House Sitting is something I have been aware of for decades and I often thought it might be an option for me when I retired. Due to unforeseen circumstances my ‘retirement’ arrived several years ahead of schedule. I knew that spending time in a warmer country (I live in Northern Ireland) would be very beneficial for me but I didn’t have the financial resources to rent accommodation so I turned my thoughts to house sitting.
I researched a little into the various sites that are available to register with and decided on Trusted House Sitters. Trusted House Sitters check your details and identity so that potential home owners can have confidence that you are who you say you are. They also have a 24 hour Vet help line which is always good to have as a back up.
I imagined that it would take a least a couple of years to become established but this proved not to be the case, within a few months I was pretty much booked up for a year.
Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate and referral links which may reward me in the event of a subscription or sale (at no extra cost for you).
A Sample Of The Places I Have Been
Now, 14 months on from my first sit I have cared for 16 dogs, 20 cats, 1 rabbit, and indoor and outdoor fish. I have completed 20 sits ranging from 2 nights to 5 weeks, in 8 different countries. I have visited Scotland, France, England (3 sits), Ireland, Spain (4 sits), Sweden, Italy and Portugal (8 sits).
Twelve of these sits were booked through Trusted House Sitters and 8 were booked privately. I have had 4 repeat sits plus numerous requests to do repeat sits that I have had to decline.
Some of my Doggie Dudes
I have also declined many sits for which the homeowners have contacted me directly, the most exciting of these was a 3 month sit in Melbourne. Sadly, I would not be in a position to go to Australia. It has been an exciting year and is a lifestyle that suits me extremely well.
A Few of My Feline Friends (And Ronnie the Rabbit)
People often ask what I get paid but no money exchanges hands, sitting through Trusted House Sitters is provided free, it is an exchange of the house sitter’s services for accommodation. And yes, I have to pay for my own travel, but travelling from Ireland to mainland Europe can be super cheap. So, taking into consideration that there are food basics provided, and I am not paying for heating it doesn’t cost a huge amount more than staying at home. In fact, if I am away for a longish stint it often costs less. Many of my hosts have been very generous in providing me with some, if not all, of my groceries. Some house sitters would be running around doing lots of sight seeing and, of course, that would cost money but I am there to just ‘be’, to live like a local, work (online), and enjoy new surroundings and the company of the pets.
There are, of course, paid house sitting platforms and some people just simply set up a business within their own country. For example I registered, just recently, with Rover in the hope of getting some paid sits in the UK.
I will be writing lots more blogs about house sitting and sharing some of my adventures with you so for now I will leave it here, I think this is just enough to wet your appetite.
To read my next blog about house sitting click here.
25% off Trusted House Sitters
If you are interested in registering with Trusted House Sitters either as a house sitter or a home owner. You can use this link or simply use the code RAF232761 at check out.