What is TrustedHousesitters?
TrustedHousesitters is a community of people that either are available to house sit, or those looking for someone to watch their home and pet(s) worldwide.
How does it work?
Someone posts a time frame in which they will be away and will need someone to look after their dog, cat, turtle, whatever it may be, and you can sort by location or type of pet. House sitters from all over the world can apply for this opportunity. You can apply to the house sit and send them a message a bit about yourself and if they think you will be a good choice, they will confirm you for the listed dates. They do not pay you to house sit, they let you live in their home for free.
This is of course perfect for budget travelers. You don't have to spend a fortune on a room that you will be sleeping in, you are living in someone's HOME or APARTMENT for free. Traveling in this way also means you won't see things as a tourist, but as a local, which I think is one of the most important parts of traveling. I don't personally think it is just checking off a list of places, but it's learning to see the world and life in a different way. What better way to do it than be in the thick of it all?
This is a paid service. It is an annual fee of around $100 USD but to me, and to many others, definitely worth it. Everything else on the site is free; there is no limits to how many house sits you can apply to or messages you can send. If you get a couple house sits a year, or even just one, you will be saving money on lodging. You can consider the cost of your membership in the house sits trips you take. Spread it over 1-2 trips, it is really a negligible charge.
TrustedHousesitters also ensures that their sitters and homeowners are verified and even provide a service for background checks (there is a fee). But the last thing you want when you are going somewhere new and meeting people for the first time, it can be disconcerting. It can also be uncomfortable to have other people in your home, but people leave reviews for both homeowners and sitters alike. They also provide pictures of the location, their home/apartment, and pets you will be looking after with detailed instructions. With all of the positive reviews and personal experience from my friends, it was an easy thing to sign up for. You can bulk up your profile with references, pictures, and a profile to tell the homeowners a bit about who you are and you will be much more likely to land your first house sit with a complete profile.
NOTE: I am NOT affiliated with TrustedHousesitters and I earn NO commission/discount by recommending them. I really enjoy using this service and only recently learned about it it so I wanted to share it with you. I hadn't heard of this method of traveling before and it is a great way to cut down your traveling costs. The idea of "immersion traveling" has always been my preferred method of traveling, and using this I get to live like a local and pet people's dogs! What could be better? :)
Where would you guys like to house sit? Would you be comfortable allowing someone in your home to watch your pets?