To the uninitiated, house sitting may seem like a strange concept. You will spend time in a person’s unoccupied home that is filled with their clothing and their accessories–you may even take care of their pets! But once you get past the initial feelings of invading someone’s privacy, you will see that house sitting can be a real boon for the cash-strapped wanderer.
Many times, the cost of travel is listed as the main reason more people don’t take advantage of it. A lot of your budget when you travel is eaten up by your accommodations. From hotels to hostels, there isn’t really any free option for where you will lay your head when you’re abroad. That is, unless, you house sit.
House sitting is pretty self-explanatory: you stay in a person’s home while they are away and care for and clean the home, as well as care for pets and sometimes farm animals. You don’t pay rent or utilities, and the owners have the security of a trusted person caring for their home and animals.
Still wondering if it’s right for you? Here are 5 reasons why you should give the house sitting a shot.
- It’s free
As mentioned above, house sitting means that your accommodations are covered. If you’re willing to stay in a location for longer periods of time (think 1 or 2 months), you will be able to really get to know the area and do it without paying exorbitant hotel rates.
- You’ll get treated very well
Homeowners want you to enjoy yourself and feel taken care of when you’re in their home. They’ll pick up from the airport or train station, stock up on snacks and foods, give you information about local events, or even treat you to day trips with friends!
- You’ll really get to know a place
You’ll never really get to see a location until you’ve had the chance to see it as a local. House sitting allows you to become part of the fabric of the area. You’ll shop at local stores, meet neighbors, and get introduced to things tourists rarely get to see.
- You’ll visit strange and unique locations
House sitting is about being flexible. Maybe you’ve never considered visiting Mullumbimby in Australia or Gander in Canada, but if a house sitting opportunity pops up–that might be exactly where you end up!
- You’ll learn to care for animals you may never have
Many people who use housesitters do so because they have pets or farm animals that need someone living in the house with them. You could end up caring for llamas, exotic birds, or horses while on your travels. Keep in mind, you will be responsible for these animals and will need to take them to a vet (if required) and care for them according to the owner’s instructions.
There are many sites you can sign up to where you advertise yourself as a house sitting and link up with prospective people who need sitters. If you are a dependable, flexible traveler who likes to set down temporary roots as you move, house sitting may be the best way to save you some money while you see the world.