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The first time we heard about house-sitting was in an article in England’s Guardian travel section. Right away we realized that this was a great way to get accommodation for a longer period of time – rent-free! Perfect for digital nomads like us.
- A fully equipped kitchen – making your own meals saves you a lot of money
- Broadband internet – a secure internet connection which allows you to upload pictures, blog and work without problems or the sometimes shady atmosphere of an internet café
- A washing machine – you are grateful to have one when you have a limited amount of clothes only
- Live authentic – living like a local: getting to know neighbors, local supermarkets and cafes, neighborhoods off the beaten tourist tracks
- Stay long-term – really getting to know a place rather than leaving after a week or two
- Amenities such as a TV, a garden, king-size bed, a pool, etc. make long-term traveling so much more comfortable
So how does it work?
The house-sitters usually need someone to look after their house and property while they’re on vacation – this can range from a week up to six months or even longer. Mostly there are pets involved which is why they cannot leave their house alone. So it’s a good deal for both sides: the housesitters have a free place to stay and the homeowners get in return someone who is looking after their house and pets.
There are numerous house-sitting websites, some are for specific countries only (like AussieHousesitters for Australia and New Zealand), others focus on luxury homes (www.luxuryhousesitting.com) and there are websites that offer housesits around the entire globe, such as www.mindmyhouse.com and www.housecarers.com (our favorite site / highest success rate). Once you’ve registered (for a small annual fee), you can set up daily email alerts with the newest house-sit ads in the areas you’re interested in.
We actually were looking for housesits in Central or South America, however, we ended up taking on a house-sit in Los Angeles for a week – when will we ever have the chance to stay for free in the middle of L.A.? – followed by another three-week house-sit in Arizona in June. Both places were not even on the list of places we wanted to go to during our travels, but that’s what makes it even more exciting – getting to places that we’d probably never had seen and taking opportunities as they arise, as long we’re not tied down to an apartment and 9-to-5 job.
So far, we came across house-sits in spectacular places such as the Fiji islands and an island off the coast of Brazil, a B&B sit in England, a rural farmhouse in Southern Spain, entire ranches including horses in Montana, a house in the Scottish Highlands – the list is endless. We hope to find more housesits on our route and can’t wait to see what places house-sitting will bring us to.