Have you ever heard about house sitting? About people living in other people houses for free while the owners are away? Whatever is your answer – I have good news. Such a thing really works. And it can be also your opportunity to travel the world and not pay for an accommodation!
Let me share with you story of Laura and Tanbay, who are travelling the world this way for quite a long time already!
– Please, tell us a little bit about yourselves!
We are Laura and Tanbay from Travelling Weasels. We are travel bloggers and house sitters. Laura is from the UK and Tanbay is from Germany. We have been together for nine years and have been travelling for the last two with almost no accommodation costs.
– Travelling with almost no accommodation costs? How are you doing it?
We are house sitters! We stay in other people’s houses whilst they are on holiday. We usually look after dogs or cats but have looked after chickens, ducks, horses, sheep, turtles and guinea pigs in exchange for this free accommodation.
This is the best thing about house sitting – both parties win! We get free accommodation in amazing locations and new wonderful cuddly friends (the pets that is ;) ) but the home owners win too because they don’t have to pay extortionate kennel fees, and don’t have to worry about their pets and homes when they are away.
– Where are you now? Do you like it there?
We are currently in the Azores – a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. We love the food and the nature here – it is very beautiful. Next week we are house sitting in the Netherlands.
– How did it all get started? What was your first house sitting or travelling experience?
We started by travelling to Australia and house sat there from day one. We wanted to have a gap year after Laura finished university (maths) but weren’t sure where to go or what to do. House sitting seemed like the perfect way to travel because it’s rent free but also quite often luxurious.
– Please, describe your first house sitting experience!
Our first house sitting experiences were for family members and friends, to get some experience. But our first ‘proper’ house sitting experience was near the amazing city of Melbourne, Australia, which is still our favourite Australian city (sorry Sydney). We stayed there for six weeks and looked after two boisterous tom cats.
We also saw our first kangaroos here – both in a nature reserve and wild in the woods. We chose this one because it was so long – we thought house sitting for six weeks was a nice transition from renting. It was great!
– What was your favourite house sitting experience so far? Why was it this one?
Our favourite was the house sit we did in Italy. It was our favourite because everything was perfect – we fell in love with the dogs and cat instantly, the house was gorgeous and the view was to die for. We also got on very well with the home owners. They are generous, lovely people who we are good friends with now.
– You don’t have accommodation costs when you are house sitting, but you still need money for food and transport. How do you earn money?
People ask us this a lot. Food and transport aren’t as expensive as people expect it to be. We always try to have house sits longer than 3 weeks, so we’re not spending money on transport too often.
We always book well in advance with cheap carriers so the transport is never very expensive (once we travelled from Cologne to Paris for £2.50)! But yes we still need a bit of money.
We earn money from our blog Travelling Weasels, from Laura’s ebook “House Sitting in Australia: A Guide For First Time House Sitters“ and from various freelance work on the internet – Tanbay translates German/English and vice versa, Laura gives English lessons and proof reads English texts.
We always earn more than we spend, it’s actually pretty easy to earn money from the internet if you want to.
– Your tips for finding best house sitting gigs.
We recommend always skyping before agreeing to do a house sitting job – that way you can tell if the job is for you or not. Some home owners want glorified maids and farm workers! But mostly they are very nice and generous.
I also think it’s important to consider if you really want to be a house sitter, we absolutely love it and it’s perfect for us, but it may not be perfect for everyone – if you’re messy or a party animal, or if you hate animals!!
But my biggest tip for house sitting in Australia would be to buy my book! ;)
– In your opinion, is house sitting for everyone? Why?
Oh damn I’ve just answered that one really… I think house sits vary a lot – just like people who go on holiday vary a lot so you pretty much can find a house sit no matter who you are (yes even those who hate animals, sometimes the houses don’t have pets!).
But generally they want sensible, energetic, people who are good at thinking on their feet.
All pictures used in the article are from Laura’s and Tanbay’s personal archive.
I don’t know, how it is about you, friends, but we with Una now are eager to try house sitting ourselves as well :)
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they are traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On WeAreFromLatvia.com they share their experience and things learned along the way.