This is for our friends, family and readers that are very skeptical about the type of accommodations we choose. I can’t count the number of times we’ve been quizzed about our housesitting and pet sitting endeavors to travel more often and see the world.
“You are living in a stranger’s house while they are away?” said a friend. “Yes!,” I respond.
“Do you guys ever pay rent?” others would inquire. “Yes! Of course, we don't just petsit!” says Troy.
Don’t get us wrong. We are not gypsies or freeloaders. We do work and pay for things, rather, we are a couple who enjoy services while participating in the sharing economy when the time and opportunity is right.
Here’s the thing:
(if you haven’t discovered it yet)
YOU can save AND earn money by renting, selling, lending or exchanging services like we do.
That is how we travel more (and now into our 3rd year of full-time travel). This is the sharing (exchange) economy that is alive and well – thanks to the internet.
It’s like sharing rides or renting apartments:
- Maybe you have used Uber or Lyft to call a taxi and save money with the use of their safe and secure apps to get you efficiently (and cheaper) from one place to another.
- Use our discount code for your first Uber ride for free here.
- Or, have you ever used Airbnb (rent a room, apartment or house from someone else) to book your holidays? These are examples of the sharing economy.
Pet and housesitting is the same thing -- why not save money to travel more?
We look after a home and their pets while the owners go on vacation. We live there and mind their home in exchange for paying rent. It can be for just a few days or a number of months and it depends on their plans.
We love pet sitting because:
1. We connect with like-minded pet owners who like to travel. Plus, we get to visit with them before they leave (while we get an orientation of their requirements in looking after their home and pets.) Many have become friends that call us back for future pet sits.
2. We love pets, but we don’t have a lifestyle that allows us to have animals of our own, so we become ‘grandparents’ – we spoil the pets, then leave – so, we’re free of responsibilities when we are gone!
3. We get to live like a local. We live in a home, cook, do our own thing instead of staying in a hotel. Plus, we find time to work online in between exploring neighborhoods.
4. We have saved thousands of dollars in the last three years (as we don’t pet sit all the time, but only a few months a year). Yes, due to this accommodation option we can travel more, also, it is our preferred mode of accommodation.
Just a few of the amazing Pet Sitting Experiences we’ve had
1. Our first international pet sit was living in Costa Rica for 3 weeks near Tamarindo and taking the three amazing dogs for runs on the beach.
2. Not to mention, our three months living in Ecuador on the Pacific coast, falling in love with an awesome dog and living in a community to get a taste of expat living, something we have never done before.
3. We lived in the old town in Panama City where we enjoyed sitting on the rooftop deck watching the ships queue towards the Panama Canal while looking after a lovable Cocker Spaniel with a big personality.
4. We lived on a farm on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua where we woke up to sunrise views of Volcano Concepcion every morning, while learning alot about chickens, and each definitely had their own personality. It was a joy looking after them!
5. We stayed in a forest on the Oregon coast of the United States surrounded by protected areas, where we walked two well-behaved husky puppies, 5kms through the forest each day.
How Can You Get Into Pet Sitting/Housesitting?
- First, get past your discomfort with staying in ‘a stranger’s home.’ This system uses references and on-line profiles to foster trust. You get to travel more AND meet people you never would have before.
- It’s not just for couples. It’s also for those traveling solo, with couples or with your family. It’s an inexpensive and rewarding way to enjoy another part of the world while you travel.
- Recognize there is a mutual exchange involved and a responsibility. There is work involved in return for rent, like looking after a house, managing problems if they arise and looking after animals. We treat their home as though it was our own, and we take detailed notes of agreements and responsibilities.
- Build your references. Even if you don’t have a prior pet sitting experience, you can get character references who can vouch for your love of animals or for your care and attention of your own home. Ideally, you should start to do pet sitting in your home town, doing it for friends to build your roster. Also, we recommend that you get a police check done. (This is a small cost that helps to build trust.)
- LEARN from other housesitters how to land your housesit project. Even if you haven’t heard about housesitting by now, it is a very competitive initiative AND it’s not as simple as filling out a profile and VOILA there you go housesit! When we initially started, we landed 0 housesits. Then we learned tips from the pros, like how to set up our profile, how to manage our house-sits and understand the difficult and important questions to ask.
We highly recommend the Housesitting Travel and Lifestyle Summit. This is an online summit with hours of interesting video interviews on how to avoid wasting time and money in applying, preparing for, and running your housesit.
6. Once you learn from the pros, sign up on our favorite online site where you can find some housesit opportunities. Trusted Housesitters is an online site for both homeowners and housesitters. We have found most of our pet sits from this site, and the annual membership cost pays for itself as soon as you land your first pet sit. Think about one night in a hotel costs.
Use this link to Trusted Housesitters- to get 25% off your membership and use thediscount code: RAF143483
Interested in pet sitting and to travel more? Do you still have questions? Reach out to us in the comments below and let us know!
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