Almost everyone we have met on our journey this year have asked us 'How do you afford to travel so much?'. It's no secret that there needs to be some money either coming in or in the bank to support this kind of lifestyle but we have found one thing drastically reduces the amount of money we spend whilst on the road - accommodation.
Once you take the money you spend on a nights sleep out of the equation you find your daily budget can be much smaller, I'm talking 50-80% less. How do you do that? One of the ways we support our travelling addiction is house and pet sitting.
What it is
The basic concept is this- people are going away and need someone to look after their homes and pets whilst they are gone. They don't want to kennel their pets and would prefer to find a 'live-in helper', that's where you come in. A successful house sitter, selected by the home owner, comes to live in their home until they return. Your job is to look after their pet and home.
How it works
There are many sites that offer to act an an intermediary between house sitters and home owners. There is a list of available house sits, all over the world, when you find one that suits your needs you apply, usually via the sites email service. If the home owner thinks you fit the brief they will usually arrange a Skype chat and if you are successful they will confirm the dates. You, as the house sitter, are responsible for footing the bill to get to the house sit, though many home owners will drive to collect you from nearby airports and train stations.
When the home owner leaves for their holiday/business trip you run the house, care for the pet, maintain the garden - as if it were your own. There are different expectations for each sit and you should discuss this prior to the house sit.
The benefit of house sitting for the sitter is free accommodation, a place to stay for a while. The benefit for the home owner is someone to care for their pet and home, and often, not having to foot the bill for kennels.
There is an initial outlay for the cost of joining the site, this will vary depending which service you go for. We are on trusted house sitters and that costs us around $100 US for one year, but we quickly save that not paying for hostels along the way.
The house sitter bears the cost of getting to the sit, and their own food during the sit but you should not pay anything for accommodation or utilities during the stay. There is an exception to this; long stays can sometimes be negotiated where the house sitter pays utilities, but this is usually for sits over three months in one location.
It all sounds great, right? But can you really travel around and stay for free? Absolutely. We lined up three months of continuous house sits in great locations, including; West Cornwall, North Yorkshire, Birmingham and Glasgow.
If you have your sights set on London and are completely inflexible with location and time, you may struggle, but if you are open to accepting different locations house sitting is a great option.
How to use house sitting effectively
This experience is great for people working online, provided the sit has internet, writers, photographers and teachers. Some house sits require constant pet monitoring so it is important you have something to keep you occupied, though we still get out to sight see at least once a week.
What I love most about house sitting is the animals. It's no surprise that we love to spend time with friendly pets and house sitting combines two things we love the most- animals and travel. If you also enjoy spending time with friendly felines, pooch pals, or even some slithering snakes get into house sitting.
Where house sitting can take you
I have seen sits all over the world. There are many in; Australia, UK, France, Spain, Italy and some pop up in South America, Asia, even Scandinavia. You can use it to find longer sits helping you have a home base for a while without the rent, or supplementing part of your journey. There are sits from two days to a year!
Think this sounds perfect for you? If you want to join the house sitting website we use click here, if you join through this link you will get 20% off (and we get two months for free - it's win win). Get started today, spend less, travel more and have an amazing experience.