Afford the trip of a lifetime with housesitting
Standard accommodation options like hotels and hostels can add up quickly to take a huge chunk out of your travel budget. While renting vacation apartments can cut down on your nightly rates while increasing your space and privacy, these can often only contain the bare minimum in terms of comfort or kitchen supplies.
The longer we travel, the more we find that our absolute favorite form of accommodation is housesitting.
This is a relatively underground idea (read here for our post on Dream Housesits Around the World), so whenever we talk about our love of housesitting we get loads of questions, like…
How do I find a housesit?
We usually find our housesitting gigs on these websites (they all offer housesits worldwide):
We found housesitting gigs in Canada, Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica and the U.S. on Housecarers.com. There are loads of new housesits posted by homeowners daily, mainly for the U.S. and Australia, followed by Canada, New Zealand and the rest are housesits from around the world. The sign-up fee for housesitters is US$50 and in our opinion very well worth it.
We found housesitting gigs in Italy, Germany and Malaysia on Mindmyhouse.com. The site is the best source for housesitting in Europe, but there are also plenty of participation in the U.S. and Canada. At only US$20 per year, it is the cheapest housesitting service on the web and well worth signing up!
We are still relatively new to this site, but have already found one of our best housesits ever on it in Santiago, Chile. The site has housesits primarily in the UK and Europe, but the owners are dedicated to expanding not only in the U.S., Canada and Australia and New Zealand, but also through South America and Asia as well. Membership for housesitters is US$60 and the same for homeowners, but the features on the site make it easily the most modern of all housesitting websites out there. It’s very user-friendly and has room for video in the profile.
For a comprehensive review of 20+ housesitting websites worldwide, check out our housesitting website directory on our dedicated housesitting website, the UltimateHousesittingGuide.com.
Just signing up to one or more of these websites (we’re on at least five at one time) does not guarantee you to actually get a housesit. This makes the next question:
How do I get a housesit?
First of all, make sure your user profile is filled out in detail, along with a catchy headline, a good picture of you and as much information about you and your experience with pets or previous housesit. You can read how to set up the perfect housesitting profile here.
What we found has helped us are the following things:
Make sure to sign up for email alerts for all the countries that you consider housesitting in. That way you will get an email every day summarizing all the new housesitting assignments in the country(s) of your choice and you won’t miss any assignments.
If you see an interesting housesit in your daily email alerts, apply right away. The housesits get snapped up soon after being placed. The more attractive the location (NYC for example!) the more applications people get. Some of the homeowners we housesat for got over 100 applications. The earlier yours lands in their inbox, the higher the chance they remember you and your application.
Write a detailed application, make it personalized and introduce yourself fully, even if your profile contains all that background information about you. It saves them an additional step. We include who we are, what we do for a living, how we’d spend our time there, how they benefit from choosing us (experience with the kind of animal they have, additional skills, etc) and our previous housesitting experience. We focus on what we can do for them and why we are the best choice to meet their needs, not what they do for us by letting us stay at their house.
We also put references of former housesits in our application (email addresses / phone numbers, if they have agreed to it). This immediately increases your credibility as a housesitter. The most important thing are references.After all, you are going to be caring for a person’s house and pets, so they need to know they can trust you. If you don’t have any specific housesitting experience, you can start by spreading the word to your freinds and family that you are available and gain some of your first housesitting gigs that way. However, even if you don’t have any housesitting experience, you can still apply for the housesits around the world, just provide references to people who can vouch for your credibility and make your background as transparent as possible.
BREAK FREE – The Ultimate Guide To Housesitting
Of course there are many more questions about housesitting, such as:
- What is it like to live in somebody else’s home?
- How do I choose the right housesitter?
- Do I pay my housesitters?
- What about insurance?
- How do I prepare for a housesit?
- How do I successfully complete a housesit?
In our book, Break Free, we answer everything you will ever need to know about housesitting, whether you are looking to become a housesitter, or a homeowner in need of someone to care for your home so you can plan your own escape. The book takes you step-by-step through the entire process, from what websites to sign up to all the way through to the day the homeowners return from their trip. This includes:
- A sample profile that catches a homeowner’s attention
- A sample application letter for experienced an inexperienced housesitters
- A sample ad for homeowners to find the right housesitter
- A sample checklist for homeowners
- A sample checklist for housesitters
- An in-depth comparison of the above mentioned housesitting websites
- An exclusive discount for a membership at TrustedHousesitters.com
Plus we share loads of personal stories from our own housesitting experiences so you can get an inside look at what housesitting is really all about.
By the time you finish the book, you’ll wonder why you wouldn’t want to be involved with housesitting!
What readers say…
We were overwhelmed by the throughout positive feedback we have received from readers of Break Free so far. Here are some of the reviews we have gotten on Amazon.com:
Break Free really deserves its subtitle as the ultimate guide to housesitting. It answers every question or concern you could possibly have about housesitting–both from a sitters and a homeowner’s perspective. - Erin
House sitting locally means we are still in the local area but we now get to come home each day to two wonderful dogs who are so happy to see us. We are really looking forward to enjoying different suburbs that we would never live in and are able to save more towards the trip, which keeps getting longer! Thank you for the book and sharing your ideas and inspiration, it has truly made a difference to us. – Lou
Break Free was exactly what I wanted in the housesitting guide–and then it went beyond and offered information and samples beyond what I expected. When I read Break Free, I loved how the book took me patiently through every step of the process (steps that were more painless than I had been imagining), and detailed the how and why of each part of the process. Then, they added in personal anecdotes, stories and photos throughout the book in just the right dose to keep the material engaging and interesting alongside all of the information they manage to pack into the guide. – Shannon
The book is full of practical information like what questions homeowners and housesitters should ask each other before committing and during the “handover.” – Kate
Break Free is a comprehensive guide that will tell you everything you could want to know about house-sitting. – Tina
Still not sure about housesitting? Check out our book trailer:
Check out UltimateHousesittingGuide.com for more information on housesitting!