You’ve probably heard about the awesome way you can get free accommodation by Housesitting.
Yes, you heard correctly – Free accommodation!
If you are a regular to our blog you will know that we absolutely LOVE housesitting and think it’s the best way to travel long term. We call our selves ‘nomads’ but we are never truly homeless. We just happen to live in other people’s homes… for free!
For those of you who are ready to get started, we have put together some information on how you can start getting housesits and live a life of free accommodation!
Finding housesitting gigs is really quite easy. There are a few ways to find housesits but easily the most efficient way is through specific house sitting websites.
Yes that’s right. There are actual websites that find housesits for you! …And quite a few of them too. As the phenomenon grows so do the amount of websites.
All you need to do is Google ‘housesitting’ to see just how many there are. Some of the websites focus on a particular location (i.e Australia), while others work on a worldwide basis.
Now, if you’re really keen (or want to do this full time like us) you can become a member of several of these sites. What that means is you have access to their database and can search the wanted ads and apply for sits that appeal to you.
Some of websites also send you daily updates (which I love!) to your email so every day you have all the new listings right there in your inbox.
Now, of course, as with any membership there is a fee you must pay to get access to their database. But when you think of the money you save in accommodation the fees are very minimal. The fees range from $10 to $60, depending on the site and length of membership.
Once you have paid your membership fee you then have access to search the homeowners “sitter wanted” adverts. From there you apply for the sits that best suit your needs.
Before you contact a homeowner though, you must have your own advert (known as a ‘profile’) on the website so they can see who you are and why they should choose you to live in their home.
As I mentioned, there are many of these websites and all you need to do is Google and you will find loads of them. But here are some of the ones we use and that have worked well in getting us sits over the last 12 months.
But there are plenty more to choose from.
Once you find the site or sites you want to join, pay your fee and off you go! You can browse through the owners wanted ads and find something that appeals to you.
The ads will usually include a photo of the house and pets (if pet care is required). The ad will also have a little info on what is required as part of the sit (if any chores are required such as lawn mowing, pool care etc). And of course the ad will mention the dates required and the location of the house.
There is usually enough information to get a first impression and whether or not you are suitable for the sit.
If you are keen on the details you see, you simply hit Apply! You send your information to the homeowner (I usually send similar information which is in my profile but personalize it for each sit) and they decide whether they want to take things further or not.
You may be required to chat to the owners by Skype or phone to give them a chance to get to know you a little better. This is a fair call, as they are letting a complete stranger into their home, they really need to feel comfortable with them!
After that, there may be a few emails back and forth with questions from each party and then a decision will be made by the homeowner. This can happen in as little as the same day to weeks down the track.
Some of the websites have a better layout than others but they all have very similar functions; They have a database of housesitters offering free accommodation; they have a database of homeowners. You can search each others database, so sometimes a homeowner will contact you directly without posting an ad of their own. This is done through your profile on the website.
House sitting is the most affordable way for travel, especially long term travel. Over the last few years its grown massively and will continue to do so as more and more people discover the joys of housesitting and having free accommodation. So why not get a head start and join up today and start living the life of free accommodation!