Greetings from the Big Apple! Currently, I’m residing in an adorable loft with a view of the Empire State Building, smack dab in the middle of Manhattan, New York. Chelsea to be exact. How can I afford to make this my home for an entire month you ask?!
Why, housesitting of course!! [Springtime in New York for FREE?! Who can say no to that?!?]
Housesitting is quickly becoming my absolute favorite way to travel. This is why…
I love using rental services like Airbnb and Home Away while traveling. Living in the home of an actual local allows you to live like a local while being a tourist in disguise. Plus, you make friends instantly aka the homeowner and surrounding neighbors when traveling this way. So what is the difference between these home rentals and housesitting?
Well, housesitting is free. Yup! You heard it right. FREE lodging! With lodging easily adding up to be the most expensive part of your travel, how could you not give this a shot?
The details are going to vary based on circumstances but usually in exchange for getting to live for free you care for the house itself AND all of its furry residents.
Have you ever tried to board or kennel your animals while going on a vacation? The cost adds up very quickly. Not only that but it can be emotionally taxing on the furry children. By allowing the pets to remain in their home it is a win-win for everyone!
The homeowner saves money, the pets get lots of attention while sleeping in their own beds and you get to see the world not only as a local but as a local with a lot more money to spend on important stuff besides hotels/hostels.
[I think I am way more entertained by the critters than the other way around LOL]
If you are a digital nomad [aka you work while traveling] this is definitely something you should consider. Having a ‘home’ gives you the setup and desired schedule to get lots of work done and still have time to explore the city you are visiting.
Have I talked you into trying it yet?
As the world of housesitting grows…competition increases. I suggest you begin local and get some referrals together so that when you are ready to go international you will have a profile started. Offer to sit for a friend or family member, while they are out of town, and begin to develop a portfolio.
Then decide which housesitting website you like best, pay for membership, create a kick-ass profile and you are on your way to living for free in the country of your choice!
Overall, just make sure there is A LOT of communication between you and the home owner prior to commitment.
In remote areas, there may be farm animals and/or gardens that require a lot more of your time than you are willing to spend on daily care. So get all the deets! Ask a lot of questions. Make sure there is a clear description of what your daily requirements are in exchange for living in their home.
There are a lot of sites out there dedicated to safe housesitting options. I prefer Trusted Housesitters over the others.
And for more information on getting great housesitting/petsitting gigs check out the advice at International Housesitting.
I’m so grateful for the chance to live in the city in exchange for caring for these adorable kitties. Seriously?! Amazing homeowners that I can now call friends, magical NYC AND critter snuggles…it doesn’t get much better than that!