Anyone who travels frequently knows that accommodation is one of the biggest drains on your vacation fund. Depending on your method of travel, accommodation can be the most expensive part of your trip. If you travel by the way of 5 star resorts this will definitely be where most of your hard earned cash goes on your trip. It takes a long time to fill that money jar, but not very long to empty it!
We would all love to stay in a nice place when we’re on vacation or traveling, but high end luxury can come at a steep price, especially for long term travelers. Before you’ve even managed to enjoy your time away, you’ve spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a place to stay.
But there is good news! As the travel industry grows, more and more options for free accommodation are being discovered and housesitting is a perfect example of one of those options. Housesitting is a simple exchange of services and trust. A homeowner will utilize the service of a house sitter to take care of their home, and some times pets, while they are away on vacation themselves. The sitters ‘payment’ is not in the form of money, but in the form of simple chores such as bringing in the mail and taking out the trash.
The obvious benefit here is that your accommodation costs are eliminated, but using housesitting as a way to travel has its perks to help reducing your travel budget.
The main area in which your budget will change through housesitting is your accommodation costs. Not only does it change those costs, it reduces them to a complete zero. Think back to your last holiday and the hundreds or even thousands of dollars you spent on a place to stay, and imagine how your travel experience may have changed had you not had that expense. Perhaps you could have traveled for a little longer. Or maybe you would have been able to put away the extra cash towards the next vacation.
On top of the saving money side of things, the quality of the accommodation you’re getting for no price at all can be higher than any hotel you’ll find in the area. Some of the properties you come across on the website listings are beyond the realms of luxury hotels, and housesitters find that they regularly pinch themselves because they can’t believe how lucky they are to be staying in these places for free. I won’t lie to you, I am a bit of a princess and I like my luxury travel. We have been fortunate to look after million dollar homes, houses right on the beach and even an island home in the Caribbean. Had we been paying for those digs, it would have set us back thousands of dollars!
Reduces your budget elsewhere
Once you find a house sitting placement and your costs are reduced greatly with no accommodation costs, you will find that your spending changes in other ways too. With access to a kitchen you can cook your own meals, which can really cut down costs. Instead of eating out every night in average restaurants, you could cook for yourself most of the time and then treat yourself to one or two quality meals in local restaurants to get more out of the experience. And lets face it, a home cooked meal can be just as good, if not better, than going out to a restaurant.
Broadens your options
There are many places in the world that are completely out of reach for some travelers simply because they’re just too expensive to stay in. For example, we have lived in a very luxurious house in Barbados for 7 weeks. We would never have been able to afford that had we been staying in, and paying for, a luxury hotel on the island for that long.
House sitting changes your perspective completely, and once you have your accommodation sorted and budget reduced in other ways, there are very few people that couldn’t afford those high-end destinations. I’m sure many of us have dreamed of those far flung destinations on white sandy beaches but never thought that dream would come true. With house sitting, it could be a reality.
It’s easy to think that there must be a catch to the whole process, and that there couldn’t possibly be a way that this style of travel is an option, but it really is. You’re responsible for someone’s house and sometimes pets, but other than that there is nothing else you have to give to that person to stay in their home. Some of the placements are as short as a long weekend while others can stretch for months on end, giving you a unique living experience for the country you’re in, for absolutely no money at all.
How do you save money while housesitting?