Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Housesitting Around The World

Housesitting for free accommodations?
Now that is a fantastic concept!

Wanna stay at a place like this for free?  You can!

Does just the cost of accommodations for a vacation send shivers down your spine?
For many people it is a deal breaker especially if you have a lot of people to provide for.
You always have the option of renting a house wherever you go but what about staying in one for free.

Housesitting is the new rage in the travel industry and many savvy travelers are planning ahead and find destinations where they can stay for free.

Typically, what you would do is first find a housesit then airfare.  It is much easier to search housesitting websites like Trusted House Sitters, Mind My House or House Sitters America so you know for sure that you have a play to stay.  
 After that book your airfare.

Say you want to spend time in Australia but after the airfare you don't have that much coin left over.
No worries, just join any of those databases for annual fees ranging from $20-$60 and search your heart away.

You will need references!

My suggestion to you is to first start locally especially if you have no house sitting experience.  Use your resources and offer up your services to take care of someones home and pets and ask them if could use them as a reference in the future (given you do a good job).

On these websites you can find opportunities that last a weekend, a week, months and longer.  
The researching does take time but if you are committed you find a dream destination or at least one that is close to where you want to be.  
Or what if you want to travel all of Europe - you easily could staying free the entire time.  You just have to travel slow, which is the best type of travel, and stay committed.

Other than staying for free you get the chance to immerse yourself into a neighborhood or local community where you would not otherwise......and avoid all the tourists!

I am not a fan of being immersed with a ton of people....what I do like is sharing a common space with fellow like minded folks.  
Even when you house sit you can find that in the local town or if you rather just spend your time at "home" and take in your new view.
The view could be a vast ocean vista, snow covered pines, farmland speckled with horses and chickens or a white picket fence.  

Does this interest you or would still rather stay in an all inclusive with concierge service and valet parking?

If you are serious about it here is what you will need to succeed:

A catchy profile: 
This is the first thing all of the potential home owners will see and if you put your heart into it and stay with it chances are you will find exactly what you want.....over and over again.
Make sure you include in your profile:
Past experience - this includes if you are a home owner yourself.
Pets - If you love anything with four legs or even no legs let that be known.  Many times people want you staying in their home to take care of their fur child.
(If you do not like pets but it is the perfect location - do not lie!!! Simply do not take the job - it is fast way to get a bad rep!)
Special skills - Are you a handyman or a gardener?  Great!  That is a special skill!  
Don't be dry - simply put....be enthusiastic.  Happiness and enthusiasm goes a long, long way.

Opening email:
Each website offers you a chance to write a message to the home owner that will be attached to your profile.  Make it brief yet concise highlighting the most important information like if their profile picture is of their dog.  Make a point to say that their "lab" is your favorite breed and you have had ones in the past.  Etc....you get the gist!

Make it your life (as much as you can)
General rule of thumb - all the great house sits go FAST!  So you have to watch for new ones and try to be one of the first responders.    Just like in an job interview, you do not want to be the last person the employers sees that day.  
You always want to be the first!

Legit references from legit house stays.  Home owners take these seriously, wouldn't you?  Would you let just any ole joe come stay in your home and take care of your fur children? 
I don't think so!
Consider asking former landlords, old neighbors or bosses, or anyone that can attest to your character, reliability, and trustworthiness.  
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
While this is a chance for free accommodations it is also a responsibility to take care of someone else's personal possessions and fur babies.  Sure 99.9% of the time nothing will go wrong but there is that slight chance that a hurricane could hit the Caribbean while you are there or the dog gets loose and you have to wrangle it back home at 3am.  
Just always, always follow the owner's protocol and be honest with them.  ALWAYS!!! 
You are building relationships and references....you do not want to burn your virtual bridges.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so very much for taking the time to visit my blog! Traveling is very dear to me and sharing my travels and desires with you makes my heart smile. I want to hear all about your adventures because sharing travel stories is the root to all inspiration. Also, any suggestions you may have on how I can improve this blog - I am all ears!!
Allie xoxo