HomeTravel10 Housesitting Tips to Get Free Accommodation While Traveling

    10 Housesitting Tips to Get Free Accommodation While Traveling

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    Are you an avid traveler looking to explore the world on a budget? With the rising costs of accommodation, finding affordable lodging can be a challenge. Fortunately, housesitting provides a fantastic opportunity to stay in homes around the world for free.

    As experienced housesitters ourselves, we’ve learned the ins and outs of finding great housesits and making the most of this unique travel arrangement. Read on as we reveal 10 secrets to landing amazing free accommodation as a housesitter.

    housesitting job

    Why Housesitting?

    Housesitting offers a win-win situation for both homeowners and sitters alike. Homeowners get the peace of mind that their home and pets are well cared for while they’re away. Meanwhile, housesitters enjoy free lodging in desirable locations worldwide.

    Additional benefits of housesitting include:

    • Experiencing life as a local by living in a residential neighborhood
    • Opportunity to stay in unique accommodation options like coastal cottages, suburban homes, apartments in the city, etc.
    • Saving on the high costs of hotels, hostels, B&Bs, and vacation rentals
    • Chance to enjoy the companionship of pets while away from your own
    • Ability to take travel at a slower pace rather than constantly being on the move

    With thousands of housesits available across the globe, you have ample choices for your next housesitting adventure.

    Tip 1: Create a Stellar Profile

    Your housesitter profile is key to getting selected for great assignments. Make an awesome first impression by crafting a stand-out profile that gives homeowners confidence in your abilities.


    Essential elements to include:

    • An engaging about me section that conveys your personality
    • Photos showing you interacting with animals or in interesting travel locales
    • Background summary highlighting previous housesitting experience, skills with pets, and home maintenance abilities
    • Details on your availability for housesits
    • List of hobbies and interests that match common homeowner preferences
    • Professional tone with proper grammar and punctuation

    Set up profiles on multiple housesitting sites like TrustedHousesitters, HouseCarers, Nomador, and HouseSitMatch to maximize your options.

    Tip 2: Get Glowing References

    References and reviews from past homeowners carry a lot of weight in the selection process. The more shining testimonials you can accumulate, the easier it becomes to land future sits.

    Strategies for getting great references:

    • Exceed expectations by going above and beyond in caring for homes and pets
    • Build rapport and keep an open line of communication with homeowners during sits
    • Send reference requests to homeowners as soon as possible after completing a housesit
    • Reply promptly if a homeowner contacts you to be a reference for future sitters
    • Thank homeowners for taking the time to provide you with a positive reference

    Tip 3: Cast a Wide Net

    Restricting yourself to only local housesits or certain destinations limits your possibilities. Maximizing your chances for success involves taking a broad approach.

    Consider these tips:

    • Search for housesits across a variety of states or countries
    • Use site filters to widen parameters like dates, duration, etc.
    • Enable notifications so you never miss a great listing
    • Check sites frequently as new sits are posted daily
    • Apply for both popular and off-the-beaten path locations
    • Contact homeowners even if you don’t meet every requirement

    Remaining flexible and open-minded in your housesit search increases opportunities.

    Tip 4: Make a Great First Impression

    With so many sitters to choose from, you need to stand out when introducing yourself to potential homeowners.

    Tactics to shine during initial contact:

    • Draft a personalized cover letter demonstrating your enthusiasm and fit for the gig
    • Highlight the relevant experience from your profile as it relates to their home and pets
    • Pose thoughtful questions that show your interest in the specifics of their property and animals
    • Convey your love of animals and responsible nature
    • Respond promptly to show you are reliable, organized, and genuinely interested

    That great first impression can be the key to getting selected over the competition.

    Tip 5: Prepare a Housesitting CV

    A housesitting CV summarizes your qualifications and experience for homeowners. While not all homeowners request one, they are a helpful supplement to your written application.

    Information to include on your housesitting CV:

    • Personal details like full name, contact info, photo
    • Overview of previous housesitting experience like location, duration, types of pets cared for
    • Employment history showcasing reliability and responsibility
    • Passport number and validness showing ability to travel
    • Summary of relevant skills, interests, and hobbies
    • Professional references from previous home and pet owners

    Keep formatting consistent and use a clear structure when creating your housesitting CV. Send as a PDF to convey professionalism.

    Tip 6: Have an Interview Strategy

    The interview allows homeowners to further assess if you’re the right fit for them. Be prepared to answer common questions and make a stellar impression.

    Tips for housesitting interviews:

    • Research the location and home specifics in advance
    • Have stories and examples ready to illustrate qualifications
    • Prepare questions to ask about their pets, home needs, schedules, etc.
    • Dress professionally and have a clean background for video chats
    • Speak clearly and make eye contact to build trust
    • Convey your reliability, friendliness, integrity, and competence
    • Send a follow-up thank you note after the interview

    Use the interview as a chance to show off why you are the ideal person for the gig.

    Tip 7: Be Willing to Start Small

    Scoring your first housesit can be the biggest hurdle. Increase your chances by applying for smaller, less competitive housesits to build experience.

    Potential first housesits:

    • Weekend or weekday sits for locals going on short trips
    • Sits for pets with simpler care like a cat, plants or fish
    • Stays in simple homes like apartments requiring fewer responsibilities
    • Less popular destinations with fewer applicants like remote or rural areas
    • Off-season sits when homeowners have fewer candidates to pick from

    Starting with smaller time commitments and easier pets allows you to get those initial references under your belt.

    Tip 8: Offer Additional Services

    Sweeten the deal by providing extra services to tempt homeowners to select you over other candidates.

    Some add-ons that homeowners appreciate:

    • Cooking meals before owners return from their trip
    • Doing light housework like vacuuming, laundry, changing linens
    • Handling mail, garbage, and bills during the housesit
    • Watering outdoor plants and cleaning yard upkeep
    • Sending photo updates of pets during the sit
    • Running errands like grocery shopping before the owner arrives home

    Promising a few complimentary extras shows you aim to go above and beyond.

    Tip 9: Follow Up Post-Sit

    The housesitting relationship doesn’t end when the owners come home. Nurturing ongoing rapport with homeowners leads to repeat invites and glowing references.

    Here are some ways to follow up post-sit:

    • Send a message checking they arrived home safely
    • Share any cute anecdotes or photos from the housesit
    • Ask if there is anything further you can provide feedback on
    • Request an honest review and reference when they have time
    • Keep in occasional touch by email just to say hello

    Put effort into maintaining positive post-sit communications. Those great relationships lead to more sits down the road.

    Tip 10: Pay it Forward

    Be an ambassador for the housesitting community by guiding aspiring sitters. Offer insights based on your own learning curve as a newbie sitter.

    Some ways to pay it forward:

    • Leave references for housesitters who do a great job watching your own home
    • Provide tips to struggling sitters trying to get their first housesit
    • Write blog posts detailing your housesitting experiences to help others
    • Participate in housesitting forums and Facebook groups to share your story
    • Collaborate with fellow housesitters by exchanging pet care duties when needed

    Being generous with your knowledge helps sustain the housesitting community.

    Start Your Housesitting Adventures

    By following these insider housesitting tips, you can start living like a local as you explore exotic destinations or everyday neighborhoods for free.

    Wishing you a lifetime of memorable off-the-beaten-path travel experiences as you embark on your global housesitting journey. May your future be filled with cuddly pets, new friendships, and cozy borrowed homes in fascinating locations worldwide.

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