How to House Sit Around the World Part 1: Kick Ass Profiles and Applications

how to house sit around the world

Her Packing List is not just about packing better, it’s about traveling better. With that in mind, we’re providing this series on house sitting around the world so you can potentially make your travels better, longer, and cheaper with periodic house sitting assignments across the globe. Written by house sitting pro, Charli Moore, this series will show everything from how to get an assignment to what to pack when you’re on your way.

If I told you that I’d been travelling the world none stop for the last 3 years, I’m guessing the first question you would ask me would be…

“How do you afford to pay for that?”

I’d then tell you that I am a house sitter and consequently live on a severely reduced daily budget thanks to my ability to live for free all over the world.

“Live for free?” you’d reply, a little confused.

In the last 3 years I’ve lived on a mango plantation in Costa Rica, a beach front property in New Zealand, a macadamia farm in remote Australia and in a four storey town house in British Colombia. I’ve looked after 14 different homes and saved myself the cost of more than 18 months accommodation.

House Sitting in Costa Rica

Best of all I’ve lived like a local in locations all over the world. I’ve met some fantastic people and explored off the well-trodden tourist trail without breaking the bank or adding to my already colossal student debt.

So how can you house sit around the world?

Finding Your Dream House Sitting Assignment

The first step to becoming a house sitter is to register with a house sitting service.There are a number of them out there and more are popping up all the time so be considered in your choice here.

Take a look at the assignments on offer before you sign up. See if you can find the number of available assignments listed for the locations you wish to visit, the more assignments the site has to offer the better your chance of finding something that appeals to you and of course, the better your chance of securing an opportunity.

The membership fees vary but in my experience you get what you pay for.

Initially I hedged my bets and signed up to 3 sites. I spent almost $200 in the process and in hindsight I really didn’t need to.

Over the last 3 years I’ve had the most success with Trusted House Sitters. They are now the largest house sitting service connecting home owners and house sitters, and they have an extensive portfolio of assignments all over the world.

Creating A Kick Ass House Sitter Profile

Once you’ve registered with a service, you’ll need to create a tip top house sitter profile. This is the most important part of the whole process.

Take the time to complete every section of your profile.

Be open and honest about your reasons for becoming a sitter and talk about yourself in detail.

Discuss your career, hobbies and interests. Divulge any pet peeves or phobias and stipulate what responsibilities you are happy to take on during an assignment.

Stipulate whether you will be travelling alone or with a partner, and detail what you hope to get out of any assignments you take on.

Ojochal, Costa Rica - house sitting in Costa Rica

Source some willing references who are able to competently assess your character or ability to house sit. While character references are great, having someone who can vouch for your house sitting credentials is a real bonus, so consider asking a close friend or relation if they need a house sitter for the weekend or even overnight.

Once you’ve compiled your profile, upload some recent photographs of yourself either engaging in your favourite hobby or looking after an animal. Show your personality, but remember to be conservative in your depiction of yourself.

FYI: drunken office party snaps are best left hidden on Facebook!



Applying For Your First Assignment

So you’ve signed up to a house sitting service and created a fab profile. The next thing to do is to apply for your dream assignment.

Don’t forget that the world is literally your oyster so search for any and every location you’ve always wanted to visit.

Whether you’re looking for a short term break or a long term house sitting assignment to test out expat life abroad, there are some things you should consider when sending off an application:

  • Ensure you’ve read the home owner’s advert thoroughly and be certain you can fulfil their requirements.
Pet Sitting in a House Sitting Assignment
Pet sitting is often a part of house sitting.
  • Find out if you’ll need a visa to cover your stay, vaccinations or a basic understanding of the language if house sitting abroad.
  • Spend some time researching the local area and make sure it is a location you want to visit. Just because the owner chooses to live there does not mean it will be paradise. Do your homework before you agree to live there.
  • Craft a tailored application letter which instils confidence in the owner that you are a great candidate. Talk about their assignment, mention that you are happy to take on responsibilities X,Y and Z as mentioned in their advert, and ask intelligent questions to prompt them to respond.
  • If applying as a solo female, draw attention to the fact that your skill set is more than adequate to fulfil the requirements listed and reiterate any characteristics you believe make you the perfect applicant.

After you’ve made sure the assignment works for you and sent off a tailored application, cross all available limbs.

If you have made sure that you are suited to the assignment and have communicated that fact in your application, then there’s a great chance that you’ll be in the running to secure your dream house sit!

A dream house sitting assignment.
A dream house sitting assignment.

If you’re keen to become a savvy international house sitter then watch out for the 2nd part of this fab house sitting series here on Her Packing List.

In my next article, I’ll be looking at how to choose the right assignments, select suitable locations and why it’s a good idea to get to know the home owners before you arrive.

In the meantime happy house sitting everyone!

>> See part 2 and part 3 of this series.

*All photos except title photo by Charli Moore.

Written by Charli

Charli Moore is a house sitter and travel addict with a penchant for dark chocolate. In 2011 she and her other half Ben waved ‘Adios’ to the corporate world and jumped head first into a life of perpetual travel. You can follow the adventures of this writer/photographer team over at Wanderlusters or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Add your voice & leave a comment!

Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

    • Charli Moore says

      Thanks Corinna! I have to say it has completely revolutionized the way I travel. I can’t recommend house sitting enough, give it a go, you won’t be disappointed!

  1. Lacey says

    We moved to Italy at the beginning of the summer, and of course want to travel all around Europe to take advantage of the great adventure we’ve been granted. Do you have any tips for like me who have a great place and pets who could use care during our vacations that are a week or more? Anything that, as the host/home”owner” you think we should be aware of or looking out for when we are choosing a sitter? This seems like it could be a great, mutually-beneficial arrangement!

Trackbacks

Leave A Reply