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How To Become a House Sitter & Get Free Accommodation in 2024


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Imagine this: you're chilling in a cozy home in London, sipping on some tea while two shy kitties are curling up next to you.


Fast forward, you're in Tokyo, sharing a couch with a lovable French bulldog, and the next thing you know, you're playing fetch with a playful rescue cat in Brussels.


This isn't a dream, folks, this is the reality of a house sitter.


Now, let’s break it down. House sitting is your ticket to living in someone's comfy home while they're off on their own adventures.


Your end of the deal? Keep their place safe and sound, and sometimes, take care of their furry family members.


And the jackpot? Free accommodation in some of the coolest cities around the world!


I've been there, done that, and let me tell you, it's a ride full of incredible experiences. From a week-long cat-sitting gig in London to a month and a half of bonding with a bulldog in Tokyo, and some quality time with a rescue cat in Brussels - it's been nothing short of amazing.


Now, picture this: you, on a mountain trail, with a loyal dog by your side, exploring the wild, untamed beauty of nature.


That’s right! Pet sitting while house sitting isn’t just a duty; it’s a doorway to adventures with some furry companions in tow.


It’s not just about saving big bucks on accommodation, it’s about forming bonds with these adorable creatures and seeing the world through a local’s lens. It's a win-win that’s hard to beat!


You might be new to this, wondering, "How do I jump on this bandwagon?" Well, fret not! I've got the lowdown on everything you need to kickstart this journey.


From the ABCs of house sitting, the qualifications you need, to the best platforms to get you started, and the potential earnings waiting for you - I've got it all laid out.


This isn’t just a guide; it’s your passport to becoming a global house sitter, unlocking free stays in every corner of the world.


And hey, if you’ve got a soft spot for pets, there’s a whole other realm of pet-sitting waiting for you to explore.


Check out our step-by-step guide on becoming a pet-sitter and get ready to embark on a journey filled with furry cuddles and endless adventures.


This is more than just a travel hack, folks. It’s a lifestyle that’s breaking the mold, offering a unique blend of exploration, companionship, and a home-away-from-home vibe wherever you go.


So, are you ready to step into the world of house sitting and turn the globe into your playground? Your adventure awaits!



What Does a House Sitter Do?

You're probably buzzing with the question, "What on earth does a house sitter do?" and "How does it differ from pet sitting?"



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Let's break it down, step by step, no fluff, just real talk.


A house sitter, my friends, is your modern-day superhero without the cape. They step into someone's home when they jet off, ensuring everything remains just as pristine and secure as the owners left it.


We're talking keeping the place spotless, collecting the mail so it doesn’t scream “no one’s home”, watering the plants, and sometimes, playing the gardener to keep that backyard Eden flourishing.


Now, let’s slide into the pet sitting scene. Often, house sitting and pet sitting are like the dynamic duo, coming together to save the day.


While you're keeping the home front secure, you're also keeping Fido fed, watered, and showered with all the love and belly rubs he can handle.


It’s about ensuring that the fur babies are living their best life while their humans are away. You’re the temporary companion, the feeder, the walker, and sometimes, the medicine dispenser.


Every house sitting gig I've rocked has come with the bonus of pet companionship. And let me tell you, the joy of having a furry buddy by your side as you explore a new place is unmatched.


But hey, if you’re not a pet person, no judgment here. There are house sitting opportunities out there that come without the four-legged residents, though they might be a tad harder to snag.


Now that we've peeled back the layers of what house and pet sitting entail, you're one step closer to stepping into this life-altering experience.


It's not just about free accommodation or playing with pets; it's about embracing a lifestyle that’s as rewarding as it is adventurous.


So, now that you’ve got a taste of the house and pet sitter’s life, are you ready to dive deeper?


Stay tuned as we delve into the nitty-gritty of becoming a house sitter, unlocking a world filled with endless possibilities and furry friendships.


Your roadmap to becoming a house sitter is just a scroll away!



Requirements to Become a House Sitter Online


You're probably wondering, "What do I need to bring to the table to kickstart this adventure?"


Well, the beauty of house sitting is that you don’t need a stack of certifications or a PhD in Pet Whispering to get started.


However, there are some golden traits that homeowners are scouting for in a stellar house sitter. Let’s break them down:

  1. Responsible and Reliable: This is the big kahuna. Homeowners are handing over the keys to their kingdom, and they want to know you’re the real deal. Being responsible and reliable isn’t just a quality; it’s your ticket into this world. Show them you're the kind of person who not only shows up but steps up.

  2. Great Communicator: You’re the eyes and ears for the homeowners while they’re away. They’ll love you for regular updates, especially if pets are involved. A picture of their cat snoozing or their dog playing fetch will earn you brownie points. And when the unexpected happens, good communication is your best ally.

  3. Organized: Every home has its rhythm, its set of rules. Being organized helps you juggle the dos and don’ts, especially when you’re hopping from one house sit to another. A simple checklist can be your best friend to keep track of your duties.

  4. Flexible: In the house sitting biz, curveballs are part of the game. Travel plans change, emergencies pop up, and you’ve got to roll with the punches. Flexibility isn’t just a quality; it’s your superpower in navigating the unpredictable.

  5. Housekeeping Skills: A clean home is a happy home. Homeowners will be over the moon to return to a spotless space after a long journey. Your housekeeping skills are your silent, shining endorsement.


Now, if pets are part of the equation, here’s the extra scoop:

  1. Experience with Pet Care: Whether it’s feeding, walking, or playing, having some experience with pets is a huge plus. No experience? No problem. Volunteer at a local shelter or offer to dog-sit for your friends. Build that pet CV!

  2. A Love for Animals: This one’s a no-brainer. If you’re going to be spending time with pets, a genuine love for animals is the key. It’s the secret sauce that makes the whole experience rewarding and enjoyable.

  3. (Optional) Pet First Aid Certification: While it’s not a must-have, a pet first aid certification is like a golden star on your house sitting profile. It’s about being prepared for the unexpected and ensuring the furry family members are in safe hands.

  4. (Optional) Pet Sitting Certification: If you’re eyeing the professional house sitting league, a pet sitting certification can be a game-changer. It’s not mandatory, but it’s a shiny badge of credibility and professionalism that can open doors.


So, there you have it! The roadmap to becoming a house sitter is laid out, and it’s as real and exciting as it gets.


It’s about showcasing the right qualities, gaining some experience, and embracing a love for adventure (and furry companions).


The world is your oyster, and house sitting is your passport to exploring it from a unique, heartwarming perspective.


Are you ready to unlock a life filled with travel, pets, and free accommodation? Your house sitting journey is just a click away!



How to Become a House Sitter (5 Steps)


Alright, it's game time! You've got the lowdown on what house sitting entails and the traits that make a stellar house sitter.



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Now, let’s dive into the action-packed roadmap that will catapult you into the heart of the house sitting arena.


These five steps are your golden ticket to unlocking doors (literally) to homes across the globe, from the bustling streets of Osaka to the historic charm of Edinburgh.


Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned house sitter, these steps are your blueprint to scoring those coveted gigs.


Join One or More House Sitting Websites:

  • Your first move in this house sitting saga is to hop onto one or more house sitting platforms. The digital world is your oyster with platforms like Trusted Housesitters, MindMyHouse, Nomador, House Carers, House Sitters America, and House Sitters Canada leading the charge.

  • While I’ll delve deeper into the top house sitting websites later, a pro tip is to spread your wings across multiple platforms. It’s all about casting a wider net to reel in more opportunities.

  • Yes, most of these platforms come with a membership fee, but think of it as a small investment for a big adventure. If budget’s a concern, starting with one platform is cool. I kicked off my house sitting journey on Trusted Housesitters and it was a goldmine of opportunities.


Create a Killer Profile:

  • Your profile is your billboard in the house sitting world. It’s where you strut your stuff, showcasing your responsibility, love for animals, and previous house sitting or pet care experiences.

  • Photos are worth a thousand words. Upload clear, friendly photos of you, and if possible, with some furry friends. It’s about building trust and showing homeowners you’re the real deal.


Collect and Showcase References:

  • Got previous house sitting experience or pet care references? Flaunt them! No references yet? No sweat. Start with personal references who can vouch for your reliability and character.


Apply, Apply, Apply:

  • The house sitting world is competitive, and the early bird gets the worm. Apply to as many gigs as possible, and tailor your messages to each homeowner. Show them you’ve read their listing and you’re excited about the opportunity.


Communicate and Build Relationships:

  • Once you’ve landed a gig, keep the communication lines open. Send updates, ask questions if unsure, and always leave the house in top-notch condition. Happy homeowners equal great references and possibly, repeat gigs.


Find and Apply to the Perfect House Sit:

  • The digital hunt begins! Use the filters on house sitting platforms to narrow down gigs that align with your preferences - location, duration, type of accommodation, and of course, the species of pets you’ll be vibing with.

  • Found some potential matches? Dive into the listings, understand the homeowners’ needs, and ensure it’s a gig you can ace.

  • Now, craft that killer application. Make it personal, show you’ve done your homework, and highlight why you’re the one for the job. Your enthusiasm for their pets and the house sit should shine through.

  • Pop in some thoughtful questions about their pets - medication needs, grooming, their temperament around strangers or other animals. It shows you care and you’re invested in providing the best care.


Nail the Interview:

  • If you’ve landed an interview, give yourself a pat on the back! You’re on the homeowners’ shortlist, and that’s a big deal.

  • Prep time! Revisit the listing, jot down the important details - pet names, specific duties, and any special requests. Knowledge is power, and it shows you’re serious about the gig.

  • Expect questions around your interest in the house sit, your experience with animals, and your plans during the house sit. Be genuine, be enthusiastic, and be prepared.

  • Flip the script and have some questions ready for the homeowners too. It’s a two-way street, and it’s crucial to ensure the gig is a good fit for both parties.

  • Post-interview, the waiting game begins. If you don’t snag the gig, don’t sweat it. Rejections are part of the journey, and every no brings you closer to that sweet yes!



There you have it, the step-by-step playbook to launching your house sitting career. It’s about putting yourself out there, showcasing your best qualities, and embracing the adventure that comes with each new gig.


Every house sit is a chapter in your global adventure book, filled with new experiences, furry friendships, and the chance to live like a local around the world.


So, are you ready to turn the page and start your house sitting journey? The world is waiting!



How To Find Work as a House Sitter

Let’s slice through the fog and get straight to the heart of scoring those house sitting gigs.



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You’ve got the blueprint, now it’s time to step into the arena and seize those opportunities.


The digital realm is brimming with platforms to kickstart your house sitting journey, each with its own flavor and offerings. Let’s break down the heavy hitters in the house sitting game:


  • This is the big league, folks! Trusted Housesitters is your gateway to a global playground of house sitting gigs. Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran in the game, this platform is a goldmine.

  • With a robust customer service, a 24/7 veterinary hotline, and a user-friendly interface on both web and mobile, it’s no wonder this platform reigns supreme in the house sitting domain.

  • Sure, the membership fee sits at a hefty $129 USD per year, but it’s a ticket to a world filled with diverse house sitting gigs from Tokyo to Toronto. The investment is a drop in the ocean compared to the experiences and savings on accommodation you’ll rack up.


  • Nomador is your buddy in the house sitting world, offering a smorgasbord of international gigs. Whether you’re a digital nomad, a local enthusiast, or a globetrotter, this platform has got something for you.

  • At $85 USD per year, it’s a sweet spot between variety and affordability. And hey, if you’re not ready for the annual commitment, the quarterly membership is a cool alternative.


  • MindMyHouse is the underdog that packs a punch. With a modest fee of $29 USD per year, it’s a budget-friendly ally in your house sitting quest.

  • Whether you’re eyeing short-term gigs or long-term stays, MindMyHouse has got you covered. It’s a great stepping stone in building your house sitting repertoire.


  • If the US is your playground, House Sitters America is your go-to platform. Explore the vast landscapes of America, one house sit at a time.

  • At $49 USD per year, it’s a bargain for the plethora of opportunities sprawled across the states. It’s your ticket to discovering the nooks and crannies of the US, from the bustling cities to the serene countryside.


  • Canada is a land of endless adventures and breathtaking sceneries, and House Sitters Canada is your key to unlocking these experiences. Whether you’re a local or a traveler with a heart set on exploring the maple leaf country, this platform is your go-to.

  • With a plethora of house sitting gigs spread across the majestic lands of Canada and a user-friendly website to boot, diving into the Canadian house sitting scene is a breeze. And at a modest $59 CAD per year, it’s a steal for the experiences awaiting you in the Great White North.


  • Now, let’s hop over to the land down under! Aussie House Sitters is your companion in discovering the diverse landscapes and vibrant cities of Australia.

  • At $84 AUD per year, it’s your passport to a treasure trove of house sitting opportunities sprawled across the Australian continent. From the bustling streets of Sydney to the serene beaches of Gold Coast, the Aussie house sitting scene is a kaleidoscope of experiences.

  • The platform is a breeze to navigate, and with a solid customer service backing you up, embarking on your Aussie house sitting adventure is as smooth as it gets.


These platforms are more than just digital interfaces; they are bridges to living the local life in foreign lands, to forming connections with homeowners and their furry companions, and to exploring the world from a unique vantage point.


It’s about stepping into a journey filled with unexpected joys, learning, and a deeper appreciation for the world we live in.


So, whether it’s the serene landscapes of Canada or the energetic vibe of Australia that calls out to you, these platforms are your stepping stones to a journey filled with stories waiting to be lived.


Dive in, explore, and let the world be your oyster in the house sitting realm. Your adventure is just a click away, and it’s a beautiful one waiting to unfold!



How to Prepare for an International House Sit

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of gearing up for that international house sit. You’ve landed the gig, now it’s time to prep the stage for a smooth ride.


It’s about dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s, and stepping into this journey with confidence and clarity. Let’s break it down:


Establish a Solid Communication Line with the Homeowner:

  • Before you jet off, ensure you have a rock-solid line of communication with the homeowner. Whether it’s through email, phone, or a messaging app, having a reliable way to reach out for any clarifications or emergencies is crucial.

  • Set up a pre-arrival call to go over any last-minute details, and to get a feel of any additional information that might come in handy during your stay.


Pack Smart and Be Prepared:

  • Packing is an art and a science. Pack the essentials but keep it light. Ensure you have all the necessary gear to fulfill your house sitting duties, especially if it involves pet care or garden maintenance.

  • Have a basic first aid kit, some universal adapters (if you’re going to a country with different plug types), and any personal items you might need.


Arrive Early and Settle In:

  • If possible, arrive a day or two before the homeowners depart to get acquainted with the home, the pets, and the neighborhood. This transition period is invaluable for picking up on the little nuances that will make your house sitting stint a breeze.

  • Use this time to ask any lingering questions, test out all the keys, and ensure you know the workings of essential household systems like the heating, water, and security systems.


Keep a Handy Checklist:

  • Create a checklist of daily duties to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Whether it’s feeding the pets, watering the plants, or any other specific requests from the homeowner, having a daily checklist keeps you on track and ensures a seamless house sitting experience.


Stay Flexible and Embrace the Experience:

  • Lastly, keep a flexible mindset. Unexpected situations might pop up, and being able to adapt and communicate effectively with the homeowner is key.

  • Embrace the journey, learn from the experience, and enjoy the unique opportunity to live like a local in a new part of the world. Every house sit is a chapter in your adventure book, make it a great one!


Sync Up Your Arrival Time with the Homeowners:

  • Now that you’ve got your travel itinerary locked down, it’s time to sync up with the homeowners. Reach out and let them know when you’ll be rolling in. Typically, arriving a couple of hours before they jet off works well, but hey, every situation is unique so feel out what works best for both parties.

  • Meeting the homeowners before they head out is a game-changer. It’s your golden opportunity to get a live tour of the place, know where all the essentials are stashed - we’re talking pet food, leashes, WiFi router, cleaning supplies, the whole shebang.


Take a Walk on the Wild Side:

  • If you’re stepping into the shoes of a dog sitter, seize the chance to go for a walk together with the homeowners and their furry buddy. Every dog has its own rhythm when it comes to walkies - the type of leash, the poop-disposal dance, the treat and command routine. Walking the dog together is your fast-track ticket to getting into the groove and making the pooch feel at ease with you.

Keep the Communication Lines Buzzing:

  • Once the homeowners are off, keep the communication lines buzzing. Regular updates are your way of letting the homeowners know that all’s well on the home front. Snap some pics of their pets having a ball, and shoot them over.

  • Every homeowner has their own vibe when it comes to updates. Some might want a daily lowdown while others are cool with a check-in now and then. Feel it out and respect their preference.


Explore, Enjoy, and Embrace:

  • And now, with the formalities squared away, it’s your time to dive into the experience. Explore the locale, enjoy the companionship of the furry pals, and embrace the unique lifestyle of a global house sitter.

  • Remember, this is more than just a gig, it’s a doorway to a world of experiences. So, soak it up, live it up, and make the most of every moment.


Reflect and Ready Up for the Next:

  • As your house sit winds down, take a moment to reflect on the journey, the learnings, and the memories made. And hey, why stop at one? With one successful house sit under your belt, you’re all geared up for the next. The world is your oyster, and there are countless pets out there waiting for a buddy like you.


House sitting is more than a transaction, it’s a trust pact, a cultural exchange, and a pet-loving adventure rolled into one.


So, as you step into this realm, go in with an open heart, a keen mind, and a spirit of adventure.


The world is wide, the opportunities are endless, and the pets are waiting. Let’s get you house sitting like a pro!



How Much Do House Sitters Make?


Absolutely, the financial aspect of house sitting is a crucial factor to consider, especially if you're planning to make it a long-term venture.



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Let's delve into the monetary dynamics of house sitting:


The Trade-off:

  • Initially, the primary payoff for house sitting comes in the form of free accommodation, which is a significant cost-saver especially in high-cost living areas or touristy locales. The savings on rent or hotel bills can be substantial, making house sitting an attractive option for travelers, digital nomads, or individuals looking to save on living expenses.


The Unpaid Norm:

  • Most house sitting gigs, especially those listed on platforms like Trusted Housesitters, MindMyHouse, and Nomador, are unpaid. The value exchange here is straightforward - you get a free place to stay, and in return, you ensure the homeowners' property and pets are well-taken care of.


The Transition to Paid Gigs:

  • As you rack up experience, garner positive reviews, and perhaps obtain certifications related to pet care or house sitting, the door to paid house sitting opportunities begins to creak open. Your proven track record can be leveraged to negotiate a daily or nightly rate with homeowners who are willing to pay for a professional house sitter's services.


The Earnings Spectrum:

  • The earning potential in house sitting can vary widely, with rates ranging from around $25 to $80 per night based on various factors including the location, the level of responsibility involved, and your experience and credentials. It's a gradual climb, and the initial focus should be on building a solid, reputable profile.


The Incremental Income:

  • Over time, as you establish yourself in the house sitting community, you may find homeowners reaching out to you directly for paid gigs, or even get referrals from past homeowners you've worked with. This word-of-mouth can significantly bolster your earning potential.


The Long-term Perspective:

  • If the financial aspect is a concern, consider diversifying your income streams. Many house sitters juggle remote freelance work or have other online income sources that provide financial stability while they continue house sitting.


The Personal Value:

  • Lastly, the personal value derived from house sitting extends beyond monetary gains. The enriching experiences, the bonds formed with pets, the local cultural immersion, and the friendships forged along the way are priceless assets that come with the house sitting territory.


House sitting is a unique blend of responsibility, adventure, and community. While it may not be a gold mine in monetary terms initially, the holistic value it offers is immense.


As you navigate through your house sitting journey, each gig is a step towards building a richer, more fulfilling lifestyle, with a sprinkle of financial perks as you advance in your house sitting career.



Pros of Becoming an International House Sitter:


Cost-Saving Accommodation:

  • Free lodging is a major perk, saving substantial amounts especially in high-cost areas, and offering a chance to stay in luxurious properties.


Local Exploration:

  • House sitting provides a unique local perspective, enabling exploration of lesser-known spots recommended by homeowners.


Pet Companionship:

  • For animal lovers, house sitting is a way to enjoy pet companionship, especially if owning pets isn't feasible due to a nomadic lifestyle.


Additional Income:

  • Though not a primary income source, paid house sitting gigs can provide some extra cash.


Ease of Work:

  • The duties are generally straightforward and not time-consuming, leaving ample time for other activities.


Flexibility:

  • With a variety of gigs available, house sitters can choose assignments that align with their preferences and schedules.



Cons of Becoming an International House Sitter:


Lack of Monetary Compensation:

  • Most gigs are unpaid, with free accommodation being the primary compensation.


Membership Fees:

  • Access to quality gigs often requires membership on house sitting platforms, which comes at a cost.


Last-Minute Cancellations:

  • Unexpected changes in homeowners' plans can lead to last-minute cancellations, posing challenges in rearranging travel plans.


Dealing with Difficult Homeowners:

  • Like any service job, house sitting can sometimes involve dealing with demanding or overbearing homeowners.


Limited Freedom:

  • Commitments to the house and pets may restrict the freedom to explore or participate in spontaneous activities.


Handling Untrained Pets:

  • Encountering poorly trained or misbehaving pets can be stressful, and communicating such issues to homeowners can be delicate.


The journey of an international house sitter is a blend of rewarding experiences and challenges.


The free accommodation, local experiences, and pet companionship are enriching, while the unpaid nature of most gigs, potential for difficult interactions, and the occasional unruly pet pose challenges.


Evaluating these pros and cons can help aspiring house sitters make an informed decision on whether this adventurous path aligns with their lifestyle and goals.



How to Become a House Sitter: FAQs


Below are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding becoming a house sitter:


What qualifications do I need to be a house sitter?

While no official certifications or courses are required to become a professional house sitter, possessing excellent communication skills, a love for animals, experience in animal care, and housekeeping skills are beneficial. It's crucial to be trustworthy, attentive, reliable, and dependable.


How do I become a house sitter without any experience?

To start house sitting without prior experience, register on house sitting websites and populate your profile with references and testimonials. Even without house sitting experience, you can obtain character references from employers, co-workers, landlords, friends, or family.


Are house sitters in demand?

Absolutely! Trustworthy and responsible house sitters are sought after. Platforms like Trusted Housesitters offer numerous house sitting jobs globally, with abundant opportunities in countries like the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia.


Is house sitting a hard skill?

House sitting is generally straightforward, involving maintaining cleanliness, watering plants, and caring for pets. However, challenges may arise, especially when dealing with animals with specific medical or behavioral needs.


How much do beginner house sitters make?

Typically, beginner house sitters don’t earn money; their compensation is free accommodation and utilities. However, professional house sitters might start at around $25 per night.


Is house sitting a stable career?

House sitting isn't considered a stable career as many gigs are unpaid. Yet, it's an excellent flexible income source and a way to save on accommodation while traveling.


Do house sitting jobs pay well?

Most house sitting jobs are unpaid, with free accommodation and utilities as compensation. However, professional house sitters might charge between $25 to $80 per night, depending on various factors.



In Conclusion


This guide aims to equip you with the necessary steps and confidence to embark on a professional house sitting journey.


House sitting is an incredible way to traverse the globe, reducing accommodation costs, and unveiling local treasures.


I've leveraged house sitting for both short vacations and year-long voyages; it's a fantastic travel mode regardless of your timeline.


By adhering to the tips provided, you're on the pathway to becoming a proficient house and pet sitter.


Explore the house sitting websites mentioned earlier, craft compelling profiles, gather references, send out applications, and gear up for interviews.

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