Dundee Trusted House Sitters View

What it’s Like to be a Part of Trusted House Sitters

At the beginning of July, I signed up for Trusted House Sitters. I’ve already had two assignments, both of which were far better than I had hoped. That’s an understatement, since I went to them with high expectations.

Trusted House Sitters is a website you can join in order to house sit for people who have animals they plan to leave behind while they take a vacation. Membership is $119 for a year, which gives you unlimited applications for house sits. However, if you click any of the website links on this page, you’ll receive a 20% discount on your first year!

As I write this post, there are nearly 1500 house sits available around the world. More than a third of them are in the United Kingdom, where the website is most popular. Other locations only have one or two, where people are just finding out about it. You’ll just have to check out where you want to go and see what is available, and for when.

House sits are posted several months in advance in some cases, but others are posted last-minute. Some get a handful of applications, while others might not have any. As with any application site, you just have to send your requests and hope for the best.

In the past three months, I’ve sent out nine requests and had five responses, two of which accepted me and three who had just accepted someone else. That’s much better odds than I’ve had on other sites.

Along with Couchsurfing and Workaway, Trusted House Sitters makes up the Holy Trinity for unique and wonderful accommodations suitable for budget travelers. Each has its benefits. As much as I love meeting locals on Couchsurfing, or exchanging for my bed and board on WorkawayTrusted House Sitters just might be my favorite, and for a very simple reason.

You get to pet sit!

It might be something as simple as a single dog or cat. It might be a handful of either, or a combination of both. You might be looking after chickens, geese or donkeys. Some have snakes, others have fish. There is even a small handful just looking for people to water the plants. Basically there is one major requirement for using Trusted House Sitters, other than flexibility with location and schedules.

You have to love animals. I know I sure do!

My first house sit was in the Scottish countryside outside Dundee for the first two weeks of August. Linda was leaving down to London for volunteer work, and needed someone to take care of her two old dogs. One was a Jack Russell and the other was a Bearded Collie. They were nearing the end of their lifespan, and my host even commented that it wouldn’t be unexpected if the Beardie wasn’t around when she got back. What was truly unexpected was the level of exchange received from Linda. I don’t want to set any false standards here for house sitting, but suffice to say, some hosts really take care of you!

The dogs weren’t up to taking walks in the countryside, but I went on them myself. I also got to go down to St. Andrews with the vehicle she left for me to see the oldest golf course in the world, and make a couple trips down to Dundee, where I was dealing with various medical problems. Mostly I just stayed at the house, which was absolutely gorgeous!

Trusted House Sitters

Then at the end of September, I was accepted at a house sit in central England less than an hour away from Luton airport, where I picked my dad up for the beginning of his own international adventures. We only stayed four days at this location, but watching the year-and-a-half-old Terrier was an absolute joy. Holly, the dog, had unlimited energy. She just couldn’t get enough of retrieving the tennis ball in the backyard, or going for walks in the surrounding fields where Alpaca grazed.

By far the best part of that house sit was when Holly would jump on my bed at night and crawl under the covers with me to snuggle in my arms!

House Sitting Holly

I’ll be in Edinburgh for the next couple months, but then I can’t wait to get out to other locations in the world to find more animals to take care of. As I said, this has rapidly become my favorite way to travel the world!

At the beginning of July, I signed up for Trusted House Sitters. I've already had two assignments, both of which were far better than I had hoped. That's an understatement, since I went to them with high expectations. Trusted House Sitters is a website you can join in order to house sit for people who have animals they plan to leave behind while they take a vacation. Membership is $119 for a year, which gives you unlimited applications for house sits. However, if you click any of the website links on this page, you'll receive a 20% discount on your first…

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24 comments

  1. This is absolutely the best of both worlds. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Well to be honest I had never thought of pet sitting as a way to travel, it surely is an interesting idea! I love animals and I would for sure enjoy this. The sharing economy is getting more and more creative and it’s great because we get unique opportunities and experiences in return.

  3. So Darcee & I have been exploring the House Sitting Pet Sitting gig cause we love travelling long periods and this would save us tons of $$ but we keep getting denied cause we dont have experience yet we cant get experience unless someone gives us a chance. It is very frustrating, like that resume job thing…but we keep trying cause I would love to work a farm or watch dogs in some awesome place in exchange for being close to the actions

  4. My cat sleeps just the way that Holly does! I rely on neighbours and occasionally on the local cat sanctury who will cat sit for a donation when I travel. Those of my London friends who travel tend to use ‘borrow my doggie’ – but house sitting is both a way to see the world and a way to have some company while you do…great idea!

    • I’ll have to check out Borrow My Doggie. I know House Sitting UK, and there are a bunch of smaller ones. Yeah, I’m one of those really strange people who loves sleeping with pets…with reason. It’s nice when they just curl up at the foot of the bed. I was expected to have the dogs in my room at a recent house sit in Brighton, but I finally had to kick them out because they snored too loud! LOL

  5. I didn’t realize that you had to pay to be a member on the site, but I understand that. This is especially great if you travel a ton. Such cute pups!

    • Thanks. I know there are a few sites, and some have cheaper membership fees, but fewer options as well. I think the problem with Trusted House Sitters is that both hosts and sitters have to pay.

  6. I love pets but I am not really sure if i can do this. Housesitting is lesser of a responsibility for me as I at least don’t upset a living thing. I guess, maybe because I haven’t tried this out.

    • It really comes down to what animals you have to watch. Sometimes you can find cats that need almost no attention other than feeding twice a day. I’ve also seen house sits that only required someone to water the plants!

  7. What beautiful dogs! I love housesitting, though haven’t done it internationally – mainly around my local area for friends and friends of friends when I was in university and still living at home. But I know so many people who house sit as they travel and it sounds like an incredible opportunity. Trusted housesitters is a name which pops up time and time again, so they’re the first place I would start if I had the chance to jump in 🙂

    • Yeah, I’ve now been able to get opportunities without the website just through friends, but Trusted House Sitters is great if you’re going to new countries…if they have house sits there. Some countries are still relatively new to house sitting. SE Asians in general don’t like anyone but family watching their homes.

  8. We travel in a mobile house, but sometimes we like to spread out a bit. We have occasionally rented short term apartments, but we are just getting interested in the idea of housesitting. Your post is very timely. Thanks.

    • I’m really jealous of that mobile home! That’s what I want. In the meantime, I’m not allowed to have animals at my flat in Edinburgh, so house sitting is also a way to satisfy my pet craving.

  9. I’ve heard about this and I think it a great option for digital nomads and those seeking to slow travel or stay someplace for a long time. However, I don’t its something for me for 2 reasons. 1. I’ve been to a lot of places but never stayed longer than a week. 2. I have issues taking care of plants I’m not sure I would want to take care of someone beloved pet…lol

    • A lot of the house sits are actually just for a couple days, especially the last-minute requests. But it does take a lot of responsibility. My last house sit was a dog, two cats, four ducks and eight chickens. It was a couple hours of work a day, including the dog walking. Still better than paying for accommodations though, especially on the Isle of Skye.

  10. I keep talking to my wife about signing up for Trusted House Sitters, but we never seem to get around to it. Good to hear that you have already had 2 stellar experiences! Thought I have to admit if I got a house sit and the owner told me their dog might die while I was taking care of it I would be incredibly nervous. Sounds like you handled it like a pro!

    • Well, she actually seemed surprised that the dog wasn’t dead when she got back. Even better, she called me up three months later because the dogs STILL weren’t dead and she wanted to take another vacation. Unfortunately I was already in Thailand by then.

  11. What a great way to travel and save money. I’ve never tried anything like this, but I’ve heard to so much about it. In fact my friend is in Miami looking after someone’s pets right now, and she’s only a block from the beach. Thanks for giving me a tip on how to do it right.

    • Good luck finding some good sits. Some of them can be quite luxurious. I have a friend in Australia who house sits at huge villas on the beach, and some of them don’t even have pets.

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