Last updated on February 22nd, 2018 at 02:04 pm
House sitting is an important part of our travel lifestyle. It helps us save money on accommodation costs and creates a home away from home environment that is important to us. We are fortunate the we don’t need to search for sits that fit with our approved vacation time. We can book them back to back or on short notice because we can work anywhere there is an internet connection. Having this freedom has helped us complete a lot of house sitting opportunities each year.
We know how challenging it can be to wade through lots of house sits that initially look suitable. There is a certain amount of compromise that goes along with house sitting internationally. But we've learned that settling for certain things can end up making a trip more costly monetarily and less enjoyable overall.
Let's explore how to pick the best house sitting opportunity to make the most of your trip.
How do you like to vacation?
This is the first thing you need to think about. Do you like peace and quiet or is being right in the center of the action more your thing? Do you prefer a small village or big city, enjoy being close to the beach or the mountains? A house sit in a beautiful log cabin in the woods may look incredible, but if you're someone who can't stand isolation it could be a recipe for disaster.
Weather and climate also play a role in this area. Again, caring for a stunning home on the coast of Ireland may sound appealing but what's the weather like? Is the assignment during the rainy season? Miserable weather could ruin your trip.
Consider these 3 things when house sitting abroad:
- Weather that you enjoy and areas in the world that fit your preferences
- Countries you want to visit, and rural (small village or town) or city locations that you would most likely enjoy.
- When is the weather best (or good) in the places you want to house sit. Try to avoid rainy season or months when severe weather is more likely. A simple Google search will help you narrow down the best times of the year to visit.
Having a clear picture of how you like to vacation before you scout for assignments will help you narrow down your list of options to find a good fit.
How will you get around?
We know first hand that high travel costs can make some house sits hardly worth the money we could save on accommodation. It is always a good idea to research transportation challenges and pricing thoroughly before committing to a sit.
Find out these important things before saying yes to an assignment:
- Will you have the use of the homeowner's car? Some homeowners make their car available to house sitters, it's always good to check the listing or ask during the interview process.
- Do you like to use public transit when you travel? If not, are you willing to rent a car if the homeowner doesn't have a car you can use?
- Is there an international airport nearby? How hard and/or expensive will it be to get to and from the assignment?
- Determine how difficult it will be to see the things you want to see on your trip. Also, are groceries and other necessities easily accessible?
Ask the homeowner questions about the area they live in, are there links to public transit nearby, is public transit good in your area, can I walk to get everything I want or need?
How much responsibility are you comfortable with?
Some house sits are more work than others. And while caring for a large lush garden in England or a Tuscan farmhouse with dogs, cats and chickens might sound like fun. The work to maintain the garden or look after the farm could have you working your entire trip.
Determine your limits for responsibility with these questions:
- What types of pets do you relate to best? A great looking assignment calls for care of animals you’re not familiar with. Just because you think you will enjoy caring for them doesn’t mean you will.
- How many pets are you comfortable caring for? Take into account breeds of pets. Some dogs, for instance, will require more exercise and attention.
- Are the homeowner's expectations for care of pets and property going to allow you to enjoy a destination the way you like to on holiday? What are the yard maintenance requirements? How many walks a day for the dogs? How long can the pets be left alone when you want to explore your destination?
How to pick the best house sit - zero in on the house sitting opportunities that are the best fit for you!
House sitting websites let you filter assignments to narrow down your search. Some platforms filters are more effective than others but one thing is true about all of them; searching far in advance and having some flexibility with your vacation dates will help broaden your opportunities for appropriate house sits.
What can you do beyond the house sitting sites filters to find the best fit?
You can use HouseSitSearch, a powerful house sitting opportunities site! The thing we like the best about HouseSitSearch is it finds assignments that fit our preferences from all of the house sitting websites and delivers the results all in one place, quickly and easily.
The filters for location, dates, responsibilities, and platforms is the most detailed one we've ever seen. It's a great resource to use to fine tune your search efforts.
We know landing a house sitting assignment, especially if it's your first one, can seem really difficult to do. Sometimes this difficulty can cause would be house sitters to overlook their preferences too much. Compromise is definitely part of house sitting but defining some personal preference limits before you search will help you make the most of your house sitting trip.
Do you house sit? Please share your tips on how to pick the best house sit to make the most of your trips in the comments below.
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