Find out what house sitting is all about

Written by on September 10, 2018 in Holidays & Things to do

Solo house sitter in France at the front door of property she is caring for

Have you ever dreamed of travelling the world getting to really savour the best that each country has to offer? An authentic travel experience like house sitting is hard to beat. It enables you to travel pretty much everywhere including of course France, with the huge advantage of literally cutting out the accommodation costs. And while saving money is a huge residual benefit, regular house sitters really enjoy the experience more than anything because it allows you to live like a local. You step into the role of the home owner caring for their property and pets and enjoy life in their neighbourhood. Lamia Walker reveals what house sitting is all about…

What sort of people enjoy house sitting?

House sitting appeals to a wide range of people. At HouseSitMatch we have people from all over the world, retired and semi-retired professionals and sometimes younger professionals who work as they travel around the world. Digital nomads especially can work wherever they have WiFi access.

House sitting appeals to:

  • Those who love authentic travel experiences
  • Those who like travel and love animals
  • Those who seek local knowledge on where to go and what to see
  • Anyone travelling on a fixed budget
  • Anyone wanting to discover a new location to assess if you want to spend more time there

Is it hard work to house sit? Do you have to be there all day?

Each house sit is unique in terms of what is required. Some house sits need a light touch because the homeowners simply want a human presence to ensure that opportunist burglars are kept at bay. Others want you to feed their cat and keep their apartment clean and tidy. At Housesitmatch we also see assignments in remote locations with large gardens that need tending. The excitement in joining a house sitting network is you never know what opportunity might arise. It can be quite an adventure.

What is generally expected from a house sitter or is every house sit different?

Responsibilities and duties vary enormously between different housesitting assignments. Some house sits require to care for a single pet, perhaps a cat and to keep the property tidy and well maintained. Other properties might have more family pets, usually dogs and cats. Sometimes there are long term house sits and all you need to do is occupy the house or maybe ensure the cleaners and gardeners do a good job while the homeowners are away for 6 months at a time. Join a membership network and you can set up email alerts with details of what animals you like and where you want to go.

Do I get paid for house sitting?

For assignments found through the housesitting and petsitting is an exchange of services, so you don’t get paid. You offer your time and experience to care for someone’s pets and property and they in turn offer you free accommodation. It’s a win win!

What steps can I take to make sure this is the right house sit for me?

Check the details on the property and pets – Study the details of the advert to make sure you note all the important facts about the location and check that your experience is compatible with the pets and property. Some properties are old and characterful with challenging steps up and down throughout.  Or there may be hills to climb either to the local village. You may need a car to reach the shops or other local amenities.

Make contact with the owners to get to know each other – We also recommend that you organise a discussion with the homeowner so you can get to know each other to find out if you think you will get on. Also, it allows you to ask questions in real time.

Are their specialist skills required While some properties are easy to look after for a week or two, others have more responsibilities like pool maintenance or garden maintenance. Others have pets where specialist skills are needed, perhaps one of the pets is poorly and needs medication, or there are horses to care for. Check you understand what is required and details documented.

How does house sitting help me live like a local?

The joy of housesitting for some people is that you get to live like the locals, shopping in their markets, eating from the best local bakers or rural food producers following ancient recipes. Other people love to see all they can from within a region to get to know the location in depth.

Living like a local is now an established way to experience new locations, and housesitting offers a perfect way to savour local cuisine and produce, enjoy exquisite vistas that only the locals know where to find, and experience life in a real neighbourhood in a country that isn’t your own.

Vive le housesitting!

By Lamia Walker,


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