In this part 2 of the series of jobs that pay you to travel, let’s talk about another great opportunity to see the world: housesitting. Here’s part 1 in case you missed it
Housesitting will not fill your pockets, but will definitely fill your heart.
Me alone, my partner and I and even our little family of three, we have tons of housesitting experience, so I decided to break down pros and cons, platforms and duties of a housesitter.
Here’s an overview of what you are going to find in this article:
- What is Housesitting?
- How much money can you make?
- (no spoiler here)
- Is housesitting for me?
- Can you housesit with your pets and/or kids?
- Platforms to find Housisitting jobs
First thing first, what is Housesitting?
A housesitter is what the word says. A person that takes care of a house when the owners are not present. It can be a residential home, holiday home, or any facility that needs to be taken care of by someone living in it. Housesitting often goes together with pet sitting. Owners hire someone to take care of their house and pets while away traveling. The sitter takes care of the house keeping it clean, watering plants, and taking care of what is stipulated in advance with the house owners. For example, once we had to take care of the pool, I told the owners we knew nothing about pools, they had us over one day before they were leaving. They explained everything we had to know about cleaning the pool, we got familiar with the dog, and they showed us around. They even paid for one night at a hotel, and we got into the house the following day. It was a small hotel with 3 cabins by the beach, but we only took care of the main house, the pets, and the outdoors. The contract and specifics from house to house may differ and you can get experiences of all kinds. You can have access or not to the vehicles the homeowners leave at home, different kinds of pets to look after, garden, and pool, and all this is within the job description. On the other side, once the house and the pets are taken care of you can explore around and discover new places and people.
How much money can you make?
Let’s be clear, this is not done for the money. Oftentimes there’s none involved. The fact that you have a free place to stay and often an entire full fridge waiting for you is more than enough to cover the expenses. But some other times the homeowners offer some money especially if it’s urgent, short term, and there’s a pet involved. Of course, there are many different situations and possibilities. Just agreeing in detail about what you can and can’t do, and agreeing on every step beforehand is the best way to proceed. And it is the best way to see if the homeowner and the housesitter are a match.
If there’s no money involved, why do it then?
Ehm, I’m sorry didn’t I mention free staying at beautiful houses around the world? Housesitting makes your traveling journey more real, living like a local, and getting to know neighborhoods, people, and views you would never see as a tourist. Housesitting makes your traveling experience more authentic, and you don’t have to find a place to stay or worry about an itinerary to follow, or whatever makes you worry about traveling. It is the epitome of Slow traveling and enjoying a location as the locals would.
Housesitting can pay for your lodging situation, food, pet love, and a different type of traveling experience. It can pay for your airfares, and food and give you extra cash if you are lucky, well-experienced, and known by the owners that want you and no one else. This is what happened to us at the small hotel with the pool mentioned before since we did such a good job the first time.
Remember that this is a job you are applying to, so it must be treated as one, if you have plants to water, a pool or garden to take care of, and pets to walk and feed, you need to do that. But on the other side, if you keep the house clean, and everything is taken care of, all the rest is time to enjoy the place, sightseeing, and rest. Housesitting grants you the amazing chance of living as a local with the lodging expenses paid for. It is one of the best and most sustainable ways of traveling and if you like traveling or have a remote job that allows you to be location free, this is definitely for you.
Is housesitting for me?
Before you put all the work into getting started with house sitting, you might want to think about whether or not house sitting is a good fit for you. It’s not for everyone. Here are some of the pros and cons of using house sitting to provide travel accommodations.
- Free accommodations
- You have a whole house/apartment, including kitchen
- It often takes you to places you wouldn’t have thought to visit
- Meet new people
If you are interested in vacations, long-term travel, pet care, retirement, digital nomad or simply like a nomadic lifestyle, this is exactly for you. Once the slow travel bug bites it is hard to get back. Housesitting has given me so many memories and has helped us know new places and people in some of the most gorgeous places on Earth, Panama, Costa Rica, Spain and Italy.
It is not for you if your idea of vacation is eating out every night, being in a city center able to move around town all day, wanting to visit a different town every day. Remember that most of the time housesitting means also petsitting and taking care of an animal requires affection and time.
Can you sit with kids and a pet?
Yes, you can. It might be harder to find a place as most homeowners prefer single or couples but you can certainly find sits that allow you to travel with the fam.
Depending on your child and your pet, it may be easy or difficult. There’s a little stress involved with the kid or pet not dismantling something but if you get realistic about what place may suit you better as a family and are honest with the homeowners, then the rest is easy. Also, super important to write a detailed profile adding the age of the child or children, what kind of pet you would bring with you, and all the specifics as in detail as possible. In this way, the homeowners have no surprises that can lead to discomfort and banned from the housesitting platform.
Platforms to find housesitting jobs
Every platform is different in functionality, price, assignments available, and sometimes locations. And every platform has pros and cons. We are active in more than one and even if there’s a cost, if you spread it yearly is way less of what you would pay for accommodation.
Housesitmatch is by far one of the best platforms. Most known in Europe than in the rest of the world but with location everywhere in the world. It has a lot of interesting blogs to know more about the housitting world and it has two affordable levels of memberships that allow you to be known and contact the owners and chat with them. Not only affordable but full of information and tons of listings around the world to choose from, what’s not to like?
Housecarers, don’t be fooled by the old interface, this platforms is quite detailed. Very good at international level. You can start browsing for free and than pay when and if you find a good match. It’s pretty convenient as it allows you to have a look around that before committing to a yearly fee. Plus, the annual membership is not expensive considering what you get from the website.
Trustedhousesitter is a well-known platform that is a good reference for all housesitters and homwowners in terms of legal stuff, stories, and experiences. It is pricey compared to other platforms, and a little too much in my opinion. It does come with a cool option of filters that if you travel with pets and children comes in handy. But I do not recommend it. Check online for more positive review, I cannot give you one unfortunately.
Nomador is another good platform. It has a free option just to browse around, plus you don’t have to commit for a full year membership. In order to apply and to contact the owner you need to subscribe to at least three months. User-friendly platform and very detailed. It has a bunch of cool other functionalities and features that make the experience fresh and positive
Mind my house
MindMyHouse has a cheap yearly membership which makes the competition quite high, but it’s worth a try.
Word of mouth
Mind this is not a platform but a real thing. Maybe you have taken care perfectly of a pet and/or house and the owner recommends you to a friend. It has happened to us. It is not regulated as if done through other platforms that verify people’s identity and everything. But if it comes from someone you know and trust, it can be a possibility. In our case it was from a friend who recommended us to his neighbor so we were familiar with them already. Take your precautions especially as solo traveler and give it a try if you feel safe.
All these platforms come with a fee but all of them are trusted and well-known. So jump on any of them see what the possibilities are and as always..