Begin Home Sitting in 2022

Posted: 11/3/2022 | November third, 2022

Home sitting is among the finest methods to decrease your journey prices as a long-term traveler. That can assist you study extra about home sitting, our lead content material editor and researcher, Sam, shares her ideas and insights from years of touring the world as a home sitter.

For years, I lived the lifetime of many price range vacationers’ goals: touring full-time and dwelling rent-free in idyllic areas, just like the US Virgin Islands; cosmopolitan cities, like NYC and London; vacationer sizzling spots, like Granada, Spain; and lots of off-the-beaten-path locations, just like the forests of North Carolina.

I stayed in all places from luxurious condos with literal sizzling tubs on the roof to solar-powered properties with out of doors showers.

I received to hang around with the sweetest pets, from a cuddly kitten named Marshmallow to a hilarious parrot known as Sunshine.

I additionally made pals with locals around the globe, getting recommendations on the perfect lesser-known locations to eat, and really dwelling like a resident in every vacation spot.

After I paint this image to fellow avid vacationers, the rapid response is, “What a dream life! How do I stay like that?!”

The reply is to accommodate sit.

Home sitting is while you handle somebody’s pets and residential whereas they’re touring in alternate for lodging. No cash is exchanged between events, because it’s a mutually useful association: you get a spot to remain for free of charge, and the proprietor will get dwelling and pet care for free of charge. (I keep away from utilizing the time period “free lodging,” because it implies that there’s no work concerned, which isn’t the case.)

Home sitting is gaining in reputation, however it’s nonetheless a little-known panorama for thus many vacationers. Whereas I’m normally met with pleasure after I focus on this subject with people who find themselves not aware of it, that additionally usually comes hand in hand with skepticism — and understandably so. There are loads of variables to contemplate, and in case you’ve by no means met anybody who’s finished it earlier than, it may be simple to suppose that it sounds too good to be true.

I’m right here to let you know that home sitting with the intention to journey at a diminished value is totally attainable. You’ll not solely take away most lodging bills (you would possibly nonetheless need to pay for an evening right here and there, relying on how lengthy you’re on the street), but additionally join with locals wherever you go (the individuals for whom you’re home sitting), really feel a way of dwelling on the street, and sometimes get different perks as effectively, like a automobile to make use of.

The one prerequisite is that you could love animals, as 99% of gigs contain pet care. But when you are able to do that, then you’re good to go!

On this submit, I’m going to indicate you easy methods to begin home sitting, so you’ll be able to study in regards to the course of and see what’s required earlier than leaping in and giving it a attempt your self.

1. Decide your targets and preferences

House sitter Sam and a cat posing for a fun photo

At this level, you may be anxious to dive proper in, discover a gig, and hit the bottom working. However I promise that you simply’ll set your self up for a greater expertise in case you take a while to find out what you need to get out of home sitting.

Your targets will significantly influence the alternatives you make alongside your home sitting journey, and whether or not you stroll away with a constructive expertise. (As a result of sure, like with something travel-related, there’s at all times the potential for issues to go unsuitable — I’ll share easy methods to reduce the probability of this occurring later.)

It’s just about a on condition that in case you’re desirous about home sitting, your aim is to cut back your journey prices to be able to journey extra and/or longer.

However do you need to home sit solely regionally, or around the globe? Are you scoping out locations the place you would possibly ultimately buy a house, take a sabbatical, aspire to journey full-time, or just trying to scale back your prices on a weekend getaway?

These are all frequent causes. Take into consideration which of them apply to you.

For me, I needed to increase my travels for so long as potential whereas freelance writing, rising my journey weblog and podcast, and seeing what it was prefer to stay somewhere else around the globe. I couldn’t have finished any of these items with out home sitting, which lowered my prices so considerably (in any case, lodging is normally one’s greatest journey expenditure) that I might preserve touring regardless of not incomes a lot cash but.

Along with your targets, take into consideration your preferences. Do you are feeling extra comfy with canine or cats? Do you like the town or the countryside? Do you could have a super size of time that you simply need to spend in every place?

To be able to work successfully on the street whereas nonetheless attending to discover every place, I prioritized longer home sits (round 1–3 months). I additionally favor city environments the place I can discover on two ft or two wheels relatively than needing a automobile, so I primarily looked for gigs in cities.

These are just some variables that can show you how to slim down which alternatives you contemplate. You’ll additionally possible develop these preferences over time as you determine what works finest for you.

2. Join an internet site

Should you’re critical about home sitting, your first order of enterprise is to join an internet site. These platforms join pet house owners and home sitters to rearrange mutually useful stays. They’re the simplest and most direct solution to begin.

Pet house owners put up listings with their location, the dates they want a home sitter, their pets and sort of care wanted, any dwelling care wanted, and (ideally) images of their dwelling and pets. Potential home sitters create profiles itemizing their expertise, references, why they need to home sit, images, and another particulars they need to embrace.

Home sitters reply to alternatives that they’re desirous about (pet house owners can even attain out to accommodate sitters privately), sparking a dialog that will ultimately result in each events coming to an settlement.

Most web sites function on a membership foundation, which means that members should pay a price to be part of the group and to have the ability to prepare gigs.

Many would-be home sitters balk on the thought of paying a yearly membership price for these web sites. Isn’t home sitting presupposed to be free?

However when you concentrate on the amount of cash that you might save, it’s a no brainer. Even the costliest web site, TrustedHousesitters, nonetheless solely prices the equal of a few nights of lodging. You solely need to do one keep per yr to recoup your prices, and chances are high that you simply’ll be doing much more than that, whilst an occasional home sitter.

There are a number of internet sites to select from, however the primary ones are these:

1. (begins at $129 USD/yr) – That is the most important such web site worldwide, with hundreds of energetic listings throughout the globe. It began and relies within the UK, so that you’ll discover the very best variety of gigs there, although Europe, the US, and Australia are additionally effectively represented. If you’re open to house-sitting anyplace on the earth, that is the positioning to decide on. You’ll be able to learn my overview right here if you wish to study extra.

2. ($99 USD/yr) – Nomador facilities on alternatives in Europe (principally France), although you may also generally discover some within the US and Australia too. There’s a free “Discovery” choice, so you’ll be able to have a look at what’s accessible, in addition to a “Stopovers” function, which is like Couchsurfing, so you will discover a spot to stick with members of the Nomador group between your gigs.

3. ($20 USD/yr) – This website has a low price to affix, a good variety of listings (primarily in North America and Europe), and a well-laid-out web site.

Along with the above web sites that cowl a number of international locations, there are additionally country-specific ones, corresponding to Home Sitters America, Home Sitters UK, Home Sitters Canada, and so on. Should you’re solely desirous about home sitting in a specific locale, these web sites normally have method much less competitors than the larger gamers, making it simpler to get your first gig. In addition they have decrease annual membership prices, making it a extra palatable alternative for getting your ft moist.

3. Create your profile

Sam Anthony's profile on Trusted Housesitters

When you’ve signed up for an internet site, it’s time to create your profile. Above is an instance from my TrustedHousesitters account.

Your home-sitting profile is like your résumé. That is the place pet house owners look to study extra about you, and it’s important to element any and all pet-care expertise you could have. Have you ever finished any house- or pet-sitting for family and friends? Many individuals have seemed in on a neighbor’s cat whereas they had been away or taken a member of the family’s canine on walks.

Embody something you’ll be able to to indicate the breadth of your pet-care expertise (although in fact be sincere). Any related home-care expertise or different abilities (corresponding to in case you communicate one other language) are price mentioning right here as effectively.

You’ll additionally need to embrace a bit about your self, with details about why you need to home sit, what you prefer to spend time doing, and the rest, in order to color a portrait of your self.

Lastly, select some images of you (ideally with pets) to spherical out your profile, in order that the house owners can see who you’re!

4. Ask for references

Sam, the lead researcher for Nomadic Matt, posing with a cat while house sitting abroad

Now that you simply’ve crammed out your profile, it’s time to hunt references to beef up your profile.

When you begin home sitting by these web sites, you’ll get “native” references exhibiting that the gig was organized by the web site, growing your belief issue for individuals you would possibly home sit for sooner or later.

However most web sites additionally can help you get “exterior” references to indicate that you simply’re a reliable particular person earlier than your first “official” gig. Ideally, you’ll have finished some type of pet-sitting earlier than and might ask these people to offer a reference. However references can even come from work colleagues, a landlord, or anybody else that may communicate to your accountable character.

These references are key at first, as being vouched for is usually a highly effective belief indicator. Don’t skip this step!

5. Browse and apply for home sitting gigs

A dog and a car chilling in a cozy living room together during a house sit

So that you’re all arrange along with your profile and references crammed out. Now comes the thrilling half: looking for and making use of for gigs!

Spend a while wanting by the listings on the web site(s) you’ve joined. Should you discover one which sounds good to you — and also you’re accessible for the timeframe — don’t hesitate to use! Gigs, particularly in fascinating areas, can go in a short time, so don’t dawdle in case you’ve discovered one that you simply’re desirous about.

Keep in mind: An utility isn’t an settlement to accommodate sit; it’s merely a press release of curiosity.

In your message to the pet proprietor, embrace a bit about why you’re , spotlight your related expertise, and point out that you simply’d like to arrange a time to talk additional in regards to the alternative. You don’t want to put in writing an essay right here, simply sufficient to pique their curiosity and have them have a look at your profile for extra info.

6. Organize a video chat

When you may be so excited to begin that you could be need to comply with a chance as quickly because it’s provided to you, don’t skip this vital step. In a fast video name, each events can ask questions to make sure that everyone seems to be on the identical web page and that the association is an effective match.

As a home sitter, you’ll need to ask questions on pet and residential care to make sure which you could (and wish) to do it, in addition to the rapid space round the home or residence, dwelling facilities (at all times ask about Wi-Fi!), and the rest that you simply’re itching to know.

Each single time that I hear of a home sitting gig gone unsuitable (whereas it’s uncommon, it does occur), it’s on account of mismatched expectations that normally might have been prevented with a direct and sincere preliminary dialog.

I completely by no means agree to accommodate sit and not using a video name. It is a private alternative, and a few individuals do forgo this step, however it has by no means steered me unsuitable up to now, and personally, I’d relatively be secure than sorry. A video name takes 20-Half-hour and does wonders for placing each events comfortable — and getting excited in regards to the gig!

After years in a pandemic, we’re all acquainted (perhaps too acquainted) with Zoom today, so there may be (in my view) no motive why each events shouldn’t have the ability to sit down face-to-face for a short dialog.

Some issues that you simply would possibly need to ask within the video chat step above and/or main as much as the gig embrace the next:

  • What’s the pet-care routine (e.g., when meals are, if walks are wanted, and so on.)?
  • Are there any quirks in regards to the pets that it’s best to find out about (e.g., for canine, how do they do on walks round different canine, and so on.)?
  • Have they got an everyday vet (and what’s the process, together with fee, if a pet must go)?
  • What’s the neighborhood like?
  • What are the pet house owners’ departure and arrival instances? Do they need you to return the night time earlier than they depart or on the day of departure?

That is only a beginning checklist of some fundamentals, however you probably have particular wants or questions, you’ll want to ask them. You don’t need to be left questioning and discovering out one thing vital after you get there.

7. Conform to the gig

Assuming all has gone effectively within the above steps, it’s time to agree to accommodate sit!

Just remember to accomplish that by the web site that you simply’ve linked on, for a few causes. Many web sites have safety that kicks in ought to one thing go unsuitable, however provided that you’ve confirmed the gig by the web site.

Safety for home sitters and householders varies by web site (test the high quality print of the one you join) however can embrace injury safety (you by chance drop an costly glass) and sit safety insurance coverage (which may help cowl nightly pet care or lodging prices if the gig will get canceled on the final minute).

You’ll additionally need to have the ability to ask for on-platform references after you’ve efficiently accomplished the job. You’ll be able to solely get these by confirming the gig by the house-sitting web site.

And as soon as every thing is confirmed, don’t hesitate to keep up a correspondence. When you’ve got any extra questions or issues, ask them! Direct and sincere communication is vital to profitable home sitting, so don’t be shy.

8. Have a unbelievable time

A cat resting on a pile of packing cubes during a house sitting experience

Whereas home sitting is a giant duty, bear in mind why you’re doing this within the first place — to discover a brand new place and have enjoyable!

That being stated, at all times honor your dedication. Don’t again out on the final minute since you discovered a extra glamorous gig some place else, you modified your journey plans on a whim or the rest that’s not a legit emergency.

If you wish to keep spontaneous on the street, then home sitting isn’t a great choice — or at the very least not on a regular basis. Whereas some vacationers do that full-time, the overwhelming majority don’t. Some nomads combine in intervals of home sitting between different extra versatile lodging choices, whereas others aren’t nomadic in any respect and easily home sit to get pleasure from a unique, extra reasonably priced method of touring.

Discover out what works for you and create your personal supreme journey model.

9. Observe up by asking for a overview

A Trusted Housesitters review example

After each gig (however particularly as you’re first getting began), don’t overlook to ask for a overview.

It’s important to construct your portfolio of references, as this makes you a extra reliable and aggressive candidate for the subsequent alternatives that you simply apply for. Give the oldsters you house-sat for a while to settle again in from their journey, and in the event that they haven’t submitted a overview after every week, ship alongside a delicate reminder that it’d be significantly appreciated if they might depart a fast overview.

Most householders don’t notice how vital these opinions are to accommodate sitters however are very happy to assist while you ask them for one.

10. Replicate, rinse, and repeat

Each gig is a studying expertise, and this goes double while you’re first beginning out. Take inventory of what labored and if there was something that didn’t. It will show you how to refine your strategy for the long run to be able to fortunately house-sit for so long as you need!


Home sitting could be an unimaginable solution to journey at a diminished value, make new pals (each human and furry), and see the world another way. Whereas it does include some planning and an excessive amount of duty, the rewards could be big. With the following tips, you’ve already received a leg up.

Blissful house-sitting!

Click on right here to affix TrustedHousesitters at the moment!

Sam Anthony is a content material researcher and editor at Nomadic Matt. She is co-founder of Different Vacationers, a journey weblog centered on various approaches to journey, and has co-authored two books: The Home Sitting Handbook: Dwell Your Dream Life By means of Home Sitting and The Madrid Vegan Guidebook. She’s based mostly in Buffalo, New York, and when she’s not touring can normally be discovered both mountaineering or biking.

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