We’re always looking for new ways to travel so when the lovely bloggers at Suitcase Stories got in touch telling us about their successful housesitting stories we wanted to find out more. Be prepared for some serious travel accommodation envy…
When people hear we have been travelling nonstop for 18 months, and have no plans to stop, they assume we are wealthy. As much as I wish we had won the lottery or had a long lost uncle leave us millions in his will, that’s not our story. We are not rich, not even close, but we somehow manage to travel the world perpetually. We live on very little means but we travel in style. How do we manage this? Housesitting!
Of course, housesitting has been around for years but I think we all associated it with retirees wanting a change of scenery. But that’s not the case anymore. Many travellers of all ages are now jumping on board the housesitting bandwagon. I know of 20 year old backpackers, single dads, families and everything in between who travel via this method.
What is housesitting
There is a misconception that housesitting is some kind of lead in to free labour; it’s not like that at all. Simply put, housesitting is an exchange of services. The owner of the house lets you stay for free while they are away on vacation and you, the sitter, repay the favor by keeping the house neat and tidy, bringing in the mail and feeding the cat. Some sits require a little more and some a little less but you know exactly what’s required before you accept.
There are websites which both homeowners and sitters can sign up to. These have listings of which homes require sitters, and a list of sitters that are available to house sit. This is called your ‘profile’.
If free accommodation isn’t enough to sway you to try housesitting, there are loads of other great reasons. Take our current housesit for example; We are living in Barbados, 5 minutes from the amazing Caribbean beaches, in a beautiful modern 2 story home with manicured gardens and a large swimming pool. We would never be able to afford to stay in such luxurious digs if it wasn’t for housesitting.
Between housesits we stay in hotels. It doesn’t take long before the cramped spaces do my head in! And the lack of a kitchen and laundry is a huge inconvenience. The cost of eating out for all of your meals can become quite expensive but having your own kitchen to cook in – Cheap and tasty!
Types of housesits
This is the part I love sharing with people. We have been fortunate to look after so many beautiful homes all around the world. Besides the Caribbean heaven we are currently living in, we have looked after a multi million dollar home in a valley, a house in the jungles of Costa Rica with beautiful ocean views, a farm house in Spain, a gorgeous little English Cottage in the UK, several beach houses, a gorgeous home in San Francisco with the best hot tub we’ve ever had… just to name a few!
We have seen ads for castles in France, Manhattan brownstones, Maui mansions, cabins in the mountains, penthouse apartments in Singapore and thousands of others. There is no limited to the opportunities available for housesitting worldwide.
So if you are planning to travel long term do yourself a favour and have a look at housesitting as an option. Living in a country allows you to experience it on a whole new level, whether it’s for 1 week or 2 months. And the money you save could go towards your next trip or make your current one even longer!
Nicole, and her husband Michael, are an Australian couple in who gave up their careers, sold their possessions and left their ‘conventional’ life behind for a life of travel. They have been living a nomadic life for 16 months and see no end in sight.
They launched Suitcase Stories to share their stories, travel tips and destination guides. They hope to inspire others to travel and to show people how long term travel is not only possible but affordable.