My husband and I are always looking to defray travel costs–often staying in house rentals instead of hotels–but there is one line we still haven’t crossed: house sitting. And not for lack of interest. There are a surprising number of websites dedicated to house sitting services with an emphasis in different categories, such as luxury homes and pet sitting.
Apparently, house sitting is the secret to how many people are able to live as full-time world travelers, since it requires no money (some even pay for your flight!), a flexible travel schedule and willingness to be a little “out there.” Some assignments require guests to feed goats, walk dogs or even run their B&Bs while housesitting. Some require nothing but a warm body. These are some of the homes I found on luxuryhousesitting.com:
A thatched roof gem in Wisch, Germany–sitter must take care of an Irish Setter and a Yorkie.
A modern home with pool in Aukland, New Zealand–sitter must look after two puppies.
A brick row house with a roof deck in Washington, D.C.–sitter must take care of Lola the bulldog.
Not every assignment is a dream home or a dream location, but with a little digging I’m sure you could find a home in nearly every location you desire visiting. I’ve found homes in Fiji, Thailand, San Francisco…there is even an assignment for nine days in Paris beginning next week, if you’ve been thinking about seeing the City of Lights! Some sites require membership fees and all require a profile and references, but a little effort may be worth free accommodation in a place you’ve always wanted to see. A few more sites:
- TrustedHousesitters.com: Largest housesitting community. Emphasis on pets. $60 annual fee.
- MindMyHouse.com: Mostly homes in North America and Europe. $20 annual fee.
- Housecarers.com: Mostly homes in Australia and North America. $55 annual fee.
- Caretaker.org: House assignments are sent via periodic newsletter. $30 annual fee.
- Luxuryhousesitting.com: Homes all over the world–many luxury (many not!). No fee.
Stay in a Georgian mansion in England’s scenic Lake District. Sitter must look after the garden.
Would you housesit for a stranger? I’m in my Swiss apartment this weekend, but I’m always dreaming of my next trip. Wishing you travel wanderlust for the weekend…for now, a few links:
- Housesit and See the World For Free (The Guardian)
- How to Housesit Your Way Around the World (Budget Travel)
- How to Become a Housesitter and Never Pay For Accommodation (Nomadic Matt)