Whenever I meet new people during our travels and mention house sitting I always get the same reaction… Bright eyes, full attention and something along the lines of “Oh I’d love to do that”. Well you can, it’s really simple. There’s loads of house sitting websites, where home owners advertise for people to stay at their place whilst they’re away. More often than not it’s because there are pets that need caring for, but sometimes it might be a case of simple maintenance like watering the plants. There’s a whole host of options from a weekend in Paris to six months in the jungle (and yes we have done the latter!) So here are my top tips for getting yourself a house sitting gig…
5 Tips To Becoming A House Sitter
1) Sign up to numerous sites
They do charge a small fee which you can pay annually or monthly, depending on the site it can be anywhere between $20 and $60 for the year. Totally worth it, as you’ll save this during your first night of house sitting rather than paying for a hotel.
2) Create a really strong profile
People are letting you into their home so they need to know as much about you as possible. If your profile is sparse they’ll move onto the next, usually each house sitting ad will receive a number of responses. Make sure you upload photos of yourself, or you and your partner if you plan on going as a couple. I have around 5 photos on my profile and I think this really helps. Think of it as writing a really informal CV. Make sure you include details of your qualifications, hobbies, any previous experience with animals and most important of all explain your current situation. Are you looking to find a place to visit during your holiday months? This means your dates might be fairly inflexible, which might put some people off but it’s important you specify your date range. We are really lucky as we work from home, so as long as we have our laptops we can rel the office to anywhere in the world, this is often attractive to people who don’t want their pets left alone all day, or want their house to be occupied for the majority of your stay.
3) Monitor the new ads everyday using email alerts
I have mine set up so I get one email per day with all the new ads on. Even if I’m really busy, I always find time to scan through the ads as you never know what you will find. For example, I had no intention of leaving the UK during the summer months as we’re saving money and preparing for our trip to Indonesia (which is a one way ticket!) However when an ad popped up to house sit a puppy and a cat in Abu Dhabi, with a flight from the UK paid for I couldn’t resist. So here I am writing you this guide in a huge house in Abu Dhabi and my whole trip has been virtually cost-free!
4) Be friendly
When you write you response to the ad make sure you come across as friendly and personable. Most of our previous sits have required us to stay in close contact with the home owners. This is much easier if you get on well from the off-set. Almost all of our house sit have been a great opportunity to make new friends, from different walks of life. We’ve been inspired in business, travel, family life, even what dog we would like to have when we finally settle has all been influenced by our house sitting experiences, which leads me onto point No.5…
5) Enjoy it!
Throughout my travels, house sitting has provided the most memorable for good and bad reasons. Being stranded in the jungle during rainy season with only bread and eggs to eat for three days wasn’t my idea of heaven but whenever I think back to it, it puts a big smile on my face. I didn’t enjoy fishing tarantulas out of the swimming pool in Costa Rica but I love seeing the look on people’s faces whenever I mention it. And, most of all, we’ve enjoyed spending time with the animals we’ve looked after from Maisy the bloodhound in London, to little Petal the kitten in the Caribbean, and the terrible two we’re currently in love with, Bunty the puppy and Biffy the cat. So if you love animals make sure you let them know because that’s likely to be the most important thing!