House Sitting Coolest Way To Spend Vacation Time In Europe

House Sitting In Europe

To tell you the truth, I had never thought about house sitting until rather recently, as I am considering it to travel across Europe while I will be in Italy.

As I was doing some research, I realized that France, Germany and the UK happen to have quite a few house sitting offers compared to some other European countries, but it’s possible to find house sitting opportunities basically anywhere, going from cities to rural areas.

Have you ever thought about house sitting to enjoy super affordable vacations that you might not otherwise be able to afford?

Or are you a homeowner with pets, plants or other things that need someone’s attention while your away?

If yes, then this article is for you.

I’m not a house sitting expert, but I’ve been doing some research and a lot of reading about the subjet for the past three months, and gathered some of the things that I’ve learned, for you here!

Why do Home Owners are Looking for House sitters?

Now each home owner may have his or her own specific reason to be in the market of house sitting, but all in all it comes down the these 3 main reasons.

House Sitters Keep Burglars Away

The first and foremost concern of the homeowner who is leaving his house anywhere from a week to a few months at the time, is the risk of burglary.

It is very easy, especially in small communities, and small neighborhoods, to spot an empty house.

There are actually burglars shopping around in search of such homes, so they can come in and rob unsuspected owners that are away.  Some people have seen their home totally emptied while there were away for a long period of time.

Having someone living in the house while the owner is away, will keep the house much safer.

That’s where house sitters come in.

House sitting reduces the risk of burglary so much so,  that your home insurance could go down if you specify to them that you are registered to a house sitter agency.

Now that’s a plus, if you ask me.

House Sitters Take Care of Pets

Another essential reason why homeowners are looking for house sitters is their precious pets.

Cats, dogs, fish, horses and even at times farm animals, all need care while the owner is away.

It’s much cheaper and less traumatic for the pet to have someone live in their house while their owners are away than to spend days or weeks in a kennel.

Both pets and home owners benefit immensely from pet loving house sitters.

It’s not only cheaper for the owner, but it puts their mind at ease, and this is priceless.

As for cats and dogs, they don’t have to go through the emotional turmoil of going to a kennel.

That in my book, is even more priceless.

House Sitters Take Care of Plants and Gardens

Besides pets, many homeowners have plants, lawns and other gardens that need to be attended to while they’re gone.

Finding someone willing to live in their house for free while enjoying some dream vacation , and taking care of those things, is really perfect for both parties.

For the reasons mentioned above, and maybe more, many homeowners all over the world, including Europe, are looking for trustworthy house sitters.

And many house sitters would love to stay in your house for a few weeks or even months for free, in exchange for some house sitting, pet care and other gardening shores, in order to live the good life somewhere else.

 

What to do if you are a Home Owner or a Want to be House Sitter

OK, here I used the term “want to be” house sitter, here, because if you are already a house sitter, I assume that you already know all of that.

But if not, my little snippet here could come handy for you.

First, you need to register to some trusted house sitting sites where both homeowners and house sitters can meet each other.

Those sites work pretty much like dating sites in a way, but instead of bringing together people looking for a relationship, they are bringing together homeowners and house sitters, so they can decide if they are a good fit for each other.

While I did my own research, I also asked my trusted friend Ryan Biddulph who knows quite a bit about house sitting.

So here are some trusted sites for both homeowners and house sitters:

TrustedHouseSitters.com

TrustedHouseSitters

According to all the reading that I’ve done, and to what Ryan gave me, this house sitting site is the number one on many lists.

They have the same plans for both homeowners and house sitters.

The monthly plan is $49.99/month.

The annual plan is $95.88 per year (if paid in full) which comes to $7.99/month.

 

HouseCarers.com

House_Carers

For this one, both homeowners and house sitters can register for free.

However, for fully activated memberships with all the benefits to come with it, such as having your photo being displayed on the site, there is a $50 fee.

Before you pay anything, though, the site lets you navigate and find house sitters and homes to sit as soon as you register for free.

 

MindMyHouse.com  

House sitting in Europe

This one is cheap, but yet has got pretty good reviews.

Only $20 per year to register for house sitters.

Homeowners can register for free.

 

What you Need to Know as a First Time House Sitter

1- Create a Profile

When you register to any or all of those house sitting sites, make sure that you create a very good profile, and that you’ll be able to provide references.

If you’ve never done house sitting before, try to get references from previous employers or friends.

Make sure you specify about what you’re willing to do.

Take care of pets and which one … dogs, cats, farm animals, etc.

Some sites will have a list of different types of animals, and you can check only the ones that fit you.

Also make sure you specify what else you’re willing to take on, such as gardening, mowing the lawn, or anything else you can think of that some homeowners might appreciate you for.

Taking a look at other profiles before you create yours, is a good idea.

2- Mind the Contract

If the homeowner wants you to sign a contract, make sure you understand everything in it.

Some homeowners will and some won’t.  That’s up to the individual.

The rule of thumb, if you do have to sign a contract is not to let any question unanswered.

Contracts may have specifics about what it means exactly to be in the house as much as possible.

Or how many minimum evenings you should be in the house per week.

Or yet again if you are allowed to have visitors, and under what conditions, and so on.

They may also specify on what day and at what time they will be calling in to make sure that everything is alright.

Homeowners may also put quitting conditions in writing (such as a minimum days for short notice), in case you decide to bail out before the agreed upon date.

During my research I found that the only times there seemed to be some issues, was when some misunderstands came into place. So, before you sign your contract, simply be sure that you understand everything, and don’t leave any room for misunderstandings.

Also, remember that some homeowners may ask you to pay for utilities such as power and water usage, or to pay only if there is a considerable difference between your usage and theirs.

All of the above should be very clear in the contract.

 

Happy House Sitting!

Do your diligent research, and register to as many house sitting sites as you can to give you more exposure.

House sitting can be so much fun and such a wonderful and rewarding experience, that you might be wondering why you didn’t think about it before.

If you are thinking about house sitting or if you’re a veteran at it, I hope you’ll leave a comment below before you leave.

 

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11 Comments

  • donna merrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    What a wonderful way to tour anywhere in the world! House sitting is a win win because you get to stay in a place that is not the “normal” hotel where you cannot get to live in a new place you want to visit.

    I know how much Ryan does this and he is always in “Paradise” and just about anyone can do it providing they sign in to these contracts.

    For myself, I have used house sitters in the past and it was very difficult to find someone trusted to be with my dogs and sleep with them because they are used to it. Things did work out with a trusted neighbor that actually house sat and loved sleeping with my dogs.

    As a consumer, this is a fantastic place to find them. But as someone who wants to travel and really visit a place this is a dream come true.

    Thanks so much!

    -Donna
    donna merrill invites you to read..Listbuilding For Bloggers | Why and HowMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Donna,

      I hear you. It was so hard for me to trust anyone to take care of my cats. What I feared the most is that no one would ever know them as much as I did myself, and they would let them out without even realizing it.

      My mom did that twice. Once with each of my cat (Sophie and Toney) while she was visiting me, and yet I trusted her because I knew that she knew that I would have a heart attack if anything happened to them while I was out 🙂 See what I mean? Yet, those rascals fooled her twice.

      However, I feel that it’s possible to find someone great and it’s so much better than taking your dogs or cats to the kennel. I think that the trick is to get someone we feel great about.

      Thanks so much for coming to all my 3 posts this week, Donna. Yeah! You’re the best! You’ll be mentioned on my “Star of the Week” section on Monday!!!

  • Kerry says:

    I have been studying about this option since starting my travel blog and with hopes of travel in future. I think it is a great option. I don’t know if anyone would want to stay in my house, in the little town I live in, but I have painted myself into a bit of a corner, if my dream is to travel more, because I have both a cat and a dog. I have some family, but I hate to depend on them if I ever were to start traveling on a regular basis. A kennel is not an option.
    I know about break-ins because I had several happen to me in the home I lived in growing up. I was even in the house for two of them.
    I know sites for cheaper places to stay, according to my research and your article here, are reflecting the future and I think it’s extremely exciting.
    Look forward to hearing about any future travels you yourself have in Europe.
    Have a lovely weekend Sylviane. Love your Friday travel posts.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Kerry,

      Wow, how terrible to find yourself in a house while there’s a break in. A long time ago, my apartment in New York was broke into while I was out, and it was traumatic enough. Sorry that happened to you my dear. It must have been scary.

      Now it seems that you’re a great client for some house sitters 🙂 and the type of sites I mentioned here can help you find serious and good people. I have no doubt there are out there. At times you might even be able to do house swap. That’s also an idea.

      I’m so glad that you enjoy my travel section. I have no doubt that this category is going to get more and more popular as time goes on.

      Thank you for coming and have a wonderful weekend!

  • Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    It’s wonderful that you are planning to travel and if you can do it without any worries, nothing like it 🙂

    We don’t have many house sitters our end, nor many companies here, though there are small agencies that take up this kind of a job, but they’d provide you with a house maid to take care, instead of someone coming in to live. You can get the maid registered and her profile verified etc, but that’s about all.

    I guess a lot depends on your location, as in our country, we don’t really need house sitters as most of us have family or relatives that take care, if we are to travel. In our case, my inlaws take over and vice-versa, if either of us take a break to travel, though we don’t go off for many days at a stretch. Yes, the pets and plants need daily care and are the toughest to deal with. I wonder how the house sitting agencies take over the pets, as they don’t readily adjust to anyone and everyone, so glad we have relatives instead who are known.

    Yes, it does work in the metros more or if the couple stays alone, but in such cases, you just lock your house and move. Mostly people live in flats or apartments, where the security is tight, and pets usually are shifted to relatives or pet homes for that time, as another alternative.

    Thanks for sharing. Happy weekend 🙂
    Harleena Singh invites you to read..GEMS Of The ABC, Giveaway Winners & A Contest – February 2015My Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Harleena,

      For sure not all countries are the same and some countries on other parts of the world do function very differently. In the western part of the world though, but even in Australia and most islands of the pacific ocean, house sitting is becoming more an more popular.

      Not everyone has family to take care of the house and pets. Like, me, I never did, since I’ve moved to the US, so unless I boarded my cats when I left 2-3 days at the time, I had no one I could really trust to take care of them. Anyone in this situation is a perfect client for house sitters.

      I’m glad you don’t have this problem 🙂

      Thank you for coming by.

  • Ryan BiddulphTwitter: RyanBiddulph says:

    Sylviane thanks for the mention! You did your homework for sure; finding the right match is key. As for now we’re doing a 4 month house sit in Bali, in a resort, really. Amazing spot, huge property and plenty of fun furry friends to take care of. Smashing post here, great job for the digital nomads out there!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph invites you to read..How My Most Horrifying Globetrotting Experience Taught Me the Most Profitable Blogging Lesson EverMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Ryan,

      I thought you might find your way to this post since I’ve mentioned you here.

      How couldn’t I mention you?

      You and Kelli are really masters of the house sitting business for sure, and one of my goals is to do just that, but in Europe for a while. I miss France, but the whole Europe really, so it’s time for me to spend some smart time there, very soon 🙂 I’m planning to do it house sitting 🙂

      Glad you liked the post and thanks so much for coming.

  • Deevra Norling says:

    I am a freelance writer and decided to do house-sitting as a way to supplement my fickle income. It sure does help in bringing a bit of extra cash.

    I am also aware that one can do this when travelling as a way to get ‘free’ accommodation which really does help in lowering travel costs. I am always a bit irked at the registration fees of these websites and it is always the house-sitter paying and never owners.

    I live in South Africa and house-sitting is very sought-after for all three reasons you mention – security, pets and gardents, plants, etc. I would like to make another trip to the US sometime, and am definitely going to try and find a house-sitting gig for accommodation purposes. And am bookmarketing this article so that I can refer back at some point! 😉

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Deevra,

      Thanks you for coming and welcome to my blog.

      Like you I’m a bit upset that the sitter has to pay while the owner doesn’t in some sites (some of them both have to pay), but I guess it’s because their are more demands than they are offers.

      I think that house sitting can reduce such a huge expense on a monthly basis, and it’s really well worth it for the adventurous kind.

      I’m glad you found this info valuable and bookmarked it. I’ll see you around.

  • Josh says:

    Housesitting can be a great way to travel for cheap and to save money if you are the one who needs their house to be sit! Great advice and thank you for linking to the websites; I will be keeping this in mind when I go on my next vacation.

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