WHY NOT INCLUDE HOUSE SITTING IN YOUR TRAVEL PLANS?
Live Like a Local in the Destination of Your Choice!
# It’s an adventure! Every house or pet sit is a unique experience and I can guarantee you’ll have some great stories to tell, both on social media, and when you get home.
# The greatest benefit of house sitting is that you can live like a local in the destination of your choice. You can either select a particular destination or an appealing looking house sit in any destination, and use your new home as a base to explore the local area and beyond.
# You can afford to stay in a location longer than if you were having to pay for accommodation. You can also save money on food costs, because with your own kitchen facilities you can choose when you want to eat at restaurants and local cafes.
How to find house sits?
Firstly find the best website to suit your needs.
If you are serious about house or pet sitting, you need to find the best website to suit your needs. If you have plenty of flexibility with dates and locations and can show you are honest and responsible, you will have a good chance of successfully getting a house or pet sit quite quickly.
On the other hand, if you have specific dates and a specific location in mind, you will need to be well prepared to make your application promptly when that house sit pops up on the website. You will need to be already subscribed to the website. House sits in popular locations like London, Paris, New York, etc are filled very quickly.
Google ‘find a house sit,’ or, ‘find a house sit in…’ the destination of your choice. There are now many house sitting sites on the web. Two popular websites are housecarers.com and trustedhousesitters.com. Some websites specialize in a particular country e.g kiwihousesitters.co.nz.
On most house sit websites you can search for housesits for free, but if you want to apply for a house sitting position you need to pay a joining fee and complete the paperwork which involves writing your profile.
Decide which website will best suit your needs.
2. Secondly, prepare your profile.
Your profile needs to include your personal details and details of any previous house or pet sitting experience you have had. Have a look through some of the profiles on the website and you will get a good idea about what information to include.
Don’t be concerned if you have had no previous experience. If you can show evidence that you are trustworthy, honest, reliable and responsible, you are in with a chance. Make mention of any detail that will verify your trustworthiness. Don’t forget to include a photo, preferably cuddling a cat or patting a dog.
On some websites you can include a small video to introduce yourself. This is a good idea, so your prospective home or pet owner can see that you don’t look or sound like a criminal!
Include the fact that you will provide references and referee contact details if required. If you can get a reference from someone in a recognized position of responsibility then include a small quote from this on your profile. It’s all very well for you to say how honest & trustworthy you are, but it has much more credibility if it comes from someone else, and particularly, if that someone else is a well known and well-respected person.
Get a police check completed.
So now you have joined one or two websites, paid your fees,
and added your profile to the websites.
3. Check the websites EVERY day.
Rarely will you be contacted off the website directly from people looking for a house sitter. You need to be active and check the websites yourself every day. Interesting house sits are filled very quickly. If you see anything of interest you must be prepared to reply immediately. As a very general rule, it seems, people are looking for house sitters one to three months ahead. The house sits in popular locations are filled very quickly.
On most websites, the house owner will automatically receive your profile when you apply. Send a cover letter as well, saying why you think you will be the ideal house sitter for their specific house sit, and how you would love to look after ‘Snuggles the Persian cat’ while they’re away and so on.
Always offer to contact them by phone or face to face app so that they can ask you, and you can ask them more questions, and offer email or phone numbers of referees (past house or pet sits if you have them or personal or business referees.)
Prepare three or four questions in advance that reflect you are genuinely interested. These questions might be asking for further information about the pet/pets, or the house security, or if there is a person locally whom you could contact in an emergency, etc.
Always ask about any aspect of the house that is a priority for you. Do you need to have a vehicle? Does the house have a modern kitchen, automatic washing machine, air conditioning if it is a tropical location, etc?
Check where you will be sleeping if a comfortable bed is a priority for you? Often you are allocated the guest bedroom, which has a lumpy, uncomfortable, small single or double bed that should have been thrown out years ago. If a king-size bed or firm mattress is important to you, ask about it, especially for long term stays!
As a general rule, you are not paid and you do not pay anything. The exception to this is for long term house sits of about a month or longer, where you may be asked to cover power or water costs while you are in residence.
Some of our most memorable holidays have been using house sits. It takes a bit of effort to find the best websites, prepare your profile and keep checking the websites, but it is well worth your while if you want to experience living like a local in the destination of your choice