How to Become a House Sitter and Never Pay for Accommodation

A lot of readers were interested in learning more about house-sitting (watching people’s houses while they’re away in exchange for free accommodation). I’ve never done it, but Dalene and Pete from Hecktic Travels do it all the time, so I brought them in to talk more about the subject. Enjoy!

As I write this, I’m sitting in a comfortable leather recliner in front of three large bay windows. In my view are tall pines covered in healthy green moss, as well as shimmering water from a nearby lake. An old, chubby gray cat — the king of this log cabin — warms my feet.

This is my home for three months, and my husband and I are living here for free. We pay no rent or utilities, and we have a vehicle at our disposal.

We are house-sitting.

We travel around the world taking care of pets and homes while their owners are off on their own travels. Not only does it keep our costs extremely low but it also gives us an intimate experience in a new locale and complete immersion in the neighborhood.

The majority of our last three years traveling have been spent house-sitting, saving us well over $30,000 in accommodation costs and affording us an incredible set of travel experiences we might never had enjoyed otherwise.

But this way of travel isn’t just for long-term nomads like us; opportunities are available for all types of travelers. House-sitting jobs range from weekends to years in length; our shortest house-sit was nine days and our longest was six months.

A 10th century manor house-sit in Ireland

The benefits don’t stop at the savings on accommodations! The worldwide house-sitting community is full of like-minded travelers and adorable pets. We’ve made lifelong friends with eight dogs, nine cats, four chickens, and sixteen humans (homeowners). It is by far our preferred method of traveling for many reasons:

We can travel at a slow pace. Spending only a few days in every city on the prescribed tourist trail may seem like a great way to see the world, but taking on a house-sitting job will give you an entirely different experience and allow you to catch your breath while on the road. Try actually unpacking for once, making your own coffee in the morning just the way you like it, and cuddling up with pets at the end of the day. It’s like being at home, while away.

More savings! Not only will you save big bucks by slashing your accommodation expenses but you will also cut your food budget by cooking for yourself. Start your day with breakfast and lunch at home and pocket those savings or splurge on a big dinner! (Just make sure to schedule your outings around the pet’s schedule.)

Plus, if you’re considering a move, finding a house-sitting opportunity in your desired location will help you really get a feel for what it might be like to live there.


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