See The World Rent Free
Updated: Dec 1, 2019
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Do you feel stifled by your everyday life; do you want to see the world; do you yearn for a great adventure, but just simply can't afford one; is traveling all you can think about? I felt this way for as long as I can remember, and eventually after searching for a long time I finally found the answer...
I also used to think it was impossible to travel the way you see people doing on social media without loads of money, but then I found out about international housesitting. People from every corner of the globe are looking for responsible people to look after their homes and pets while they also travel for work or leisure. The amount of people actively seeking housesitters every day is massive, yet this was a market I had never even heard of until recently. More to my surprise, there are people out there who live their entire lives just travelling from one housesit to the next, living a life of pure adventure and freedom.
Housesitting is perfect for people who live as digital nomads, retirees, remote workers, solo and couple travelers, temp workers, even couples who are world schooling their children. There are so many different kinds of housesitting jobs available that it's almost impossible to not find one to suit your lifestyle.
What Is Housesitting?
Housesitting has become a very popular alternative to traditional vacations and travel/work stays. While it has been around longer in places like the North America and Europe, housesitting is also expanding to places like Africa, Asia, and South America.
It provides a much cheaper and more long-term solution for people who want to see the world but don't have the budget to either stay as long as they would like to, or who would like to spend more of their money on experiences than on accommodation. For a lot of people it even becomes a way of life, living in an entirely nomadic way, moving from housesit to housesit.
The valuable service you are offering is to provide peace of mind to home and pet owners, by taking up residence in their homes, and looking after their beloved pets as well as minding the security of their property and belongings. This allows them to travel freely without the guilt of uprooting their pets lives by sending them to boarding kennels.
What you get in return is the opportunity to live in a home space, completely rent free, for a long period of time, enjoy the comforts of a home over any other paid for accommodation, experience the sights, culture and activities wherever you decide to travel, and enjoy the companionship of different loving pets.
Must Love Pets
While not all housesits have pets, the majority of them do, so it is ideal for you to be a pet lover if you want to be an international housesitter. It is a big responsibility to look after someone's beloved fur children, so people who are looking for a more relaxed, responsibility free kind of holiday probably won't be the best candidates.
Pet owners are trusting the care of their animals to a stranger, so the happiness of their pets if of the utmost importance. This isn't to say that you can't leave the house to go sightseeing and enjoy your surroundings, but keep in mind that the value of the exchange is that the home owner is giving you a place to live, entirely rent free, in return for you caring for their pets and home, and trusting that you will uphold your side of the arrangement.
If you choose to housesit for a person with pets, you will also need to accept that there is only so long you can be gone from their home, that 4 hours is about as long as you can reasonably leave dogs inside or alone, cats perhaps a bit longer, but that ultimately you will have to plan your vacation around how far you have to travel, what you want to do there, and how long it will take. If it takes you away from the housesit for too long you will have to accept that you won't be able to include it on your itinerary and will have to opt for a different activity instead.
It's not necessarily bad news though, there are plenty of activities you could do that, with the owners express permission, you could also happily include their pets in. Walks on the beach or to the park, car rides to explore different parts of the area, hikes and nature walks. The owners will probably have a whole list of suggestions if you ask them too.
What Do You Need To Become A Housesitter?
The list of skills and personal attributes needed by housesitters really isn't too long. The main one is responsibility. If you have ever looked after a property of your own and pets, that is pretty much all you have to bring to the table to qualify, and unlike a lot of travel opportunities, there is nothing to disqualify you from signing up as a housesitter. However if you have special skills like plumbing, electrical, carpentry, have experience living "off-grid," or any other kind of specialty skill like boat handling or gardening, that would probably work well in your favor.
Some ideas of things that would be good to include on your housesitting resume would be:
Experience working with pets
Experience working with domesticated animals like horses and cattle
Have you ever owned or rented a property
First aid courses/ Animal first aid
Volunteer work at shelters
Permaculture / Vegetable gardening
There are a whole host of things that might be relevant to someone who is looking for a new housesitter so be sure to think of all the experiences in your life that may in some way pertain to having to look after a home and pets, and include them when you write your personal bio.
Are you excited yet? The idea of traveling to new and wonderful places, immersing yourself in culture, exploring historical landmarks and tourist attractions, all the while living completely rent free in a beautiful home.
For more information, follow the links below and sign up to either find or become a housesitter.