take care of those animals without any further need of leaving the surroundings that they are used to.
That’s why a lot of house owners with beautiful houses in amazing locations will offer their homes to people to accommodate there for free. In exchange for showing some love for their pets and taking care of the garden or watering the plants, they will allow travelers to stay in their homes for free. Finally, they also enjoy meeting new people and making friends.
The house sitter in exchange will get a free local place to stay at, a new destination to explore and meet wonderful new people on the way. The owners will save on the security, kennel or gardening. When you think about it, it’s a quite convenient solution for both sides that will certainly save on their budget too.
Is house sitting actually a good fit for you?
The relationship between the house sitter and the house owner is based on a trust. It doesn’t involve any money, but a sort of exchange of services. As a house sitter, you’ll be staying in someone’s home, for which you should think of more as a house of a friend that you’ve met online than something similar to apartment rental.
If you are interested in exploring some wonderful countries and want to stay in very nice houses for free, you love animals and living like a local you should definitely apply for a house sitter. It’s for people that want slow travel and to experience local cultures.
But, however attractive and simple it may sound it’s not good for everyone. Certainly not for those that want to be out for long hours or party at night. Although it is up to a mutual agreement between the house owner and the sitter, still, the free accommodation here comes with some responsibility. Like being in the house and caring for the garden and the pets on a daily basis. It’s very convenient for those that would want to combine their travel with home cooking and spend some time indoors too. You’ll have enough time for yourself though to walk around for a few hours, visit museums or to go kayaking, shopping, hiking or just relax on the beach every day.
Some pets require more attention or simply won’t be used to being left alone longer hours while others would need to be entertained. Besides feeding the animals, consider that some of them will require more cuddling, daily exercises or walks. But, again for some people, hiking in the countryside, or morning walks in a company of a dog, might be just the thing they were looking for.
Basically, you’ll have to do a few tasks around the house to keep the property in good condition which will probably need to be done in the same way as the homeowners do. Regarding the errands in the house, usually as a house sitter, you will need to take care only for cleaning after yourself and disposing of the garbage, watering the plants, gardening and collecting the mail. Although it’s not expected of the house sitter to be a gardener it’s good of him to show, except for some genuine affection for animals, for gardens or greenery as well. Make sure you have all the necessary contacts before something goes wrong in the house, gets broken or a pet gets sick or injured.
Finally. you should expect a lot of communication with your new friends while they are away. You will have to update the owner on a daily basis about the house, pets and additionally if someone stopped by or anything else happened. And of course, you should always ask questions about the things around the house that you won’t be sure how to handle it properly. That will make things a lot easier on both sides.
How to become a house sitter?
There are many websites that will offer this service to the owners and travelers. The thing is that they charge an annual fee. The most popular and trustworthy in the field, to many a favorite one, TrustedHouseSitters, will cost you 119 US dollars. They have many listings of properties, but as well as applicants and bigger competition. Another one, MindMyHouse, is quite easier to navigate, has way lower annual fee and will cost you only 20 US dollars. Except being much cheaper than the previous one, with the lowest annual fee for house sitters on the web, this one also has fewer listings of properties as well as house sitters. In a sense, this can be a good thing since the competition won’t be so big and as a newbie, you may have better chances of finding a good location and a house owner. If you know where exactly you want to go, you can also look up for the smaller regional house sit websites. You can find homes in great locations in the cities, at the beaches or in the mountains and farms. Keep in mind that it will require patience and flexibility until you find a nice house sit opportunity, especially when it comes for the first-timers.
After you register on one of these websites for house sitting you’ll have to make a nice house sit profile that will show your positive, friendly side, the one that likes to explore, travel and meet new people and most importantly loves animals.
Tidiness and responsibility are what most of the house owners will look in the sitters. As a newbie in the house sitting you should consider putting a video of you, if available, to make it to the first rows if possible. The house sit profile should tell something about you, your personality and skills. Include in the description what you want to do, how you care for animals and some details about your pets if any. House owners seek reliable, friendly persons that will look after their homes, pets or gardens. In general, it’s good, to be honest, positive and friendly. Although you’ll be applying and thinking of ways to stand out from other applicants the best advice as always would be being foremost yourself. It’s true that there are many nice people out there searching the same thing as you are but you never know why actually people will choose each other. So, the best way is to tell your story with a little bit of enthusiasm and you’ll be more than fine.
After you put your basic info where you say something about yourself too, like why do you want to house sit and about your experience, consider adding some bright photos of you smiled with some cute animals. Then you can (practice) sit and wait for your first message or contact from the potential house owner.