Should You House Sit As A Family?

Can I House Sit with my family?

And the short answer is: Yes! Absolutely. 

Lots of House Sits out there are luxurious House Sits and/or House Sits for family homes - either way there is plenty of room for you and your family. 

Our favourite House Sitting Website - Trusted Housesitters actually has a section that states whether families are welcome in the homes, this is very useful and you can see up front whether you and your family can have free accommodation in that house.

Lots of people become house sitters to gain free accommodation anywhere in the world, and this is especially important for travelling families - more members means higher hotel costs! 

But what about our own personal experiences House Sitting as a family? 

Now, despite being together since 2006, and despite Tanbay's mums constant hints that we should have babies, we remain childless (children hate me). But that's not going to stop us House Sitting with a  family!

We House Sat with my family in Malvern, England! We found a lovely couple with a great house - very big and fancy with a cool 'granny flat' beneath. (A granny flat is a self contained smaller section of a house, usually used to look after your granny when she's too old to be left on her own for too long, but still too independent to go to an old people's home. Granny flats are becoming more and more used as a guest flats as well.)

My mum and her partner stayed in the main house and Tanbay and I took the flat. It was a great set-up because we could enjoy each other's company in the main house, but didn't have to wait for ages to use the shower (as we had our own one). It also meant that we could cook meals separately if we felt so inclined (which we didn't).  Furthermore, having our own living room and TV meant that Tanbay and I could watch classics like "The Grinch", "Elf" and "Home Alone" without my mum scolding me for watching rubbish and then forcing me to watch a worthwhile, artistic, 'makes you think' film (invariably with subtitles) ;)

Apart from having our own space (which everyone needs at Christmas), there was also a log fire, incredible views from the dinning room and an enormous organically reared (by next door) Turkey.

What were the other benefits?



You might well know by now that we LOVE dogs. These two boys were no exception. They look a bit windswept in this photo because we were on top of the Malvern Hills. This was the first time that Tanbay and I have looked after Labradors and this breed has gone straight to the list of dogs we love. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, we enjoy walking but we don't find we do it much unless we're looking after dogs. We enjoyed walking these guys immensely, though we did get stuck in the mud a fair few times..

Walking dogs on Christmas day is such a great family activity, but it's something that we wouldn't have done if we hadn't been House Sitting because none of us own a dog!


english poultry

We'd learnt on our Berlin House Sit and our First House Sit in England that looking after chickens is great. They aren't too much hassle and they make you eggs! This was the first time that we'd looked after a cockerel and ducks though. These were pretty easy too (though ducks are messy and cockerels don't lay eggs).

On an insanely windy day the chicken hut blew open. Luckily my mum saw it within moments of it happening and we all ran down to get them back in. It was actually quite fun and I can now add 'professional chicken catcher' to my résumé. Ha.

A beautiful relationship

horse malvern england

sheep malvern england

There was an easy going horse on this sit, although he was on 'our' property he actually belonged to next door who fed him, but we kept an eye on him too and enjoyed giving him carrots. His relationship with the sheep was lovely.

This sheep was meant to go with his friends to become a lamb chop, but they didn't have enough room for him in the van so they left him behind with our home owners. By the time they came back for him he had formed a beautiful bond with the horse. Unlikely animal friendships are one of my favourite things ever and this one was super. They eat together, hang out together and when the sheep feels threatened (anytime anyone or any dog goes in the field) he hides underneath the horse!!

The Malverns 

The Malvern Hills are a really beautiful part of England and we really enjoyed walking the dogs up there, especially on Christmas Day when strangers said 'Happy Christmas' to each other. 

malvern hills england

The views from the house were really lovely, especially at sunset and my mum and I amused ourselves by trying (and failing) to paint the wondrous scenes. 

Two dogs, seven chickens, six ducks, one cockerel, a massive house and a granny flat does sound like a lot of responsibility, but as there were four of us it was pretty easy! We made a great team with my mum and her partner, John, (the voluntarily early risers) walking the dogs in the morning, my mum and I (and usually Tanbay) walking the dogs in the afternoon, my mum's partner and Tanbay feeding/cleaning out the poultry and checking for eggs. And a combined effort on cleaning. It also meant that there were ample opportunities for some of us to leave the house for long periods of time (not usually possible when caring for dogs). 

We highly recommend House Sitting as a family, as a team the responsibility is shared and you get to stay in a wonderful place with people you love. 

P.S. The home owners were fully aware that there were four of us House Sitting for them! They even suggested that we invite other family/friends round whenever we liked. In fact one of the reasons they chose us was because they liked the idea of the house being used by a whole family at Christmas time. 

So what do you think? Will you be House Sitting with your family next Christmas?

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Travelling through the kyriarchy and weaselling our way out of the rat race - a female travel blogger writing about socially and politically conscious travelling.


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