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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 Workaway, Trusted 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!
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!
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!