In this video (in Spanish with subtitles in English), I will tell you how is to travel while housesitting, that is sitting pets and houses in exchange of free accommodation. It is not a job and it is never paid.
I have sat 15 houses so far (October 2022) in several places: 7 times in the USA (California and Florida), twice in Ireland (Dublin and Co. Wicklow), and 5 times in Spain (Alicante, Mallorca, Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid) staying from 5 days until 1 month. I started in 2019, although I have been registered in TrustedHousesitters website since 2018.
How do you find houses to sit?
There are several platforms for home/pet owners and house/pet sitters, some of them specific to a region (USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc.). I have been using Trusted Housesitters from the beginning. There you can find houses o sitters, as appropriate, anywhere in the world.
Other housesitting websites (I have never tried them):
How do you know if they are a scam or not?
First of all, it is important to know that housesitting platforms charge a fee, so access is limited to members only. At this moment, Trusted Housesitters have different types of memberships ranging from €99 to €199. It is also possible to register as a pet owner and a pet sitter at the same time through the combined membership. If you join through this link, you will get 25% off (if you use my link, I will receive 2 free months in exchange).
On the other hand, both parts can write a review on the experience once the housesit is done. You can therefore consider previous sitters’ feedback to know if it is a good match for you.
And, finally, another option that I would recommend is to make a video call to have a virtual chat and clarify all the doubts before making the decision to confirm the sit.
Besides the membership fee, do you need to pay more for the stay?
No, you don’t. The exchange is to take care of houses and pets as if they were yours in return for staying there for free. Sitters pay for their trip and food. Some things can sometimes vary, like food or fuel if they lend you their car. I have also heard about home owners who ask sitters for apying pay for power and water expenses during the stay, but this never happened to me. In any case, they should let the sitter know in advance. And, of course, any veterinary expenditures are at the expense of the owner.
If you don't find a house, can you post a housesitter listing?
In the case of Trusted Housesitters, this option is not available. Only owners can post their listings. Sitters can send as many requests as they want. It is also possible that owners directly send invitations to the sitters that they like most.
Have you ever had a bad experience?
Fortunately, nothing serious. I had a big fright with one of the pets, but luckily everything ended up well so it is just an anecdote now.
I have stayed a couple times in houses that didn’t meet my minimum requirements when it comes to cleanliness. This is rather uncomfortable because you have to do it yourself immediately after you arrive. I have not had any problems with the rest of them. Usually, everything is clean and impeccable and, in my opinion, the owners should come back to a clean house in the same way.
Have you ever been restricted from accesing to some house areas?
Yes, but they were only private areas that I didn’t need to use, such as the main bedroom.
Have you ever shared the house with the owners?
Yes, this is usual on the arrival date. Most of owners want to make sure that the sitter has safely arrived before they leave. It is possible to agree the arrival date one or two days earlier, for example. Besides, this is useful to answer all the questions that may arise in situ, know how everything in the house works or ask the owners to show you around the neighborhood, among other things. Some of them even go with you to do the shopping.
Is there a maximum or minimum stay? Generally, how much time it is?
There is no minimum or maximum. Each owner points out the exact dates where they need a sitter in their listing. In my case, the lenghts of my stays have ranged from 5 days to 1 month. Even if it can seem difficult to coordinate, I have also had the chance to housesit several times in a row.