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Trusted Housesitters: Travel the world while petsitting

I have been using Trusted Housesitters since 2019, and completed petsits all over the world! This blog post shares some of my experiences as a pet sitter, and the reasons why I continue to use and recommend Trusted Housesitters.

trusted housesitters

Trusted Housesitters: How to House and Petsit Around the World

Trusted Housesitters is a unique service that connects homeowners in need of pet and house care with responsible and trustworthy individuals passionate about travel and animals. It’s a win-win situation, allowing sitters to stay for free in exchange for pet care. 

While I had tried Trusted Housesitters before Covid, housesitting in a medieval village in Switzerland to look after a dog, it wasn’t until I moved to Ireland for a year and was met with a housing crisis that I realized housesitting could even be a lifestyle. I began looking for longer term house sits (minimum one month), and once my work contract in Ireland was completed, I went from sit to sit around the world (my personal favourite was Bali).

Of course, the primary concern of Trusted Housesitters is the welfare of the animals and not just a free place to stay, but in my opinion, a free place to stay is a huge advantage as someone living the digital nomad lifestyle. I reckon I’ve saved over 15K in rent and accommodation expenses by using TrustedHousesitters, and have got the opportunity to live in places I might otherwise not be able to afford, like downtown Toronto, Whistler, and Barcelona.

@thepinkbackpack

It’s my one year pet-iversary 🐶🐱💘 #petsit #petsittersoftiktok #petsittingadventures #petsittingtips #petsittingkween #travelandpetsit #slowtraveler #digitalnomadlife2022 #livearoundtheworld #trustedhousesitter

♬ Yucky Blucky Fruitcake – Doechii

Trusted Housesitters: How it Works

Getting started with Trusted House Sitters involves purchasing an annual membership. Memberships for sitters range from the basic ($169 CAD/year), standard ($219 CAD/year) and premium ($339 CAD/year), or there are combined memberships options which allow members to be both a sitter and a host.

I have personally always used the basic membership and I firmly believe that it “pays for itself” within the first housesit, but if this is still out of your price range you can take 25% off Trusted Housesitters with this link

As a member, you can browse through listings around the world, and even sort by destination, date or type of animal. It’s like the AirBnb of Housesitting. Once you have found a home you are interested in, you apply by writing the homeowner a message. The application process can be quite competitive, especially in popular travel destinations like Barcelona, so I recommend taking time to complete your profile and write personalized messages to the homeowner that demonstrate you read the listing. 

Trusted Housesitters: Rules and Responsibilities 

House sitting is more than just getting free accommodation. House sitters are entrusted with the well-being of the homeowner’s pets. The rules and responsibilities range drastically from sit to sit and should be outlined in the listing. 

For example, one host asked for me to cut the lawn and water the garden, while another joked that they would be mad if I lifted a finger aside from the animal care. Some hosts might stock the fridge for you or leave a bottle of wine (I’ve even got a coffee gift card and have been taken out for a ‘thank you’ meal), while others might just encourage you to finish whatever is in the fridge that might go bad. It really depends on the person, and you can get a sense of this in the reviews left by other pet sitters.

Some hosts might ask that you do not have guests over, or other animals in the home. Some hosts might allow you to use their vehicle. Again, it really depends on the person and all of this should be in their listing.

Generally speaking, as a pet sitter your responsibilities will include tasks like feeding pets, taking dogs for walks, watering plants, collecting mail and ensuring the home remains secure. I typically clean the house and do the bedding prior to the home owner returning, leaving the place to the level of cleanliness as when I arrived. However, property care, running errands for the host, being home to receive workmen, etc, are above the scope of being a free pet sitter in my opinion.

Trusted Housesitters: Building Trust and Relationships

Many hosts will have a welcome pamphlet or information sheet for you, with things like contact information for the vet, where to collect the mail or put out the garbage, who to call in case of emergency, and the pet routine.  

I usually ask if they would like regular updates about their animals, and get their WhatsApp number if they have one so you can send pictures! It is also wise to ask what to do in case a visit to the vet is required (as this did happen to me once), how the bill would be sorted, how to transport the animal etc.

Building a positive relationship with the homeowners can lead to repeat house sitting opportunities (I have done multiple house sits for the same host in Bali and in Canada), and glowing reviews on your profile.

@thepinkbackpack

📍Barcelona house sit check #solotraveler #solotravelhacks #budgettravelhacks #solofemaletraveller #slowtravel #petsittingadventures #housesitters #barcelonacitycenter #dogsittersoftiktok #nomadictravel

♬ Bam Bam (feat. Ed Sheeran) – Camila Cabello

Trusted Housesitters: Risks and Insurance

There is an inherent risk when housesitting, that an animal could become sick or injured, or the home is damaged while you are staying there. Things can go wrong, but in my experience this is very rare. I did have to rush a dog to the emergency vet (thankfully she pulled through), and in another case, a neighborhood dog attacked and bit the dog I was walking (thankfully only a minor wound). 

Trusted Housesitters does include accident and liability insurance with the standard and premium membership, and this covers you if you are at fault or found to be negligent. However, if you are truly an animal lover and your priority is animal care, this should not be a concern. I believe there is also a Trusted Housesitters vet hotline you can call for help if necessary, but as I mentioned above, it is good to have the animal’s vet contact information and a plan in place should they need to go. 

@thepinkbackpack

I’m a traveling pet sitter, currently in Bali. I had to rush this baby to the emergency vet during my last sit ❤️‍🩹 part 1/2 #petsit #petsitting #adventuresinpetsitting #dogreel #pettiktok #slowtravel #digitalnomadslife

♬ Married Life (From “Up”) – Sergy el Som

I do highly recommend you have your own travel insurance. I personally use SafetyWing because their nomad insurance meets the unique needs of digital nomads, like the flexibility to have coverage globally so you can hop across +180 countries. It’s also pretty affordable in my opinion, at $45.08/month.

Personal travel insurance is a safeguard for unexpected expenses related to getting sick or injured, and unforeseen travel interruption or cancellation. In the horrible event that the home was broken into and your laptop was taken, you can also protect your devices with SafetyWing’s electronics add-on to their normal nomad insurance plan. 

Conclusion:

Trusted Housesitters is a unique way to travel and experience living as a local would in highly sought after destinations around the world. It’s also a great way to have unique experiences, such as staying on an olive farm in Tuscany or a medieval village in Switzerland. Obviously if you don’t actually like spending time with animals, this is not going to be a great fit for you. But, if you are an animal lover and a nomad looking for a unique and innovative way to travel, Trusted Housesitters might be for you!

Have any questions about Trusted Housesitters?

Drop them in the comments below or check out my pet sitting videos on Tiktok

Pssst…this post contains affiliate links.

If you purchase a product through one of my links, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Please read my disclosure for more info. 

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