I often write about house sitting when I travel, and that’s because house sitting is a great way to get rent-free accommodation around the world. It’s so easy to get started as a house sitter and anyone can do it.
House sitting opens up a world of opportunities to stay in amazing places you didn’t know about, or stay in accommodation you wouldn’t normally have the budget to stay in when you’re travelling.
You could end up staying in a Caribbean beachfront apartment, a secluded log cabin in the Colorado mountains, an Italian villa on the Amalfi Coast or a lakefront lodge in New Zealand.
And you could stay in all of these places, rent-free.
What is house sitting?
House sitting is an exchange of services by mutual agreement, whereby a house sitter gets to stay in a property for free whilst the owner is away and the homeowner has their property, possessions and pets cared for by you in return.
Often the house sitter is able to use all the property facilities and sometimes has the use of a car too.
Often the homeowner doesn’t want to leave their dogs in expensive dog kennels or pay a dog walker to come to walk their pet every day, so getting a house sitter is a great solution for them.
It’s a trust-based, fair exchange arrangement where the house sitter gets to live in rent-free accommodation in exchange for carrying out the tasks involved in caring for a house and pets.
This usually involves feeding and walking the pets, general maintenance and cleaning of the house and keeping things running as the owner would.
Who can do house sitting?
Anyone can! That’s the beauty of it, the only skills required to be a house sitter are the life skills most people have already picked up in their day-to-day lives.
House sitting is perfect for single travellers, digital nomads, freelancers, couples, retirees, and even entire families.
You could be a freelancer looking for somewhere secluded and inspiring to focus on work, a digital nomad or traveller using house sitting as a cheap way to travel a country, a couple saving for your first home, an animal-loving retiree who loves to travel, or even a family who is looking to try out a different lifestyle in a new place.
If you can look after a house and care for pets, then you can house sit. Say hello to your rent-free accommodation.
Can I really get rent-free accommodation by house sitting?
YES. House sitting opens up some amazing opportunities to get rent-free accommodation around the world or even in your local area. You don’t always have to travel to house sit, there are often house sitting jobs very near to you, in your local town or city.
You could be pet sitting in a modern, stylish apartment in downtown Manhattan, New York City, you could stay in a traditional French farmhouse in the South of France, be pet sitting in a poolside condo on the Gold Coast of Australia or be a dog walker in a beautiful Georgian townhouse in Central London.
During our many years of house sitting, we have been fortunate enough to stay in some beautiful houses, in some stunning locations.
Here are just a few of the house-sitting jobs and locations we’ve done around the world:
House sitting on the Gold Coast, Australia
The Gold Coast in Queensland is a haven for holidaymakers and most Australians flock here in peak holiday times, for the endless stretches of golden beaches and the cruisey beach lifestyle.
We have had many house sitting jobs here, some a few minutes from the beach and others in houses that back onto the canals or lakes.
Our favourite was for an anxious, rescue Greyhound in an apartment with a view of the ocean, in the popular Burleigh Heads area.
House sitting in Sydney, Australia
We lived in Sydney for almost two years and spent nearly all of that time house-sitting all around the city.
Our house sitting jobs were in a range of different suburbs including, Greater Western Sydney, Lower North Shore, the eclectic Inner West, the Northern Beaches suburbs and inner city Sydney.
Some of our favourites were Mosman, Lane Cove, Leichhardt, Coogee and Darlinghurst.
From our experience, we found people in Sydney go on holiday a lot, so we were in house sits pretty much full-time.
House sitting in New Zealand
We’ve done a lot of long-term house sitting in New Zealand, which translates to having had a LOT of rent-free accommodation whilst we’ve been in New Zealand.
Like this one below, where we were staying in a beachy apartment in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand looking after an amazing English Bull Terrier-Greyhound cross dog.
This house sit is just one road down from the beach and has a great backyard complete with palm trees and a hammock, a perfect location for beach hangs and exploring the beach town of Mount Maunganui.
This is one of our regular house sitting jobs that we do when we’re in New Zealand and also one of our favourites.
We also did lots more house sitting around Auckland, Wellington and in Tauranga.
House sitting in Bangkok, Thailand
A Thai condo in the popular Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, Thailand, looking after two fun-loving fox terrier dogs.
House sitting on Koh Lanta Island in Thailand
House sitting in Thailand at a Yoga Bungalow retreat on the island of Koh Lanta on the Andaman coast of Thailand, taking care of a laid-back Labrador.
House sitting in Perth, Western Australia
House sitting in Australia at a Victorian, suburban townhouse in Perth, Western Australia, looking after an awesome and cuddly Groodle.
House sitting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
House sitting in Malaysia at a stylish apartment with a great view of the KL skyline in Kuala Lumpur, taking care of a talkative, fluffy cat.
These are just a few of the many house sits we’ve completed, just imagine where you could go.
You could be spending your next Christmas on the beach and your New Year’s Eve in a vibrant city. Or imagine spending Easter in the mountains or your summer holidays at a lakeside retreat.
The Benefits of House Sitting for Rent Free Accommodation
I love being a pet sitter or house sitter abroad, it’s the ultimate travel indulgence for me. I get to travel to amazing countries, get rent-free accommodation around the world and stay in interesting houses.
And I also get to live a completely different lifestyle.
I can live in properties I normally wouldn’t be able to rent and I can try out beach life, mountain living or an inner-city lifestyle. It means I can go somewhere new and live like a local, explore local areas and experience the community and culture.
As a travelling freelancer, I do move quite often and being on the road all the time can take its toll. Sometimes it’s so good to stop moving for a while and have all the comforts of a house, plus pets to cuddle and hang out with.
And I always need somewhere quiet and well-equipped to work from home when I’ve got freelance articles to write or when I’m working on my websites.
House sitting means I can have a quiet place to work in, free Wifi and usually free use of a coffee machine too!
How do I get start getting rent free accommodation by house sitting?
You can get started right away, simply by joining a house sitting website.
“Do I have to pay”, I hear you ask.
Yes, most of the time, you will have to pay to join a house sitting website and access their job listings. However, they only cost around $80 – $100 to join and that gets you an entire year’s membership.
Sure, it’d be great if all online memberships were free right? But sometimes to get something great, you have to invest a little.
Living rent-free by house siting has literally saved us THOUSANDS over the 7 years we’ve been doing it.
We had 4 months of house sitting jobs lined up when we were in New Zealand so that sign-up fee was a tiny amount in comparison to what we would’ve paid if we had to pay for 4 months of hotel or Airbnb accommodation in New Zealand.
Which by the way, would’ve cost around $18,000 NZD. Yep – I KNOW.
We house sat almost solidly for two years in Sydney — I’m not even going to attempt to add that amount of savings up!
In most popular cities around the world, you’ll pay around $100-$150 per night for a hotel. In beach resort locations, you’ll pay even more.
So after only two nights of house sitting in a city or town, your membership will have already paid for itself!
House sitting can end up saving you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in accommodation costs, depending on how long your trip is.
So we think house sitting is the smart thing to do if you want to see amazing places and get rent-free accommodation.
It’s a no-brainer really.
So, what are the best house sitting websites to join?
People often ask us what are the best house sitting websites for finding house sitting jobs, as a simple Google search will show you there are loads of them out there.
We use a few but mostly we use the highly trusted and global website Trusted Housesitters. They are the #1 most trusted and popular site for House sitters and for Homeowners and we love using them.
Their website is user-friendly, and informative and has everything you need to find your next perfect house sit. I sometimes browse this website for hours, looking at all the incredible places I could stay in!
When you join Trusted Housesitters as a House sitter, your membership will include:
- Unlimited access to all the available house sitting jobs around the world
- Messaging services with Homeowners
- Trusted House Sitters smartphone app so you can browse on the go
- House sitting resources to build your profile
- 24/7 access to a vet assistance helpline
All you have to do is sign up to Trusted Housesitters, pay one payment of $119 USD and that gets you a whole year of house sitting membership.
Then create your house sitter profile and you’re good to go!
Bottom line is, if you love to travel, you know house sitting will save you thousands and any membership fee is totally worth it.
As a Trusted House Sitters member you can:
- Browse hundreds of house sits all over the world anytime, on the website or the Trusted House Sitters app
- Get a daily email of all the brand new house sitting jobs, a day before anyone else
- Always have a chance to be the first to apply for the best jobs.
Then you can get started planning your next dream house sit location.
Next, go check out my step-by-step guide on How to Become a House Sitter, so you can learn how to write an awesome profile and get those house sitting jobs you really want.
We prefer and recommend Trusted House Sitters for their huge range of house sits, but if you want to consider other websites, read this post reviewing all the best house sitting websites we use, for finding house sitting jobs.
House sitting is one of the greatest travel hacks I’ve discovered, after all — it’s rent-free accommodation all around the world!
It’s always a ‘win-win’ situation and most of the fantastic places I’ve stayed in and the beautiful friendships I’ve made, I owe to my happy, house sitting experiences.
Happy House Sit Hunting!
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