Tyler and I have enjoyed our year of traveling all over the world, and we’ve gotten lots of questions about how to do it. Housesitting has been perhaps the biggest way we’ve made this dream happen, so here are 10 reasons we think you should housesit too!
1. Free Accommodation
The rest of my list may not really be in order of importance, but I feel like this one deserves to be at the top. If you’re looking into long-term travel, housesitting is perfect precisely because it offers you a way out of a gigantic accommodation budget. You can see the proof yourself in our breakdown of expenses from our first five months of travel in Europe. Not all housesitting gigs are equal– some longterm jobs ask for you to cover utilities– but all the ones we took were free of cost on our end. Of course, it was also free of cost on the homeowner’s end, so we weren’t paid either. Fair exchange in our opinion though!
2. Save Money in Other Areas
To continue the theme, we found housesitting to be profitable in a few other creative ways. Instead of eating out every single meal, Tyler was able to cook gourmet meals in our “own home” to save a bit on the food budget as well. And many homeowners encourage you to use their kitchen staples or eat from their vegetable gardens, so that’s even more money saved. We also saved some money from the transportation budget because we either had use of the homeowner’s car or we were situated in a neighborhood– versus a touristy city center– so we had easy walking access to grocery stores, restaurants, parks, etc.
3. Pet Snuggling
We are both huge animal people, and for most housesitting arrangements, this is a must! All but one of our housesits involved caring for family pets, and it was truly a joy for us. I’ve missed my cat from back home while traveling, but it’s always a good stand-in to snuggle with someone else’s kitty or puppy dog. To give you a dose of virtual animal snuggling, I’m including some photos of our pups from KL, our longest housesit of the year. We spent three months bonding with MJ and Halle and they were the cutest things ever!
4. Make New Friends
Traveling longterm is amazing and certainly brings its share of perks, but it is also a lonely way of life. If you want to become part of a community along the way, you can certainly find housesits that meet this need! Not all house sits are long enough to really get to know people in town, but the ball is completely in your court when you are searching for jobs that meet your criteria.
5. Networking for the Future
I grew up traveling all over the world visiting my parents’ family and friends. Tyler and I are excited that now that we’re growing older and forming our own family, we can make our own friends and acquaintances worldwide. Through housesitting, we’ve formed relationships that will be invaluable if we ever decide to permanently relocate to another country, or even for future vacations when we revisit cities we loved during this year.
6. Perfect for Location-Independent Jobs
The “digital nomad” is the new flex-schedule employee. With the world operating more and more online these days, many jobs can be performed from anywhere in the world where you get a wifi signal. While we didn’t support ourselves with a full-time income this year– it was all through savings– we do have friends who travel longterm this way. Housesitting partners perfectly with freelancing or location-independent work because it gives you extra wiggle room in your budget, allowing you to work less hours or for less money.
7. “Try On” Living Somewhere New… Risk-Free!
This isn’t a factor for some housesitters, but for Tyler and I, housesits are a chance to explore a potential future hometown. Whether this is in a new country or just a new city one state over, housesitting is a great opportunity to see what life is like somewhere new. We never would have known how much I loved London suburban living if we hadn’t have spent a month there this fall. And we never in a million years would have ever considered Malaysia as a desirable choice for our family if we hadn’t have spent three months there this spring. But in both cases, we went without the pressure of already having committed to a job, house, or other obligation. That’s what made it easier for us to enjoy small-town life in England when we realized it wasn’t for us longterm, but we could take it for what it was– a nice countryside vacation for just two weeks.
8. Slow Pace of Life
Again, this will vary from housesit to housesit, but we purposely chose arrangements that were no shorter than two weeks. We think this is a huge perk of housesitting– slow pace of travel life! If you like taking time to soak in a country’s culture, a city’s backstreets, and a neighborhood’s hidden restaurant treasures… you should housesit. It’s the best way to fight off overwhelm and travel fatigue when you’re on the road longterm.
9. Get to Know the Culture from a Different Perspective
This runs right on the heels of my last point. Having more time certainly allows deeper insight into a culture. But also, being positioned in a neighborhood with regular city residents allows you to see what life is really like. Shopping at the local grocery store gives you a shockingly distinct look at culinary customs and priorities. Strolling through the park– and perhaps stopping to sit on a bench to people-watch for a bit– reveals not only popular attire but also the standard of interaction between friends, family, and strangers. Housesitting also often results in a relationship with the homeowner, and all but one of our homeowners have enthusiastically taken us out to eat or to visit new parts of town either before or after their trips. This is a great way to get a local’s perspective!
10. Keep Living Your Normal Life… Somewhere Else!
At the end of the day, Tyler and I describe ourselves as “homebody travelers”. We’d like to be super adventurous in our day trips, or cross all the top ten tourist sites off the list in each city, or master a new speciality skill from each culture. But instead, we spend a lot of time at home on the couch, or walking around the neighborhood park, or checking out the same museum twice, or getting together with friends for dinner or ice cream. Which is pretty much our life at home. And we love it! We’ve found housesitting to be the perfect avenue to keep us feeling like we’re “at home” anywhere in the world!
If you think housesitting sounds like the perfect fit for you too, or you have a home that you’d like well looked after while you’re away, we recommend the company we’ve used this year, Trusted Housesitters.
I promise this isn’t a sponsored post… we just believe all the things I wrote about why you should housesit! Trusted Housesitters make the process simple and secure. It’s a paid membership site so you can be sure both homeowners and housesitters are legitimate and committed to finding/providing quality care. Customer service is also available 24/7 if you have any questions or concerns along the way. We would love to provide further feedback on our experience with this company if you email us any questions.
Signing up via our affiliate link before August 15th will get you 20% off your membership!