A New Way to Travel With “How to Become a House-Sitter”

I get solicited to review a lot of ebooks, but I only bother to do so if I think it’s something that’s going to be really useful for your guys. This one is definitely useful, particularly if you’re tired of the traditional ways of traveling and looking to do some really slow travel.

So what is house-sitting? It’s simple: someone hires you to stay at their house and care for it (and possibly their pets) while they are elsewhere. They get someone to watch their home and you get a free place to stay.

We did this in Bogota with our good friends Jeff and Dexter, but there are tons of opportunities to house-sit with strangers around the world, sometimes for 6 months or even a year at a time. It’s a great way to experience a new place as a local, and travel slow while still maintaining a sense of continuity and home. Or to pretend you have a dog for just a little while…

Pete and Dalene of Hecktic Travels actually introduced me to the concept of house-sitting as a way to travel with their great Housesitting 101 series. They have been traveling the world since 2009, primarily by house sitting in various glamorous locations: Honduras, Ireland, Turkey etc. they estimate they’ve saved over $30,000 on accommodations this way.

Their new ebook, How to Become a House-sitter, is a comprehensive resource and introduction to the practice. It points out the rewards, pitfalls and the major things to consider (turns out it’s not just as easy as showing up- you’ll need to think about things like expectations and contracts). They also tell you which house-sitting websites are worth the money, and how to have the most success (it’s a little like online dating).

What I liked best about the book is that Pete and Dalene are true experts, because they have been living this lifestyle for years now, in many different residences. The know how to work the system for the best results, and they talk you through the entire process.

I haven’t gotten a chance to do a lot of housesitting (it works better in certain parts of the world then others), but it’s something I would seriously consider. If you’re legitimately interested in giving it a try, this is the primer you need.

Have you house-sitted abroad? Would you?


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7 thoughts on “A New Way to Travel With “How to Become a House-Sitter””

    1. @Gabriel – time frames definitely vary. We have seen 2 weeks to 1 year for various sits. It is very common to find 1-2 month assignments.

  1. Indeed this has been on my mind since I moved to Germany even. I would love to find a gig doing weekend house sitting assignments in Berlin! I live nearby and this would be so complementary to my weekend trips into the city. Dalene and Pete I wonder if you have any tips on approaching something of this nature ? Thanks for the post Steph.

  2. @Diego – trust is a big thing. When we start a conversation with a home-owner, there are MANY emails passed along, and always a Skype chat as well (there is something really beneficial about being able to *see* the person you are inviting into your home, and vice versa). References are also a HUGE help with that regard, we have had people tell us that they aren’t worried in the slightest because we have such good references. I hope you give it a try!

    @Ashley – there are a few solo female travelers we know that do it quite successfully! Perhaps try it a couple of times near your own neighborhood to get comfortable with the concept first?

  3. I actually have never tried this but it looks really interesting… I don’t think I would do it as a solo female traveler as I I’d be scared by myself. But if I were with someone else then definitely! Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is something new and beneficial to traveler like me. I just wonder how trust is built between the parties. I’m so excited to find out more on this.

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