Last updated on August 2nd, 2018 at 10:58 am
How we travel today is so much different than how we used to five years ago. Now we stay in lovely villas, cute cottages, and spacious multi level homes more often than hotels. We sometimes have access to private pools and free use of a vehicle the places we visit as well. The biggest difference is how much money we save staying the way we do now. We save 100% on accommodation, it’s absolutely free! I can honestly say, how we travel now is so much better than how we used to. There is only one thing that made all the difference, we started house sitting!
Here are the biggest benefits of house sitting for us
House sitting has saved us thousands of dollars on travel expenses
House sitting accounts for over two years of travel for us. If we’d had to pay hotel or Airbnb rental prices for that same time we easily could have spent over $36000 in accommodation costs. Add to that the money we saved having outfitted kitchens to cook in, homeowners cars were able to use, and insider knowledge for saving on attractions we learned from locals and I’m sure we’ve saved at least $90000. House sitting is the one thing that helps us save big on almost all aspects of travel.
It’s inspired us to visit places we hadn’t considered before
House sitting assignments aren’t always located in well-known tourist destinations. Often times they are close to bigger vacation destinations (a quick bus, train or car ride away). Prices for popular things to do like eating out, shopping, and visiting attractions are always cheaper the farther you get from huge tourist draws.
Lesser known places we visited thanks to house sitting are Toulouse, France; Garrucha, Spain; Kortenberg, Belgium; and various towns and cities throughout the U.K. The best thing about all of these assignments was the opportunity we had to get to know off the beaten track destinations. We had the best of both worlds- cheaper prices close to our assignments and easy access to incredible cities like London and Brussels.
House sitting has also helped us travel to places we’d never considered because of our budget. Early in our travels, we planned to visit cities throughout South America. We felt the cost of living in Europe was too expensive and countries like Colombia, Ecuador, and Argentina were places where our money would go further. House sitting helped us change our perception of living costs around the world. It gave us the opportunity to experience life as locals throughout Europe and we found costs to be a lot cheaper than we had originally thought.
It’s helped us get a local perspective on travel destinations
Our goal is always to get to know the places we visit on a local level. We want to settle down somewhere different in the world, we just don’t know where yet. We still have a lot of research to do, and house sitting helps us fast track our learning.
Making the decision to invest in property or commit to spending a year or more overseas is difficult. It’s really important to ensure the place you’re considering moving to fits all of your priorities. When you’re house sitting you stay in local neighborhoods, visit local pubs, and shop at markets where the locals shop. We’re treated like we live in a destination because tourists rarely stay outside of the tourist zone. This gives us a unique perspective on local life. We get to know friends and neighbors of homeowners and can ask them questions about life in their town. They give us honest answers that are harder to elicit from a hotel clerk or tour operator.
We know house sitting is the best way to try expat life rent free.
All of the wonderful friends we’ve made as house sitters
We have friends all over the world because of house sitting! We still correspond with every one of the homeowners we’ve helped. This is the most rewarding part of being a house sitter. The side effect of offering to care for someone’s home and beloved pets is getting to know people on a more intimate level. There is a special connection that’s made when you entrust your precious home and pets to someone you barely know.
It’s a bit of a leap of faith for house sitters as well; traveling to a place we’ve never been to stay in a place that has no TripAdvisor reviews. It behooves both parties to try to get to know one another as best they can in a very short period of time. We’ve shared meals, stories, wine, laughs, and tears with homeowners. The biggest reward of house sitting is the opportunity to build these special friendships.
We’ve learned about so many different kinds of pets
We love dogs, all kinds of dogs, and we’ve had dogs as pets ourselves. But we’ve always been curious about owning other kinds of pets. House sitting has given us the chance to care for koi fish, chickens, rabbits, hamsters, a degus, birds, and all kinds of breeds of dogs (a dachshund, corgi, pugs, a dalmatian, a husky, lurchers, greyhounds, and many other types). It’s been wonderful to get to know all about these sweet animals. When we settle down we know what kind of pets we want to have!
All of the comfort and convenience you don’t get during a hotel stay
A hotel room is a lot less comfortable than an entire home. We’ve stayed in some pretty beautiful places! A stunning Art Deco home near Brussels, a villa in Spain, a multi million dollar mansion in England, a lovely home in the cloud forest in the mountains outside Panama to name a few. We’ve enjoyed amenities like a gardener, access to tennis courts, swimming pools, and the use of some homeowners vehicles all free. A hotel stay could never come close to comfort and convenience we enjoyed in the incredible places we’ve stayed house sitting.
We can stay in a destination longer because of house sitting
Free accommodation makes staying longer a lot more affordable! We have spent 6 months in Panama, 2 months in Spain, and 8 weeks traveling throughout the U.K. full filling house sitting assignments. The money we saved with free accommodation helped us afford to stay longer and see and do so much more than we could have on a typical vacation.
The bottom line on the biggest benefits of house sitting
House sitting is way more than free accommodation. We get to know travel destinations on a deeper level. It’s the best way to learn what a place is really like, not like staying in an area done up for tourists. We will never travel the way we used to again because house sitting totally changed our perspective on all aspects of a trip.
Does house sitting sound like something you’d like to try? This post “20 Popular House Sitting Questions Answered” covers most of the things people wonder about house sitting. If you ready to try, check out our free house sitting e-course. It has all the information you need to get started.