House Sitting is a growing part of the new sharing economy - it's a mutually beneficial endeavor where the house sitter stays in the home for free while the owner is away. House sitting generally involves pets of some kind. So the sitter gets a free place to stay in a new place (and cuddles from the pets) while the homeowner avoids putting their pet in a kennel. The house sitter also serves as property manager or caretaker, depending on the agreement. There are many reasons one would want to start house sitting, but let's start with four.
Reasons You Should Consider House Sitting
1. You Love Animals
This is the number one reason to become a house sitter. It’s essential that you would absolutely do anything for the animals in your care. If you are getting involved in house sitting primarily because of any of the other reasons on this list, you are in for a bumpy ride. The animals at a house sit are a huge up side to doing this - sitting in the evening with a kitty on your lap, or when they stretch and reach a paw out and place it on your cheek. It’s amazing.
2. Live Rent Free
There are lots of travel blogs out there that specialize specifically on how you TOO can travel the world for free! That’s right, free travel! Don’t believe it. Nothing is free. But house sitting is certainly less expensive when compared to say, nights in a hotel. There are still expenses that you may incur while house sitting - we’ve seen listings on trustedhousesitters.com that are basically rentals, and our sit in Brittany required that we pay for the electricity. So be wary of any site that tells you how to live for free. Nothing is free. But house sitting is much closer.
3. Visit Real Places
Not only will you explore new regions of the world, you are likely to explore regions you’ve never ever been to, or even heard of before. Quite often when we’ve seen a new house sit we get super excited about the location. We recently saw a house sit listed for Norway and dug in to find that it wasn’t on the coast or on a fjord, but way into the interior, close to Sweden, in a town we couldn’t pronounce that had five inhabitants. I would never make a list of my favorite travel destinations and think: Gjovik! But then you get there and realize how happy you are to have gone. Now that I think about it, all of our house sits fall under this category.
4. Meet Real People
After reminiscing about traveling around the world for nine months we realized that all of our favorite travel destinations had a few things in common - real people. When we were able to stay on an olive farm in Croatia, or to take a street food tour in Cambodia with other travelers, we felt a sense of place and community. We could talk to locals and see how they really lived. House sitting is the same way. You are walking into the home of a near stranger and they are trusting you with their most personal assets - their home and their pets.
Quite often you will be asked to spend a night or more with the homeowner before they leave. The people who have chosen you as their sitter are travel junkies themselves, and many hours can be spent just hanging out and learning about them. If you are lucky like us, you’ll stay in touch with them long after you’ve left, and they’ll tag you when they post pictures of their pets to Facebook.
This is a series of blog posts on house sitting. If you liked this post, check out "How to Be a Great House Sitter", or it's sister post "How to Be a Great House Sitter: Homeowner Edition", which takes the perspective of the homeowner, and what they are looking for when choosing a sitter.