The right way to Get started Space Sitting in 2022

Sam, the lead researcher for Nomadic Matt, posing with a dog while house-sitting
Posted: 11/3/2022 | November third, 2022

Space sitting is without doubt one of the absolute best techniques to decrease your journey prices as a long-term traveler. That will help you be informed extra about dwelling sitting, our lead content material editor and researcher, Sam, stocks her guidelines and insights from years of touring the sector as a dwelling sitter.

For years, I lived the lifetime of many finances vacationers’ desires: touring full-time and residing rent-free in idyllic places, like the United States Virgin Islands; cosmopolitan towns, like NYC and London; vacationer scorching spots, like Granada, Spain; and lots of off-the-beaten-path puts, just like the forests of North Carolina.

I stayed in all places from luxurious condos with literal scorching tubs at the roof to solar-powered houses with out of doors showers.

I were given to hang around with the sweetest pets, from a cuddly kitten named Marshmallow to a hilarious parrot known as Sunshine.

I additionally made buddies with locals world wide, getting tips about the most efficient lesser-known puts to devour, and really residing like a resident in each and every vacation spot.

After I paint this image to fellow avid vacationers, the instant reaction is, “What a dream existence! How do I reside like that?!”

The solution is to deal with take a seat.

Space sitting is whilst you handle anyone’s pets and residential whilst they’re touring in alternate for lodging. No cash is exchanged between events, because it’s a mutually really useful association: you get a spot to stick for free of charge, and the landlord will get domestic and puppy care for free of charge. (I steer clear of the usage of the time period “unfastened lodging,” because it means that there’s no paintings concerned, which isn’t the case.)

Space sitting is gaining in recognition, however it’s nonetheless a little-known panorama for such a lot of vacationers. Whilst I’m most often met with pleasure once I talk about this matter with individuals who don’t seem to be acquainted with it, that still incessantly comes hand in hand with skepticism — and understandably so. There are numerous variables to imagine, and in case you’ve by no means met any individual who’s executed it ahead of, it may be simple to suppose that it sounds too just right to be true.

I’m right here to let you know that dwelling sitting so as to journey at a discounted value is actually possible. You’ll no longer handiest take away maximum lodging bills (you may nonetheless need to pay for an evening right here and there, relying on how lengthy you’re at the highway), but in addition hook up with locals anywhere you pass (the folks for whom you’re dwelling sitting), really feel a way of domestic at the highway, and incessantly get different perks as nicely, like a car to make use of.

The one prerequisite is that you just will have to love animals, as 99% of gigs contain puppy care. But when you’ll be able to do this, then you’re just right to move!

On this submit, I’m going to turn you the best way to get started dwelling sitting, so you’ll be able to be informed in regards to the procedure and spot what’s required ahead of leaping in and giving it a take a look at your self.

1. Resolve your targets and personal tastes

House sitter Sam and a cat posing for a fun photo
At this level, you could be worried to dive proper in, discover a gig, and hit the bottom operating. However I promise that you just’ll set your self up for a greater enjoy in case you take a while to decide what you need to get out of dwelling sitting.

Your targets will very much have an effect on the decisions you’re making alongside your own home sitting adventure, and whether or not you stroll away with a good enjoy. (As a result of sure, like with the rest travel-related, there’s all the time the potential of issues to move flawed — I’ll percentage the best way to decrease the possibility of this taking place later.)

It’s just about a for the reason that in case you’re concerned with dwelling sitting, your objective is to scale back your journey prices with the intention to journey extra and/or longer.

However do you need to deal with take a seat handiest in the neighborhood, or world wide? Are you scoping out puts the place you may sooner or later acquire a house, take a sabbatical, aspire to journey full-time, or just taking a look to scale back your prices on a weekend getaway?

Those are all not unusual causes. Take into consideration which of them follow to you.

For me, I sought after to increase my travels for so long as imaginable whilst freelance writing, rising my journey weblog and podcast, and seeing what it was once love to reside elsewhere world wide. I couldn’t have executed any of these items with out dwelling sitting, which decreased my prices so considerably (in any case, lodging is most often one’s greatest journey expenditure) that I may stay touring regardless of no longer incomes a lot cash but.

Along with your targets, take into consideration your personal tastes. Do you are feeling extra happy with canine or cats? Do you favor town or the nation-state? Do you will have an excellent duration of time that you need to spend in each and every position?

In an effort to paintings successfully at the highway whilst nonetheless attending to discover each and every position, I prioritized longer dwelling sits (round 1–3 months). I additionally choose city environments the place I will be able to discover on two ft or two wheels moderately than wanting a car, so I principally looked for gigs in towns.

Those are only some variables to help you slender down which alternatives you imagine. You’ll additionally most probably increase those personal tastes over the years as you determine what works right for you.
 

2. Join a web page

If you happen to’re eager about dwelling sitting, your first order of commercial is to enroll in a web page. Those platforms attach puppy house owners and dwelling sitters to prepare mutually really useful remains. They’re the perfect and maximum direct approach to get started.

Puppy house owners post listings with their location, the dates they want a dwelling sitter, their pets and form of care wanted, any domestic care wanted, and (preferably) pictures in their domestic and pets. Possible dwelling sitters create profiles list their enjoy, references, why they need to dwelling take a seat, pictures, and every other main points they need to come with.

Space sitters reply to alternatives that they’re concerned with (puppy house owners too can achieve out to deal with sitters privately), sparking a dialog that can sooner or later result in each events coming to an settlement.

Maximum web pages function on a club foundation, which means that participants will have to pay a rate to be part of the neighborhood and in an effort to prepare gigs.

Many would-be dwelling sitters cringe on the thought of paying a annually club rate for those web pages. Isn’t dwelling sitting meant to be unfastened?

However whilst you take into consideration the amount of cash that you’ll want to save, it’s a no brainer. Even the costliest web page, TrustedHousesitters, nonetheless handiest prices the an identical of a few nights of lodging. You handiest need to do one keep according to 12 months to recoup your prices, and likelihood is that that you just’ll be doing much more than that, whilst an occasional dwelling sitter.

There are a selection of web pages to choose between, however the principle ones are those:

1. TrustedHousesitters.com (begins at $129 USD/12 months) – That is the largest such web page international, with hundreds of lively listings all over the globe. It began and is based totally in the United Kingdom, so that you’ll in finding the best possible choice of gigs there, despite the fact that Europe, the United States, and Australia also are nicely represented. In case you are open to house-sitting any place on the planet, that is the website online to make a choice. You’ll learn my evaluate right here if you wish to be informed extra.

2. Nomador.com ($99 USD/12 months) – Nomador facilities on alternatives in Europe (most commonly France), despite the fact that you’ll be able to additionally every so often in finding some in the United States and Australia too. There’s a unfastened “Discovery” choice, so you’ll be able to have a look at what’s to be had, in addition to a “Stopovers” function, which is like Couchsurfing, so you’ll be able to discover a position to stick with participants of the Nomador neighborhood between your gigs.

3. MindMyHouse.com ($20 USD/12 months) – This website online has a low rate to enroll in, a good choice of listings (essentially in North The united states and Europe), and a well-laid-out web page.

Along with the above web pages that duvet more than one international locations, there also are country-specific ones, corresponding to Space Sitters The united states, Space Sitters UK, Space Sitters Canada, and so on. If you happen to’re handiest concerned with dwelling sitting in a selected locale, those web pages most often have manner much less festival than the larger avid gamers, making it more straightforward to get your first gig. In addition they have decrease annual club prices, making it a extra palatable selection for purchasing your ft rainy.
 

3. Create your profile

Sam Anthony's profile on Trusted Housesitters

While you’ve signed up for a web page, it’s time to create your profile. Above is an instance from my TrustedHousesitters account.

Your own home-sitting profile is like your résumé. That is the place puppy house owners glance to be informed extra about you, and it’s very important to element any and all pet-care enjoy you will have. Have you ever executed any house- or pet-sitting for family and friends? Many of us have seemed in on a neighbor’s cat whilst they had been away or taken a circle of relatives member’s canine on walks.

Come with the rest you’ll be able to to turn the breadth of your pet-care enjoy (despite the fact that in fact be truthful). Any related home-care enjoy or different talents (corresponding to in case you talk every other language) are value bringing up right here as nicely.

You’ll additionally need to come with somewhat about your self, with details about why you need to deal with take a seat, what you love to spend time doing, and anything, in an effort to paint a portrait of your self.

In any case, make a choice some pictures of you (preferably with pets) to spherical out your profile, in order that the house owners can see who you’re!
 

4. Ask for references

Sam, the lead researcher for Nomadic Matt, posing with a cat while house sitting abroad
Now that you just’ve stuffed out your profile, it’s time to hunt references to improve your profile.

While you get started dwelling sitting thru those web pages, you’ll get “local” references appearing that the gig was once organized throughout the web page, expanding your consider issue for other people you may dwelling take a seat for someday.

However maximum web pages additionally assist you to get “exterior” references to turn that you just’re a devoted individual ahead of your first “authentic” gig. Preferably, you’ll have executed some more or less pet-sitting ahead of and will ask those other people to supply a reference. However references too can come from paintings colleagues, a landlord, or any individual else that may talk for your accountable personality.

Those references are key at first, as being vouched for generally is a tough consider indicator. Don’t skip this step!
 

5. Browse and follow for dwelling sitting gigs

A dog and a car chilling in a cozy living room together during a house sit
So that you’re all arrange along with your profile and references stuffed out. Now comes the thrilling section: surfing for and making use of for gigs!

Spend a while taking a look throughout the listings at the web page(s) you’ve joined. If you happen to in finding one who sounds just right to you — and also you’re to be had for the time period — don’t hesitate to use! Gigs, particularly in fascinating spaces, can pass in no time, so don’t dawdle in case you’ve discovered one that you just’re concerned with.

Keep in mind: An utility isn’t an settlement to deal with take a seat; it’s merely a commentary of pastime.

For your message to the puppy proprietor, come with somewhat about why you’re , spotlight your related enjoy, and point out that you just’d like to arrange a time to speak additional in regards to the alternative. You don’t wish to write an essay right here, simply sufficient to pique their pastime and feature them have a look at your profile for more info.
 

6. Organize a video chat

When you could be so excited to begin that you would be able to need to comply with a possibility as quickly because it’s presented to you, don’t skip this essential step. In a handy guide a rough video name, each events can ask inquiries to make sure that everyone seems to be at the identical web page and that the association is a great have compatibility.

As a dwelling sitter, you’ll need to ask questions on puppy and residential care to make sure that you’ll be able to (and need) to do it, in addition to the instant space round the home or condominium, domestic facilities (all the time ask about Wi-Fi!), and anything that you just’re itching to grasp.

Each and every unmarried time that I listen of a dwelling sitting gig long past flawed (whilst it’s uncommon, it does occur), it’s because of mismatched expectancies that most often will have been have shyed away from with a right away and truthful preliminary dialog.

I completely by no means agree to deal with take a seat with out a video name. This can be a private selection, and a few other people do forgo this step, however it hasn’t ever urged me flawed prior to now, and for my part, I’d moderately be secure than sorry. A video name takes 20-Half-hour and does wonders for placing each events comfy — and getting enthusiastic about the gig!

After years in a plague, we’re all acquainted (possibly too acquainted) with Zoom in this day and age, so there may be (individually) no reason each events shouldn’t be in a position to take a seat down face-to-face for a short lived dialog.

Some issues that you may need to ask within the video chat step above and/or main as much as the gig come with the next:

  • What’s the pet-care regimen (e.g., when foods are, if walks are wanted, and so on.)?
  • Are there any quirks in regards to the pets that you just must find out about (e.g., for canine, how do they do on walks round different canine, and so on.)?
  • Do they’ve a standard vet (and what’s the process, together with fee, if a puppy wishes to move)?
  • What’s the community like?
  • What are the puppy house owners’ departure and arrival occasions? Do they would like you to come back the night time ahead of they go away or at the day of departure?

That is only a beginning listing of a few fundamentals, however when you’ve got particular wishes or questions, you should definitely ask them. You don’t need to be left questioning and studying one thing essential after you get there.
 

7. Comply with the gig

Assuming all has long past nicely within the above steps, it’s time to agree to deal with take a seat!

Just remember to accomplish that throughout the web page that you just’ve hooked up on, for a few causes. Many web pages have coverage that kicks in must one thing pass flawed, however provided that you’ve showed the gig throughout the web page.

Coverage for dwelling sitters and house owners varies by means of web page (test the superb print of the only you join) however can come with injury coverage (you by accident drop a dear glass) and take a seat coverage insurance coverage (which will assist duvet nightly puppy care or lodging prices if the gig will get canceled on the ultimate minute).

You’ll additionally need in an effort to ask for on-platform references after you’ve effectively finished the activity. You’ll handiest get the ones by means of confirming the gig throughout the house-sitting web page.

And as soon as the whole thing is showed, don’t hesitate to be in contact. When you have any further questions or issues, ask them! Direct and truthful conversation is vital to a hit dwelling sitting, so don’t be shy.
 

8. Have an implausible time

A cat resting on a pile of packing cubes during a house sitting experience
Whilst dwelling sitting is a large duty, consider why you’re doing this within the first position — to discover a brand new position and feature amusing!

That being stated, all the time honor your dedication. Don’t again out on the ultimate minute since you discovered a extra glamorous gig in other places, you modified your journey plans on a whim or anything that’s no longer a sound emergency.

If you wish to keep spontaneous at the highway, then dwelling sitting isn’t a just right choice — or no less than no longer always. Whilst some vacationers do that full-time, the overwhelming majority don’t. Some nomads combine during periods of dwelling sitting between different extra versatile lodging choices, whilst others aren’t nomadic in any respect and easily dwelling take a seat to experience a distinct, extra inexpensive manner of touring.

To find out what works for you and create your personal ultimate journey taste.
 

9. Apply up by means of requesting a evaluate

A Trusted Housesitters review example

After each and every gig (however particularly as you’re first getting began), don’t omit to invite for a evaluate.

It’s very important to construct your portfolio of references, as this makes you a extra devoted and aggressive candidate for the following alternatives that you just follow for. Give the oldsters you house-sat for a while to settle again in from their go back and forth, and in the event that they haven’t submitted a evaluate after every week, ship alongside a steady reminder that it’d be very much preferred if they may go away a handy guide a rough evaluate.

Most householders don’t understand how essential those opinions are to deal with sitters however are more than pleased to assist whilst you ask them for one.
 

10. Mirror, rinse, and repeat

Each and every gig is a finding out enjoy, and this is going double whilst you’re first beginning out. Take inventory of what labored and if there was once the rest that didn’t. This will likely allow you to refine your method for the long run with the intention to luckily house-sit for so long as you need!

***

Space sitting can also be a fantastic approach to journey at a discounted value, make new buddies (each human and bushy), and spot the sector another way. Whilst it does include some making plans and a substantial amount of duty, the rewards can also be massive. With the following tips, you’ve already were given a leg up.

Glad house-sitting!

Click on right here to enroll in TrustedHousesitters nowadays!

 
Sam Anthony is a content material researcher and editor at Nomadic Matt. She is co-founder of Choice Vacationers, a journey weblog occupied with choice approaches to journey, and has co-authored two books: The Space Sitting Guide: The right way to Are living Your Dream Lifestyles Thru Space Sitting and The Madrid Vegan Guidebook. She’s based totally in Buffalo, New York, and when she’s no longer touring can most often be discovered both rock mountaineering or biking.

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