Here is a little back story before you learn how to travel the world house sitting.
It was after a trip to Vietnam that was supposed to be a tour with Nikon for two weeks, that was the impetus for us to make the decision to become global nomads. At the time, my husband Dan had retired from dentistry, and we were living in the High Desert of California.
This two-week trip turned into nearly five months as we decided since we were "in the neighborhood", to visit the surrounding countries. Along with Vietnam, we visited Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Nepal, India then stopped over in Portugal and Spain before heading back to the states. We were bitten by the travel bug.
When we returned home, we looked at each other and both agreed, we were ready to take the permanent leap. Lucky for us, we had a good friend that stayed at our home during our entire adventure in Southeast Asia.
We realized that if we sold everything, and no longer had a home to maintain, we could travel within our retirement income. We had a slight delay as Covid hit but we were not deterred. We took the time to sell our belongings including our home. We had our own estate sale, which was a humbling experience to say the least.
We still maintain a 10x10 storage where we keep the things we could not part with. As soon as we were both vaccinated, we booked a flight to our first country, Croatia.
We have not looked back, It has now been 2 and ½ years and we are having the time of our lives. So far, we have visited Croatia, Lebanon, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Greece, Italy, Morocco, France, Turkey, Malta, England, Scotland, Wales, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.
One of the challenges we face in Europe is the Schengen. We can only spend 90 days in and then must leave for 90 days. Thanks to Brexit, the UK is now out of the Schengen. We travel slow, choose our itinerary based on places we would love to see but also try to visit on the shoulder seasons to keep things a bit more affordable.
Somewhere along the way we met someone who told us we should consider house sitting. We of course knew what that entailed as we had helped our family and friends with their homes and pet care over the years. In fact, one of the things we miss most about our new lifestyle is not having pets of our own.
We always have had dogs and cats in our lives. We learned about a site called Trusted House Sitters and it has been such a blessing! Each party whether you are looking for someone to look after your place and animals or someone who is looking to sit, pay an annual membership fee of about $150. The site is fantastic.
You can choose an area you would like to go in different countries and search for sits that meet your needs. There is truly not a better way to learn about a place than living in a local’s home.
We asked for a few letters of recommendation from family and friends that we helped in the past and it turns out your reviews from Airbnb can be considered too. We generally use Airbnb for our accommodations, so we had numerous 5-star reviews.
I looked at the site and found the most incredible looking place in Scotland and applied for the sit. It was for three weeks. It turned out it was for a Lord and Lady who were traveling to Italy and Spain on a family vacation. We got our first gig, and it was magnificent.
We looked after two amazing dogs, a yellow Lab, and a cockapoo. We fell in love with both. After this experience we were hooked and ended up only paying for nine nights of accommodation out of ninety in the UK.
We also stayed right in the heart of central London looking after an adorable cocker spaniel and then had another sit, just outside of London looking after two cats.
The whole concept is brilliant, two needs being fulfilled, a win-win situation. The best thing is that no money exchanges hands. You get a free place to stay and save on accommodation costs while the pet owners/ home owners have peace of mind, that there home and pets will be well taken care of by true animal lovers.
Pets much prefer to stay in their normal environment instead of being locked up in a kennel somewhere.
Obviously, the number one priority is the animals and home, but most sits allow you to take a couple hours to see the local area. As global nomads that is all we ever want to do anyway. It is a great way to see new destinations. It works our perfectly.
The process is easy, simply join the Trusted House Sitter App, fill out your profile, find a sit you are interested in, and apply. Make sure you read the requirements carefully. Some sits require you have a car, some pets may require medications or have certain requirements you need to be able to meet.
Some animals have special needs. Sometimes its not just dogs and cats but farm animals too. Be sure only apply where you know you can handle the job.
You should always have a zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp or Skype call to get to know each other before you commit to make sure you are a good fit. Commitment is key. The best part is as you sit more, you get more reviews and then people start reaching out to you to sit for them.
Obviously, you are responsible for your own travel costs and tourist visa if required while visiting a foreign country. For our journey as global nomads, house sitting and being pet sitters has been the best way to save money by not having to pay for a hotel room or airbnb on our own.
Although you get just free accommodation, it saves a ton of money. It is the best way to see new places and have a true local experience in a beautiful home. It truly is a great option. Our house sits so far has saved us so much money, in the thousands of dollars.
This year, the same sit we originally did in Scotland called us and asked if we would come back and sit again, of course we said yes. It was the ultimate compliment.
We had completely fallen in love with their two dogs, and their lovely home is beyond special. Not only that, but we have also become good friends from our first housesit and from subsequent sits as well. It is easy to make friends with like-minded people. We still keep in touch on social media.
In conclusion, I highly recommend house sitting for global or digital nomads who love animals. I am sure there are other companies that do the same thing, but I have never had to look further than Trusted House sitters to find what I was looking for.
If you are interested in my tips for being a true trusted house sitter and get five-star reviews, by going the extra mile, be sure to check out my article here.
We are blessed to be living our dreams. Some of our most cherished memories, in our global nomadic lifestyle, has been the lifelong friends we have met and their furry friends, through Trusted Housesitters. Be sure to check it out and thank me later.
If you would like to learn more about staying for free in other people's houses while taking care of their family pets, or interested in being a potential host while you go on your own vacation please check out Trusted House Sitters.
International house sitting is amazing, your first house sit could be right around the corner. If have questions do not hesitate to reach out.
Please note that this post may contain affiliate links in which I earn a small commission, but it does not affect your price. Rest assured, I only recommend products that I believe in.