There is no doubt that accommodation costs make up a large chunk of your overall budget when travelling. In order to actually be able to afford to travel for the best part of a year, we had to put some serious thoughts towards saving money on accomodation. We considered a range of things from, long term airBnB stays, woofing, couch surfing, house swaps or even camping. In the end though, we came across something called house sitting and thought we would give it a go.
House sitting is where you go into and live in people’s houses to look after their much loved pets, gardens and of course homes. This is in exchange for free accommodation. We have recently gone through the process of setting up our profile and applying for various house sits across UK. This is how we did it:
1. Sign up to a house sitting website
Sign up to a house sitting website. We chose trustedhousesitters.com because they seemed to be the biggest one and have the most house sits regularly advertised. There is a yearly cost involved to subscribe; $119/year. You will easily make this money back through just a night or two of accommodation. If you are ever keen on exploring this option, click on this link to save 20%!
2. Create a profile
Once you’ve signed up, you create your profile. This is a very important step as house sits are quite competitive and your profile needs to ‘sell you’ and why people should choose you as oppose to the next person. In your profile you share a bit about yourselves and your experience with pets and house sitting.
3. Get some reviews
This is probably the most important part of your profile. You can get reviews from landlords, previous house sits, character reviews, ect. The more the better!
4. Add a video
Megan and I also created a cheesy little video to go on our profile. It’s pretty lame, but has proven very helpful so far in applying and getting house sits. Check it out below (please don’t judge!):
5. Start applying for house sits
Next up you search for house sits by location and date and start applying for them. When you apply, you write a short message to the owners introducing yourself. We have applied for any house sits which are family friendly across all of England from January to the end of April. We have probably applied for close to 50 places and only heard back from a handful so be prepared to persevere. A lot of the houses have 10+ different people applying for them.
Here is what we have organised through house sitting so far:
- 19th Jan to 4th Feb, Banbury
- 8th Feb to 2nd March, Alton
- 18-19th March, Kempston
- 24th March to 14th April, Crankbrook
Of the first 3 months in England, we are so far spending over 50 nights house sitting which we are pretty happy with! We will keep you updated on how we find the experience once we complete our first house sit in our 17th century house looking after three little dogs near Banbury in Oxfordshire.