Hi friends, thanks for stopping by to read about how I’m arranging housesitting positions.
In my post Adventures in Housesitting I talked about how most of my housesitting jobs were through friends of my parents and word of mouth. While they went on vacation, I stayed at their houses and took care of pets if they had any. Most of them gave me a little bit of money. Another “client” had a condo in Kihei, Maui where they spent most of the winter months. I did a trade. When they returned, I went to their place in Maui and stayed there for a few weeks.
Housesitters may or may not receive payment for their services.
Local housesitters who house and pet sit will charge clients, anywhere from $20 a day and up because it’s a side hustle for them to earn money.
Many times housesitting is a no charge swap. It’s a work exchange. The housesitter gets a free place to live in exchange for taking care of a house and pets.
Good Luck Chuck
A housesitter and homeowner need to make sure the work exchange is pretty even and fair. Sometimes there’s not even pets involved and a housesitter is just there for a presence. A person is coming and going. Lights are turning on and off at night. Plants are being watered and the mail and newspapers are being brought inside.
I saw an ad, I believe on House Sitters America, where someone going on vacation had an apartment available on a farm for the housesitter. It seems to me that there were other residences on this property. A main house and a few other apartments or cottages.
I don’t recall where the property was, but somewhere in the Eastern United States. Possibly New York.
In exchange for staying there the housesitter would be responsible for 25 horses!
These horses stayed in a barn at night, so in addition to feeding and watering, the housesitter would have to put the horses out in the pasture in the morning and bring them back into their stalls for night. Oh yeah. And clean all their stalls!
First of all – that’s way too many horses for one person or even a couple, to take care of.
Second – that many horses would need an experienced horseperson tending to them.
Third – no experienced horseperson would take on this housesit! Ha ha!
Really. This is pretty much a full time job. Grooms and stable hands get paid by the hour or by the stall/horse. $300 a day for all this work in addition to accommodations might be fair.
It’s sure not a privilege to live in a barn apartment in an obscure part of the state and try to fit in vacation and relaxation between all this work.
I just laughed when I read that ad.
My intention is to travel and also do international house and pet sitting. I’ll be traveling with all my worldly belongings.
I’ll let the housesitting positions guide me to where I’ll travel.
When searching for housesitting jobs, I have to keep a few things in mind. The most important being, when arriving in another country is to gloss over “working”. I’m a tourist traveling around. I have friends and relatives to visit. There are places I want to see. I’ll be leaving in a month or three.
Here’s a story of an Australian woman transitting through the United States to a housesitting job in Canada. Unfortunately she got denied entry into the U.S. and sent home.
She uses a company called Trusted Housesitters. I don’t use them. They’re too expensive and have more housesitters than available houses and too much competition.
Definitely the best way to find international housesitting jobs is through these introduction companies that match homeowners and housesitters. Usually the housesitter is charged a membership fee and the houseowner can place ads for free.
I found this blog post that ranked housesitting websites very helpful in deciding where to sign up. Also Google pointed me in the right direction.
When it comes to housesits, the old adage comes to mind: location, location, location.
Major cities will be very popular for housesitters to apply to ads. That’s because major cities have expensive hotels, thus limiting a traveler’s holiday budget. Housesitting ads in major cities receive tons of applications from hopeful petsitters who want to visit but can’t afford the high cost of hotels.
When it comes to desirability, a housesitting ad in Barbados would probably be more popular than a housesitting job in Iran.
A housesitting job in New York City taking care of two cats in a Manhattan apartment adjacent to Central Park would receive more applications than the sit mentioned above for taking care of 25 horses out in the boonies.
Let’s just say location can be subjective. What’s desirable to one housesitter might make another housesitter shudder and move along to the next ad.
The first international housesitting website I signed up for is Housecarers. It’s free to look around and see what housesit jobs are posted. You can also sign up for free and put up a profile while thinking about whether or not to go with a paid membership.
The big difference between a free and paid membership is being able to apply for housesitting jobs. It cost $50 for my one year membership and Housecarers added an extra free month for me.
Disclosure: affiliate links. If you click and sign up for a paid membership, you and I will each receive a bonus of 6 months added to our membership.
So far I haven’t got any jobs through Housecarers. But to be fair, I haven’t applied to any yet!
I have retirement plans to go to Spain in September for three months to walk the Camino de Santiago. If I apply for any housesits, it will have to be between now and September or after December. No housesits on Housecarers has been a good fit for me yet. I still think it’s a very good site and have seen housesits in places I want to travel to, but like I said, not in my timeframe.
I sure wish a housesit in Australia had been posted for 2024 because the homeowners have a camel. That would be a new pet for me to look after!
Each posting on Housecarers shows how many housesitters have applied for the sit. At some point you have to decide there’s too many applicants and the homeowner has probably found a housesitter.
Apply ASAP to any desirable housesitting jobs.
The next housesitting website I signed up with is Nomador. This is for international housesits and gets a lot of recommendations and at $20 a year for membership, is very reasonably priced.
EDITED JUNE 27, 2023. Maybe I should have signed up when it was still $20/year. Nomador now charges $200/year! Canadian dollars. Currency also available in US dollars, Euros, etc. In just over a month Nomador, which doesn’t have many listings has a price increase of 900%! How does that happen? Nope, not paying!
Another try before you buy, a housesitter can build a profile and have a free membership and decide whether or not to splurge on the $20 to communicate with potential homeowners.
Yes, I’d be absolutely willing to pay the $20. However, I’m unable to build my Nomador profile. I was sent an email with a code to verify my email address. It directed me back to the website and I entered the code.
Whenever I go to Nomador.com this banner pops up.
I’ve made a few attempts to re-enter my code but it does no good. Nomador refuses to acknowledge that I’m submitted the confirmation number I received.
Now, I suppose if I was really invested, I could contact them and see what’s up. It takes some doing but there is one of those dreaded forms that everyone hates filling out. Along with a warning that Nomador is swamped with messages so it might be some time to get back to you.
Although the website is generally in English, many housesitting jobs are posted in French. Not helpful for someone who took Grade 8 French for a semester and hated it. And we’re not talking housesitting positions in France. I’ve seen ads written in French for the USA and Spain, though there is a Google translator available to tap on.
Right now, Nomador is a pass for me.
Another housesitting website I was keeping an eye on was Housesitters UK. This is another site where it’s free for the homeowner to post an ad but it costs the housesitter to create a profile.
Anyone can view the house ads for free, but in order to apply to a housesit, a membership is needed. It costs £29 (pounds – British currency) for a one year membership. This worked out to just under $50 Canadian dollars.
I’d been checking out the site for awhile and one day I saw a housesitting position I wanted to apply for. The housesit, with a dog, was in the Dulwich area of London, where my aunt and uncle lived. I’ve spent time here and am comfortable getting on trains and buses or the “tube” – London’s subway system.
The housesit was from July 23 to August 23. Perfect dates for me to get acclimatized in Europe before heading to Spain for three months.
I paid my money, got my profile up, and sent an application. The homeowner responded that she’d just confirmed the housesit with someone who’d applied the day before me. This is London. A very popular part of the world for housesitters to find a gig.
When setting up my profile I also set up alerts, dates before and after the Camino. Immediately I got a hit for a housesit in Folkestone – where the ferries used to cross the English channel to France. The housesit ad had just been placed, to take care of the house and two cats. I sent an application, emailed back and forth a bit, and did a video chat with the homeowners who will be on vacation from mid-December to the end of January, 2024.
Yes! They offered me the housesit! I was thrilled.
If you’re interested in signing up for Housesitters UK, use my referral code A3K93Y. You will receive £5 off your membership and I’ll get £5 off my renewal.
With my first housesit lined up, I was now able to work backwards with dates to be in Spain. A tourist visa is for three months, so that means I’ll be heading to Spain mid-September and staying until mid-December.
Now I need to get myself to England before traveling to Spain so I’m on the continent, getting used to a new time zone, and beginning my retirement.
Then a houseowner in Somerset, southern England, contacted me directly. And yes, this often happens that a homeowner will look at housesitter profiles and make contact that way. I’ve been contacted by a few UK homeowners, but unfortunately their dates didn’t work out for me.
Back to Somerset.
This would be a sit for three dogs and I don’t recall if there are cats, but I don’t think so. Doesn’t matter. The homeowner has two dogs, both rescues. Her daughter is joining her on vacation and bringing her French bulldog over for the sit.
And the dates are late August to mid-September. I have found my housesit prior to going to Spain!
The resignation housesit
I have two housesits lined up before and after Spain.
I’d really like to find an earlier housesit, beginning the second half of July.
Because I’ll be resigning from my job and beginning a retirement where house and pet sitting will be a big part of my life. And I’m eager to get started!
I’ve applied for a few earlier housesits without success. Last week when I returned from Oregon, I applied to a housesit in London that includes taking care of an older dog from late July to mid-August.
I heard back from the homeowner who loves my profile! She says she’s waiting for her husband to return from a business trip to make a decision together. Over the next couple of days she wrote to say I’m on the short list. Then to say I’m on the top of the list and they’re still being overwhelmed with emails.
Then she sent an email offering me the housesit! The following morning we did a video chat. This couple are amazing. They’re going to pick me up at the airport and have offered to buy groceries for me, and asking what I like to eat. I plan to arrive in London about three days before they leave for vacation. They don’t have room for me in the house while they and their kids are there, but they offered to pay for my hotel!
However, I declined and said I can handle that and asked for some recommendations near them. But they still want to pay for half. Very, very generous people!
This is great for me because I can spend time alone unwinding from jet lag, visit their house and learn about the routine, and then take the Tube to do some tourist things before the housesit begins.
I’ve been on vacation this past week, but a few hours after the video chat I emailed my resignation to my job.
I need one more housesit
Right now I’m looking for one more housesit. I will have about one free week between London and Somerset.
I’m looking for a housesit close to one of those two, so geographically, London or Southern England.
I’m pretty sure I will fill in the gap with a housesit. It’s still two months away and housesitting ads are going up all the time.
Edited June 27, 2023: yes, the inbetween housesit has been confirmed in Bristol!
What about 2024?
I will be available for housesitting jobs in other countries in 2024. After I finish the Folkestone sit, I plan to go to Scotland for a bit. Which means I’ll be keeping my eye out for housesits in Scotland.
Every time I can housesit, I’m saving money on staying at a hotel.
For 2024, after leaving the UK, I’ll be looking for longer term housesits, at least a month or longer. I’m also looking to spend time in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, and possibly Belize, whether I’m paying for an apartment or lucky enough to find a housesit.
Arranging housesitting positions
On these housesitting websites, getting reviews from homeowners is a big deal. It means that other homeowners can see that others recommend me. That’s why I’m OK starting off in the UK with shorter housesits to build up good reviews.
To recap my upcoming British housesitting adventures:
July 26 to August 17 – London
July 18 to 25 – Bristol
August 28 to September 14 – Somerset
December 15 to January 27 – Folkestone
I’ll update this post once I have that gap filled in or if I find a housesitting job in Scotland in February.
If you’ve never traveled to England before, it’s a very expensive country. As you can see by all my dates, I’ll be discovering new parts of the country. And not paying for hotels!
The £29 registration fee was really worth it to me.
If saving money while traveling appeals to you, you might want to look into house and pet sitting. Obviously there are no guarantees you’ll be offered a housesit after paying a registration fee. You just have to keep watching for new housesit offers and applying right away.
Now all that’s left for me to do is book and pay for my flight to London. Luckily there are several flights departing daily from Vancouver.
Unluckily for me, I’ll be flying at the peak of summer travel season when the fares are high.
At least my plans are coming together.
Published by Cheryl @ The Lifestyle Digs on June 4, 2023 and edited on June 27, 2023.