If you are a regular to this site, you will know we spend much of our time house sitting while we travel to save money on accommodation costs.
For us it’s the perfect way to travel the world long term because not only do you save loads on accommodations costs but living in a house is so much better than in hotel rooms!
If you are a long-term traveler you will know how tedious it can be staying in hotels night after night. You realize how much you take the little things like a kitchen sink or your own washing machine for granted. Not to mention the lack of space or the uncomfortable beds.
House sitting while you travel means having a kitchen to cook yummy home cooked meals in. It means having more than 200 square feet of space to move around in.
House sitting also allows you to be a part of a community, even for a short time.
It gives you the opportunity to experience living in homes that you may otherwise not have had the chance to live in (French castle anyone?).
For example; we have been lucky enough to live in a few million dollar homes, beach front properties and we even lived on an island in the Caribbean! Not something we are normally accustomed to.
Then there is the money we save by not paying for hotel rooms every night.
There is a long list of benefits to the house sitting lifestyle but we have focused on a few we feel are the most valuable.
This is probably the most beneficial aspect to house sitting. Whether you are a long term traveler or on a two week vacation, accommodation can be one of, if not the most expensive part of your trip. However, the costs can be reduced to nil with house sitting. This means you could have a cheaper vacation, visit parts of the world you didn’t think you could afford or for a long term traveler, this means being able to stay on the road for a much longer period.
Live like a local
When you stay at a hotel while traveling, you tend to get a filtered tourists view of the city.
But when you house sit you have the opportunity to live as a local instead of being a ‘tourist’.
As a sitter you get to know the neighbors and the local hang outs that may not be in your travel guides. You get to see the ‘real’ city, but don’t worry, just because you are house sitting it doesn’t mean you can’t do the touristy things, you just get to see the city from a local’s perspective.
This is particularly relevant to the long term traveler.
Living in the confined space of a hotel room is fine for short periods of time, however, after a while you can feel rather claustrophobic.
This is even more pertinent for couples traveling together. As much as you love each other, we all need some space to do our own thing. A hotel room makes this a little more difficult. Don’t even get me started on space in hostel rooms!
Live in style
Living in a million dollar house on an island. A beachside property with a swimming pool set in a tropical garden. A house in the hills with an endless view of the stars while soaking in the hot tub.
I don’t know about you, but this isn’t the norm for us. To be able to live in this kind of luxury while we are ‘budget traveling’ sure beats the hell out of hostel living!
There are ways to eat on the cheap when you are a budget traveler; street food, using hostel kitchens, take away (although this one isn’t so good for your waist line!). But nothing beats doing a weekly shop at the grocery store and cooking most of your meals at home. Of course it’s nice to splurge on a meal out every now and then but you will save a lot of money cooking and eating at home.
It also means we can buy in bulk so food shopping is cheaper. We save a lot of money by only having the occasional meal out (not to mention it feels like a treat instead of an every day occurrence). And let’s face it, a home cooked meal is much nicer than eating street food everyday.
But don’t let this stop you from going out and enjoying life by treating yourself to the local cuisine. One of the best parts of travel is experiencing different foods. We just don’t advise you to do it on a nightly basis if you are working to a budget.
Based on our travels so far we have saved 54% on our food costs while house sitting compared to when we are at a hotel.
Whenever we have a few days between sits, we stay in hotels (motels would be a more appropriate word). The two things I miss when we are staying at a hotel are a kitchen and a laundry. Whether your comforts are a kitchen, laundry, a backyard or a comfortable bed, there is nothing like the comforts of a home.
If you want to learn more about house sitting, check out our e-book over here.