6 reasons why we love house sitting

We arrived in the USA three months ago already (how time flies!) and over that time we’ve been able to enjoy two periods of house sitting.

If you haven’t heard of it before, you link up with people on websites such as Mind My House, Trusted Housesitters and Housecarers who need their house, and often their pets, looking after. These three websites I’ve listed are the three main websites we use, and how we’ve found all of our house sitting assignments throughout the USA.

American house in Rhode Island Double-Barrelled Travel

We’ve been house sitting through out the USA and really enjoyed our experiences so far

You provide the home owners with references and police checks but it is often a system based on trust.

We’ve had a great time on these house sitting assignments. Why?

Here’s 5 reasons why we love house sitting

1. We get to look after pets

We love animals and to be a house sitter I think this is a necessity.

Most people look for house sitters because they have pets who need caring for while they are away.

house sitting double-barrelled travel

The beautiful pug Kudu we house sat in Washington state

We recently heard a story that upset us.

Someone we know got a house sitter to look after their labradour who is elderly and was suffering from an ear infection. She was very upfront to the house sitter about what was required for her dog’s care, and the house sitter assured her that everything would be fine.

However on arrival the house sitter was unfriendly and screamed ‘’Yuck!” when shown how to medicate the dog. The home owner left for vacation feeling very anxious about the well-being of her beloved pet.

We love animals, which is why we chose to house sit – so we can have pets again. Looking after animals, especially dogs, really makes our house sitting assignments all the better.

House sitting horses Double-Barrelled Travel

We’ve even looked after horses! This photo was taken in Wisconsin

2. We get to live in a house

Non-stop travel can be exhausting.

Packing and moving on every three days can really tire you out.

Hotels might be comfortable but after awhile all the rooms start to look the same. And hostels are great places to meet people but sometimes you just want your own personal space.

Plus sometimes you just long for a home cooked meal.

House sitting lets you travel slowly and live in a home for awhile.

You can stay in one spot for longer than you would a hotel (we normally stay two weeks) and get all your creature comforts around you again – even if it’s just for a fortnight!

3. We get to explore areas unknown to tourists

We’ve house sat for some lovely people who’ve welcomed us into their homes and trusted us to take care of the place they live and their beloved pets.

Old town Wautoma Double-Barrelled Travel

I’m not sure this small town of Wautoma in Wisconsin has been seen by many tourists

It’s great to meet the locals and their friends and family – this is one of the best ways to truly get a sense of a culture.

Spending some time in a place tourists don’t normally go is wonderful because it lets you see the real face of a country, not the face a place paints on for its visitors.

We’ve seen some amazing sights throughout the Midwest – which is often missed off on the tourist trail.

Staying where the locals live is one of our favourite parts about house sitting.

house sitting double-barrelled travel

Buddy the adorable dog we looked after in Wisconsin

4. It’s free

When you’re travelling on a budget, living somewhere for free is a wonderful privilege.

Often at the places we house sit the home owners allow us to use their toilet paper and other household items, as well as eat whatever’s perishable in their fridge.

Also the places we’ve house sat have been beautiful rural locations near hiking trails and lakes – places you would’ve paid a lot of money to be close to if staying in a hotel… and we’ve been able to stay in them for free!

House sitting also helps us to claw back the dollars we’ve lost spending on our car to get it fixed after we were ripped off by the car dealer in Toronto.

We also just got an amazing house sit in the Caribbean! We will be there for two months over Christmas and New Year from November. We’re really excited – two months living in the Caribbean wouldn’t have been affordable to us without house sitting.

5. It gives us time to relax (and catch up on all the work we need to do!)

We like to view house sitting assignments as our down time. We often travel at a fast pace and house sitting gives us a chance to relax for awhile.

For example, we were recently on a press trip in Traverse City, Michigan, which was amazing but very full on.

relaxing on a beach in Toronto Double-Barrelled Travel

House sitting gives us a chance to relaaaaaax

We made sure we did at least one new activity each day to get the most out of our time spent there.

6. We get to meet wonderful people

When you house sit for someone, they often ask you to arrive a day or two before they leave so you can learn about their house and how to care for their pets.

Doing this, we have met wonderful people who have let us into their homes and shared family meals with us.

Most recently we had a wonderful house sit in Port Angeles, Washington, where we just hit it off with the couple. We had lengthy dinners and lunches with them and are now staying with their relatives when we travel to New Mexico and Texas.

We love meeting people on our travels and this is the perfect way to do it.

If you have a caring personality, love animals and are house proud maybe you should look into a house sitting vacation?

Our next house sit is in Colorado for two and a half weeks which means we can recharge our batteries and also catch up on our blog work that needs doing!

Have you house sat before? What was your experience like? Or is house sitting something you’d like to try?

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About the author

Carmen has been nomadic since May 2013 and the co-founder of Double-Barrelled Travel. She loves experiencing new cultures and learning new languages. She is having the most fun when skiing down a mountain, scuba diving in the Caribbean or curled up with a good book.

9 comments on “6 reasons why we love house sitting”

  1. Iain Mallory Reply

    I’ve been housesitting for a friend off and on for awhile now, but I’ve not really tried it as an alternative to accommodation option when travelling. I’ve read plenty of other articles recommending it, thanks for sharing your experiences, maybe I need to look into it properly.

    • Carmen Allan-Petale Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the post. You really should look into it, you’ll save lots of money. And I’m sure your friend will be able to give you a great review to get you started 🙂

  2. Suzanne Fluhr (Boomeresque) Reply

    I wish I could convince my husband to try this, but he’s rather set in his ways — and, oh, he has a more than full time day job. I get to be a “trailing spouse” on his work travels which have taken us all over the world, so I have no basis to complain — so I won’t. 😉

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