What is Housesitting?

Housesitting is a way to travel the world, see off-the-beaten-path places, meet interesting and cool people, and hang with all manner of cuddly creatures great and small — all without spending a dollar (or yuan, or euro, or dirham, or pound…) on lodging!

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Basically it works like this: a homeowner wants to take a holiday for a while, but they don’t want to leave their home empty or their beloved pets alone. So the homeowner finds someone to stay in their house or apartment and care for their animal friends in return for a free place to stay. No money changes hands, and everyone’s happy. But how do these arrangements get made? Well, there are a number of sites for you to check out in the resources tab, and don’t worry, we’ll be posting a lot about how it all works, too.

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Note that it’s not free to live this way, of course. You still need to arrange your travel, buy food and supplies for your stay, and all the rest of the attendant expenses of life (student loans, hellooooo?). But don’t worry, we’ve got strategies we’ll be sharing about how to limit those costs, as well, to drive your bills down to as close to free as possible without actually being, ya know, free.

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It’s not all fun and games. For starters, if you’re trying to do it long-term, as we are, there are plenty of logistics to keep straight. Visa regulations limit how long you can stay in a given country or region, for example. And if you can’t time out your consecutive sits just right, you could be stuck having to book a paid stay somewhere to cover the in-between time (and in a lot of places that can get pricey fast). If you’re sitting in a rural area, you may feel isolated without renting a car (another expense). If you’re watching dogs, that means you’ll be less able to spend all day exploring a new place, since you’ll have to be returning to the home to walk the pups (with cats you’ll likely have more wiggle room). You may need to administer animal medications, or be available for package deliveries at certain times of day, and so on. We’ll be getting into all this and more on the blog. Look, the fact is: housesitting requires a good deal of flexibility.

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But, come on: free stays all over the world?! If that still sounds like it might be right for you (or you’re still curious to find out…), start reading more over at the blog, or scope out the resources. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter while you’re at it!