House sit count:
- Nahcotta, Washington: September 2017 (9 days)
- Canmore, Alberta, Canada: July-August 2017 (19 days)
- Boise, Idaho: July 2017 (9 days)
- Stratford-upon-Avon, England: April-May 2017 (26 days)
- Austin, Texas: February 2017 (4 days)
- Emory, Texas: February 2017 (6 days)
- Spring Hill, Tennessee: December 2016-January 2017 (17 days)
- Nashville, Tennessee: December 2016 (7 days)
- Battle Ground, Washington: May 2016 (12 days)
- West Hollywood, California: December 2015-January 2016 (12 days)
Updated May 2, 2017:
Our longest-to-date and first international house sit ended yesterday. We spent nearly one month in Stratford-upon-Avon watching two rambunctious Jack Russell Terriers named Jack and Jill while their parents were away on vacation. We just loved cuddling with them and Jack was so persistent about playing ball. 🙂 Did I mention their backyard garden? Beautiful!
Updated February 20, 2017:
Well that was a short house sit…fortunately. Don’t get me wrong, the pets were all so sweet and Chloe got along well with all of them, but the house was just waaaaaay too small for the SEVEN of them! You read that right. Including Chloe, there were seven animals in the house – three cats and four big dogs. Kyle and I felt a bit outnumbered. 🙂 Austin (TX) seems like a fun city, though – wish we could have spent more time there.
Updated February 13, 2017:
Our Emory (TX) house sit was unexpectedly…amazing! The house was right on the lake and had kind of a forest-y backyard. We had a lot of fun out there with Chloe and the home’s dogs, Shelby and Maggie, and it was oh-so-peaceful. Just what we needed after long busy days full of driving. 🙂
Updated January 8, 2017:
Our 2-week house sit in Spring Hill, TN happened over Christmas and New Years and we had a really relaxing yet productive time at the home. Rocky, Lily, and Stanley were just the funniest littles and Chloe got along with them great. We especially got along with their parents, who we are now happy to call our friends!
Updated December 20, 2016:
It’s been a while since our last house sit so we were happy to get back on it. Had the pleasure of watching two cute doggies named Niko and Petra at their home in Nashville. The home is actually an Airbnb so it was really well taken care of. I especially admired the en-suite bathroom (because it was purple, of course)!
Updated May 2016:
I must say, Battle Ground was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Lilly and Karma were just a joy and their cabin-like home was in between the woods and a golf course. It was just SO GREEN and PEACEFUL. I can’t even. We did visit Portland once or twice but mostly just stayed at the house and worked remotely for our jobs and played board games.
Updated January 2016:
Well, we have our first house sit under our belt and it was pretty.freakin.awesome! We got to go to West Hollywood and watch two little rescue dogs named Porter and Vino. We got to bring Chloe and they all got along really well! The apartment was about a 5-minute drive to the touristy part of Hollywood, so we visited that, as well as a bunch of other famous landmarks in Los Angeles. We also celebrated Christmas and New Years while we were there, so with the holiday break and all it was easy to convince the bosses to let us work remotely for nearly two weeks. 🙂 Can’t wait to do more house sits!
So what the heck is house sitting?
Simply put, a house sitter is someone who tends to a home while the owners are away. Typical house sitting gigs are 1-2 weeks in length and involve caring for family pets, houseplants/gardens, and collecting mail.
Benefits of house sitting
The most obvious benefit is that house sitting is a wonderful way to get free accommodations! While there is a membership fee to have a profile on the Trusted Housesitters website, that fee quickly pays for itself on the first day or two of your first gig. (This is in comparison to a typical hotel room costing $150/night.)
For me and Kyle, another benefit of house sitting is that you get to experience the place as though you live there. You get a deeper look into the true local culture and lifestyles of people that make up that place. I can’t think of a better way to get that experience than by actually staying in a local’s home and adapting to their lifestyle for a couple weeks.
Since a gig typically lasts 1-2 weeks, being in an actual home will help you cut costs further on food. I mean, you have to be the cooking-type to begin with, but you will be able to cook your own meals as opposed to being forced to eat out (read: $$$) when staying at a typical hotel.
Finally, assuming you love animals (why would you be a house sitter if you didn’t?), you get to care for, play with, and cuddle with cute pets all around the world!
Things to note about house sitting
I can already hear you saying “sign me up!” Let’s keep it real, though. It’s not just a free place to stay. House sitting is essentially a job, and as with all jobs, there are responsibilities that come with it. There are also some things we didn’t realize before we started house sitting…
- You can’t leave the house for too long since you’re caring for pets. This means no overnight trips or long day trips. If you land a gig, you probably shouldn’t take any day trips that are 2+ hours away.
- Homeowners prefer house sitters who won’t leave the house for too long, anyway. We’ve found that it helps to have remote jobs, which keep us grounded at the home and as a result, gives the homeowners peace of mind.
- Your involvement caring for the house/pets will vary. You may be asked to care for house plants or a vegetable garden, or sometimes even farm animals. You may also need to take extra care of pets that need medicine or have special diets, for example.
- It’s quite difficult to land house sitting gigs in major metropolitan areas, city centers, or otherwise “exciting” areas. This is because those places are highly sought out and therefore, you will face more competition. This is not to say you can’t land one, though. We landed our very first gig in West Hollywood, CA and our gig in Stratford-upon-Avon despite having TONS of competition (30+ applicants)!
- Flexibility is key to being a “professional” house sitter. Of course, you get to choose which house sits you apply for based on your desired locations and gig length, but we’ve found that keeping an open mind and schedule has been essential for building up our resume.
- You are fully responsible for getting there, near or far. Remember, the homeowners probably have strict travel plans so the last thing they need to worry about is someone arriving way late…or not at all. Also, the cost of getting there is fully on you.
- It’s a good idea to arrive at the home at least one day prior. Most homeowners will want to meet with you over dinner and take you on a tour of the house, and all the people we’ve house sat for were happy to let us stay an extra night or two.
- Send text/picture messages frequently. The homeowners are fully trusting you to care for the house and pets, and frequent messages – especially pictures of their pets – give them peace of mind.
- You can be an individual house sitter, a couple, or even a house sitting family. We have even been able to bring Chloe to most gigs.
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