11 Honest Reasons to Be a House Sitter

reasons to be a house sitter

Are you wondering if you should house sit? Or maybe you've just found out what house sitting is and you're wondering why the hell anyone would ever want to be a house sitter? Whatever the reason you're here, you're (probably) in the right place. I have been called a house sitting expert by the Daily Mail and I have been house sitting since 2013. I thus have many reasons I like house sitting, but I contained myself to just 7 (and then came back and added 4 more...) I hope you find this helpful :)

Why Do People House Sit?

#1 To Help Animals By Caring For Pets

why do people house sit

To be honest with you, "house sitting to help animals" initially wasn't the first reason I was interested in house sitting (see point #3), but as a long-term house sitter I now know that this, above all, is the most important reason to be a house sitter: to help animals by caring for pets. (Actually, there are house sits out there without pets, so if you're allergic / hate animals you will be able to find house sits for you, but many house sitters are required to also be pet sitters, and if you're required to be a pet sitter it's the most important duty, so it gets a spot at the top.)

Where was I? Pets. The majority of homeowners I've sat for list their number one reason for wanting a house sitter is that they want someone to care for their pets, or as they often put it, "fur babies". It's common knowledge now how horrible kennels are, but even if they weren't - a dog or a cat is almost always more comfortable in their own home + garden, in their own routine, than they are anywhere else (just like humans lol).

reasons to house sit

In my experience, the pets don't even notice their homeowners are gone - though they are of course very happy to see them again - why don't they notice then? Because house sitters stick to the pets' daily routine - they walk them at the same time and (where applicable) along the same route that they are used to, they feed the pets the same food at the pets' dinner times etc.

But it's not just cats and dogs that get house sitters. I've house sat chickens, horses, lizards, turtles, sheep and even the odd badger or two (random fact: they loved peanut butter sandwiches). All of these animals have two things in common: one they're actually (usually) easier to look after than cats and dogs, and two: they're not exactly welcome in kennels. For some pets there's no option other than house sitters.

So, if you love animals and want to help them by looking after them whilst their owners are away, house sitting might well be for you. You selfless devil you.

#2 To Get That Pet Fix

reasons to be a house sitter

Don't worry, there are less selfless reasons to want to be a house and pet sitter: if your dream is to travel the world full time, or long-term, or just as much as possible - the luxury of having pets is not something you can really have. Enter house sitting. Now you can be on the road anddd still have all the perks of sharing your space with an animal: the walks, the companionship, a flexible-enough-so-you-have-freedoms-but-not-so-flexible-you-fuck-up-your-sleep-pattern bedtime and waking time (so you can feed/walk) - all of these coincidentally are great for your mental health too. It's a win-win. And for people who've always wanted to have a pet but couldn't afford it - here's a way to have a pet for free (homeowners pay for the pet food, and any vet bills that *touch wood* won't be needed).

why you should house sit

So, if you want to travel the world but are worried about missing your number one home comfort (a furry friend), house sitting might be just what you're looking for. 

#3 House Sitting Is Free Accommodation

As promised above, here is the main reason I was interested in house sitting in the first place: no more paying for accommodation. Now, I use a house sitting website (THS) to find my house sitting jobs and there is a yearly sign-up for for that, but it works out at £0.24/day (or £0.12 when I share it with my bf)... Compare this to my life before house sitting of paying for rent, electricity, gas, water, wifi and council tax, where the idea of a mortgage was so unattainable I couldn't even entertain the idea.. You can see why I got into house sitting. Living rent free? Yes please. 

But it doesn't stop there. For many, rent and bills takes up such a large % of their pay-check they can't even imagine being able to go on holiday - how are they going to pay for hotels or hostels or airbnb? Enter house sitting. Suddenly it's not just your home country you can live rent free in, you can live anywhere in the world and pay no accommodation fees.. Living rent free AND world wide? Double yes please. 

#4 House Sitting Also Means Private Accommodation 

House sitting isn't the only way to get free accommodation: maybe you could live with your parents, maybe you could couchsurf, maybe you could live in one of those places in Holland where students get free accommodation for living with the elderly. BUT house sitting might well be the only way to have accommodation that's both free and private. Think about it. Even hostels (not free) can't offer you that. Even hotels can't (even if it's fancy enough for you to not hear your neighbours f**king, you still have to see them smirk about it at breakfast. I know all about this cos I'm the neighbour.) Yeah, house sitting means free, private accommodation. Yey.

#5 Promote Yourself and Be a Luxury House Sitter

Building on from those points, sure we all love free, private accommodation, but almost all houses out there that want sitting are nice houses, and many are luxurious. Now we all know Couchsurfing is free and fun! But with Couchsurfing chances are your accommodation isn't going to be very fancy. Maybe you'll be sleeping in a tent or a hammock:

i want to house sit

House sitting on the other hand, tends to give free accommodation that's a little more upmarket. Mansions with multiple swimming pools, for example:

luxury house sitting

I've also house sat homes with tennis courts, home gyms, nature reserves, deserted beaches around the corner, porches, home cinemas - you name it, I've house sat it.... 

reasons to be a house sitter

reasons to be a luxury house sitter

reasons to house sit abroad

but yeah, okay, not every house sit is straight out of a glossy magazine. We have sat some averages houses too, which takes me back to point one - free accommodation is free accommodation, and your average house is still better than a tent or a hammock. The houses we sit in the city have all been a bit less fancy because of their prime location.... oh no wait I take that back, the Berlin house sit we did was so fancy it had its own sauna:

reasons to house sit

#6 The House Sitting Perks

If living for free in private accommodation isn't enough for you, wait, it gets better: most homeowners treat you like an honoured guest. They pick you up from the airport / train station/ bus stop. They cook you a meal or two and leave you some food in the cupboards. All gladly received when travelling on a budget - and even when you're not! They also show you the area and the secret spots only the locals know:

trustedhousesitters discount code

Some homeowners go even further. We've had a few owners stock up for the apocalypse and tell us they will be very disappointed if we don't eat everything. Other than transport and food, most homeowners have treated us to awesome day trips which have included a visit to the Gold Coast theme parks, taking us fishing (before we were vegan lol) and taking us to places like the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary:

how to become a house sitter

Also before we were vegan lol.

But it can be more than day trips. As our Melbourne house sit was during Australia's 'winter', the lovely homeowners have insisted that we come back in the summer as guests to see it in the summer -for a month! Furthermore, one of our favourite homeowners in Australia insisted that we visit Kangaroo Island and stay in her apartment. An extraordinary trip we are so grateful for:

what is house sitting

#7 Experience How Real People Really Live Abroad 

It's great to get a real insight of local knowledge, they knew the best places to eat/go etc. and we really had a good look into how real people live. Aka not tourists. If you're looking for authentic meaningful travel, you've got to become a house sitter. 

#8 Travel With Local Insider knowledge 

Expanding from that, locals are always the best people to give you the insider knowledge - where to eat, where to visit, where to shop etc. They'll even help you with visiting the popular spots too - be it by giving you tips on when the best time to go is, or even by taking you there themselves!

#9 Being a House Sitter Gives You the Comforts of Being at Home

I can't stress this one enough, no matter how homely your hotel or hostel is, it will never be as homely as a real home. We had the laundry, a bed that hadn't been slept in by over a thousand people, we had all the kitchen utensils you could ever want, and silly little things like oil and salt and pepper. Everyone needs those but you don't want to be lugging them around from place to place. Not to mention having a routine! 

#10 House Sitting Takes You to Places You'd Have Probably Never Been To

Whilst we've done sits in popular places like Melbourne, Chiang Mai, Malaga, Berlin and Helsinki and Athens, we also went to many places that we'd never heard of before: Glen Osmond, Hopetoun, Newcastle, Ancona. These are all places we probably would have never gone to, but are so glad that we did:
i want to house sit
Australian Newcastle - a lot better than the English one

reasons to house sit

Bonus #11: Friends for life.

We've also made some great friends though house sitting, some of which will be our friends for life and all of which will be most welcome to stay with us. One couple is actually visiting Europe in November, and we plan to meet up with them then!

... So How Do I Become a House Sitter?

So do you want excellent, free accommodation and friends for life (both furry and human)? Do you want to travel the world in luxury on a shoestring budget? Still wondering why people house sit? Convinced and want to become a house sitter yet? Becoming a house sitter is easy - simply sign up to TrustedHousesitters, the house sitting website that we have got all 30+ house sits from. If you need more info, check out our full house sitting blog post: how to become a house sitterIf you have any questions about house sitting, leave us a comment! Also, I would like to share this video we made about house sitting with you guys -- enjoy! :)

P.S. Trustedhousesitters.com was kind enough to provide us and our readers with a 10% discount -- click on the link to use it!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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