Travel The World & Have A Free Place To Stay, Here’s How
By Kelsey Marie
A major money-saving travel hack that isn’t taken advantage of enough is house-sitting. The task of house-sitting allows you to have your accommodations covered when traveling to foreign cities. All you’re expected to do is care for the home, and sometimes pets, in exchange for a place to stay. This saves you a ton of money that could have been spent on hotels and Airbnbs.
Those who are interested in visiting areas for an extended period of time or are considering expat life, this may interest you. If so, here are 5 tips for finding house-sitting gigs when abroad:
Know What You Want
It’s important to have your preferences already figured out prior to searching for house-sitting gigs.
For example, if you know you’re not down to mow the lawn or do any extra cleaning, you should probably avoid homes with large yards or gardens.
The sooner you establish what you’re willing or not willing to do, the easier your search will be.
Have References Ready
Most homeowners aren’t going to want just any random stranger watching over their home while they’re gone, so have your references ready. Talk to your friends, family, and peers to ensure they’ll be ready to speak positively on your behalf.
If you’re an inexperienced house-sitter, having awesome references will go a long way in getting you that gig.
When talking to the homeowners, ask as many questions as you need to get full clarity. Often times we shy away from questions because we may not want to seem bothersome. However, your job as a house-sitter is to live in someone’s home and take care of it, so it’s vital you get every question answered before you accept the gig.
This is also a good opportunity to establish expectations with the homeowners and vice versa.
Some important questions to ask are:
How large are the house and yard?
What is the condition of the house?
How often would you like me to check-in with you?
Is there a camera in your house that will be recording?
Are you expecting deliveries while you’re gone?
Have A Video Call With The Homeowners
Before fully committing to the gig, request a video call with the homeowners. This way, you can get a visual tour of the home you’ll be staying in and establish a line of communication with the homeowners.
Treat The House Better Than Your Own
Remember that the homeowners are entrusting their property to you. Doing an excellent job can lead to more house-sitting gigs, so always treat the owner’s home with extreme care and respect.
Also, remember you aren’t staying in a luxury hotel and some homes may not come with all the amenities you’re accustomed to. Remember to keep the home spotless, respect your neighbors, and enjoy your stay.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie