This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.
What is house sitting? It’s how you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on accommodation while traveling, all while making new friends, both human and furry.
Since 2019 we’ve done 15 house sits in 10 different countries. In this article, we’re going to talk about how house sitting works and how you can get started.
What is House Sitting All About?
Editor’s note: pet sitting and house sitting typically go hand-in-hand. If you’re doing a pet sit, you’re usually taking care of the house as well, and vice-versa. So in this article, we’ll be using house sitting and pet sitting interchangeably.
House sitting usually works as an exchange where a home/pet owner leaves their home/pets in the care of another party while they go away. This exchange is beneficial to everyone involved: the homeowner, the house sitter, and even the pets.
The homeowner can travel with peace of mind, knowing their home and their pets are being looked after by responsible sitters. The house sitter gets to live in a nice home with useful appliances and comfy furniture rent-free. And the pets get to stay comfortable and stick to their typical routines in their own homes.
Another great thing about house sitting is that everyone gets to save a lot of money. The house sitters save on accommodation because the best rent is free rent. The homeowners don’t have to pay to board their animals, which can be very expensive. And the pets save a ton of money by being animals with no concept of capitalism.
How to Find House Sitting Jobs OR Find a House Sitter
There are many different ways for house sitters to find house sits and for homeowners to find house sitters. For the past four years, we’ve found house sits through the website Trusted Housesitters which has house sits available all over the world.
We did a full review about our experience using Trusted Housesitters if you want to check that out here.
It’s also possible to find house sits in Facebook groups for specific locations. We haven’t personally found house sits this way because we feel that there aren’t enough safety precautions.
Why You Should Use a Pet Sitting Website
Leaving your home and pets to be cared for by relative strangers may seem like a crazy idea, as is the idea of traveling to a stranger’s home and then being in charge of the place! That’s why we recommend finding a sit through a house sitting platform like Trustsed Housesitters.
In terms of safety, we like that a Trusted Housesitters membership includes background and ID checks through a 3rd party company for both housesitters and homeowners. This makes us feel more secure knowing all parties have been vetted.
Going through a platform like Trusted Housesitters also means that you will have third party insurance coverage in case something goes wrong with the home or the animals. If you agree to a house sit through friends and family, or through a social media group, you may not have those protections if something bad happens.
We also like the Trusted Housesitters review process. Reading reviews is one of the most important things when it comes to choosing a house sit or choosing a house sitter.
Using a house sitting platform makes finding a house to sit or a house sitter easier by putting everyone together in one easy-to-search place.
Want to get started with House Sitting?
Click here for 25% off any annual Trusted Housesitter membership plan
What are the Benefits of House Sitting?
For the homeowner, there are many answers. First and foremost, boarding your animals is expensive and stressful for you and your pets. It’s a lot easier to let your fur babies live their normal lives at home and not have to change their routines while you go on vacation.
Another benefit is that you will have someone tending to your home while you’re gone, making sure that the mail gets taken in and any gardening or other maintenance is taken care of while you’re away.
Plus, there’s just someone in your house so it doesn’t appear vacant while you’re not there.
For the house sitter, you get an actual home to live in with nice appliances, comfy furniture, and more than just the two plates, forks, knives, and spoons that you would find in the kitchen of a typical Airbnb.
Plus you’ll likely have access to a kitchen! That means you don’t have to eat out for every meal, saving you money. And speaking of money, did we mention the rent-free part?
We’ve had over 25 months of free accommodations since we started house sitting in 2019!
You Can Do Pet Sitting Abroad or in Your Own Backyard!
When you house sit, you’ll be living in a new place or even a new part of the world! We love that house sitting can take you off the beaten path to places you might never have visited otherwise.
What Types of Animals Do House Sitters Care For?
Typically house sitting involves caring for cats and dogs, but people have all sorts of different pets that need to be looked after. We’ve also taken care of guinea pigs, ferrets, parrots, an owl, and a snake!
How Long Are House Sits For?
House sits can range from overnight stays to several months. As digital nomads, we try to find house sits that last at least a month. That allows us to keep to our schedules and routines since we work from home.
But if traveling far afield isn’t your thing, it’s also possible to find house sits closer to home.
House Sitting for Free Rent?
Though that may all sound amazing, and it does, it’s important to note that all of those amazing benefits come with responsibilities, namely the care of the house and the animals.
House sitting is NOT a free vacation. Every house sit has different responsibilities depending on things like the animals, the gardens, and the home itself. So while you may not be paying rent, there is still some work required.
Some animals require more care than others, and your number one priority as a house sitter is keeping the animals happy and safe. You can hash out all of the responsibilities with the homeowner before the house sit begins so everyone is on the same page.
It’s also important to consider that traveling with house sitting is not as straightforward as planning your own travels. You are, for better or worse, at the whim of what sits are available at the time you’re looking.
You’ll also usually need to apply for sits a few months in advance, so you might not have as much flexibility as you may like. You can find sits year round, but there are more available around the summer and winter holidays.
Will I Get Paid to House Sit?
The way we house sit, through Trusted Housesitters, there is no money involved. We pay for our yearly Trusted Housesitters membership, as does the homeowner, but we do not get paid to house sit.
But that doesn’t bother us at all. Considering the length of time we get to stay in wonderful accommodation and travel to new places, we think it’s a pretty fair deal.
If you’re interested in house sitting, we definitely recommend you give it a try. And if you want to learn more about house sitting, check out this video where we give you our honest review of Trusted Housesitters.