House-sitting is an amazing way of integrating into a neighbourhood in a foreign land. Occasionally, you don’t just get the family house but you temporarily inherit the family pets. Sometimes even a car is thrown in. You get use of the bicycles or any other equipment that your hosts may feel willing to share with strangers who they are entrusting their most valuable material asset to. We were lucky enough to stay with Thomas’ lovely older sister when we went for our visit to Germany, but otherwise, house sitting would have been the preferred option.
Unique experiences and memories can be made. You might need a bit of time out from the mundane or the rat race and this might be the key for you. Try the vibe of a new location without breaking your piggy-bank.
By doing a bit of yard work and maintenance, you can earn great reviews on your profile. This gives you more opportunities for future holidays. Pottering around a new and different location isn’t even really like real work. It is fun and appreciated by the owner.
Websites aimed at connecting house sitters with home owners have mushroomed up on the internet and won’t be hard to find. Hints from close friends of mine that help them get great reviews, include-
- Only use one or two of the rooms so there is less cleaning or risk of breakages
- Have your own ‘must haves’ in easy to grab containers that can be imported into the home and packed up easily on departure
- Buy the owners some fresh bread and milk when they are due home
- Have a meal ready to share with the owners upon their return
- Pay special loving attention to their pets
- Be absolutely respectful to the property and neighbours
These particular friends of mine have been able to retire from their full time jobs because of their house sitting. They are able to spend time together in beautiful homes, meet wonderful people and offer a service to others. They haven’t had any power, internet or rental bills in three years.