House Sitting: A New Idea, A New Lifestyle

Dariece Swift author's bio Goats On The Road

Our 5 month journey through Central Asia is nearing its end, and as with the end of all of our adventures, there is a new future on our horizon. We have plenty of previous experience with house / pet sitting, but doing it as a career is an idea we first heard of on Nora Dunn’s blog: The Professional Hobo. She has plenty of information on becoming a professional house sitter and the thought of staying in a villa in Spain, or walking a sweet little dog on the beach in Grenada immediately piqued our interest.

House Sitting

Of course, house sitting isn’t a popular lifestyle choice (yet) so the reaction from people is usually the same.

“So, you’re just looking to bum around in other people’s homes?”

“Who would let a complete stranger watch their house?”

“Sounds like a pretty flakey system.”

The reality is that house sitting sites are becoming popular resources for travellers on both ends of the spectrum. Home owners can leave their property, and most importantly their pets, in the hands of reliable house/pet sitters when they go on their own trips, while house sitters can get a better understanding of culture by living in local communities for extended periods of time.

This Is An Actual House Sitting Gig In A Castle In The South Of Spain
This Is An Actual House Sitting Gig In A Castle In The South Of Spain

So How Does It Work?

Well, there are plenty of resources online which put home owners in contact with trusted house/pet sitters, the biggest of which is Basically you pay a small yearly fee and then add a few photos, a video, a police check and a profile. The site allows for you to request references from friends, co-workers and previous home owners whom you have sat for. This builds your credibility on the site and the more references you have, the higher you appear in the site’s search engine.

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 9.05.52 PM

For more on how to get started, check out this post on The Professional Hobo, or this post on Suitcase Stories.

Why Did We Decide To Start House Sitting?

We are currently travelling through Central Asia and we are loving every minute of it. We still enjoy every aspect of backpacking, but recently, we’ve realized that our favourite parts of our trips have been when we stop for a few days, a week, or even a month and really get to know a place. So, we’ve been thinking “why not travel like that for a while?” We would like to find a house sitting gig for about 2 months somewhere in Europe, Central America, South America or the Caribbean. It will be nice to have a base from which to work, and hopefully we get to have a dog or a cat for a while, a joy which our travelling lifestyle doesn’t afford us.

Our Profile
Our Profile. So Far We’ve Been Lucky And 5 Home Owners Have Contacted Us!

During our time sitting, we could not only explore a new country, but we could work on getting caught up on older posts for the website, blog about the region we’re in, and also write about this new lifestyle experiment as it is in progress. We’re always researching new ways to live a free lifestyle, both in fun and finance.

Will We Continue To Travel?

Yes! For us, travelling has always been about witnessing different cultures, tasting unique cuisines, trekking wild landscapes and admiring architecture. House sitting will allow us to do all of these things in a new way, without the rush of expiring visas, or the push of getting to “the next place”. For us, this new way of travelling gives us time to really immerse ourselves and properly learn about the places we visit, instead of just passing through. We hope we will be members of the communities we live in, rather than tourists.

friends met overseas
Spending More Time Somewhere Helps To Forge Real Friendships

We’re not just confining ourselves to different houses for the next few years though. Our idea is to house sit for a month or two, and then travel that country for a month before moving on to another job. We are giving preference to the Caribbean, Central & South America because we really want to learn Spanish and what better place than down south?!

We will still be backpacking, but we will just be going at a slower pace, which has actually been our goal since we started travelling.

So after this trip we will be embarking on a new journey. We’ll be testing the waters in a new type of lifestyle. It is a way of life anyone can try. If you’re looking for a change in your life, our you want a break from travelling around with a backpack, maybe house sitting is for you. It’s an idea that can ensure safe, and financially sustainable travel for all ages, 19 – 90!

We’ll be posting more about exactly how you can get involved with house sitting, as well as posts about our personal experiences with the pets, homes and home owners. We’ve already been contacted by a lot of friendly home owners with beautiful properties and adorable animals, so we’re just waiting for that perfect place. Stay tuned and hopefully you’ll see us floating in a pool or walking a cute little dog down the beach near an ocean front villa!

Have you ever heard of or used these house sitting sites? What do you think of them? Leave a comment below.

Like it? Pin it! 🙂

House Sitting- A New Idea, A New Lifestyle

Dariece Swift author's bio Goats On The Road

Written by

Dariece Swift

Dariece is a co-founder of Goats On The Road, and an expert in saving money, finance management, building an online business and of course... travel. She loves meeting new people, trying new cuisines, and learning about the unique cultures of our world. She has over 12 years of experience helping others to realize their travel dreams and has worked in numerous jobs all over the world to help pay for travel.

Related Posts

Vietnam UNESCO site

How to Become a House Sitter in Vietnam

In this article, I’ll tell you how to become a house sitter in Vietnam. I recently spent 6 weeks house sitting in Ho Chi Minh City and loved my time there. I enjoyed it so much, that I’ve already booked to return. Since leaving the UK two years ago, I’ve traveled the world as a ...
Two women and a man standing in front of a vacation house and a car in the side.

How to Start House Sitting in Italy (+Get Free Accommodation)

In this article, I’ll outline the best ways to become a house sitter in Italy. Since leaving my home in the UK in 2022 and embarking on a global traveling adventure, I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy two fantastic spells in Italy. House sitting has played a big part in allowing me to travel extensively ...
house sitting feature image

How to Start House Sitting in the UK (Free Accommodation)

This article will give you all the information you need to become a house sitter in the UK. There are a ton of UK listings just waiting for applications, and within this post, I’ll outline here exactly where to find them and how to secure them! I think house sitting is the ultimate job out ...

21 thoughts on “House Sitting: A New Idea, A New Lifestyle”

  1. Thanks guys!
    We’ve actually just agreed to a sit – details to follow 🙂 It’s perfect.
    Your sit in Costa Rica looked amazing as well. I think house sitting is a perfect for animal lovers, people who are location independent and those who want to immerse in the local culture.

    We’re so excited 🙂


  2. Hey Danielle!

    You’ve got that right. It’s the best way to fully immerse in a community and culture. We’re really excited to feel like a local for awhile rather than a tourist.

    Hecktic Travels is definitely a great resource, as is Globetrotter Girls.

    We hope house sitting works out for you 🙂


  3. House-sitting sounds like such a great way to learn about and become a part of a new community while still having the flexibility to travel. I hope to be house-sitting next year in fact! Hecktic Travels also has some very valuable info on their website

    I’m looking forward to reading more about your experiences Nick and Dariece!

  4. Glad you found house sitting such a great way to travel! We have been doing it now for over 2 years and use it as our primary travel accommodations. Not only have we saved heaps of money, we get to live like a local too.. We were lucky to have stayed in places that range from a beach house in Fiji to a villa over looking a Tuscan valley. Next stop Ireland (again!) Enjoy the experience!
    We have some information on our website and provide some house sitting resources there too:
    Safe travels!

  5. This post is just in time for me. I’m looking into what I can do with my life besides being a workaday slave. While I’ve looked into doing this for years, I’m just now taking action steps. All the best to you!

  6. House sitting is such a great tool for travel. We’ve just secured our 15th assignment and have enjoyed looking after some fantastic properties and pets over the last 3 years of our nomadic existence.

    Membership to Trusted House Sitters is well worth it! I can’t tell you how much our house sitting assignments have enriched our experience of travel!

  7. Zab and I signed up for a couple of housesitting websites in March this year, but haven’t got any jobs yet. The reason is that in South America it’s still a really new concept, and there are almost no housesits available. We’ve seen a few for Ecuador, though. Central America (especially Panama and Costa Rica) seems to be more promising, and Europe is an absolute treasure-trove of housesits – we can’t wait to hopefully get stuck in there next year!

  8. We have done the housesitting a few times now and as long as you take the time to make sure all your questions are answered before you go, then you’ll have a great time. We became friends with one of our hosts and have done house sitting for them a few times, which is really neat when you get to catch up with someone you know.

  9. Hey Cheryl!

    It sounds like you guys have found some amazing gigs! We’ve been contacted by lots of people, which is amazing, and we have a few lined up for next year. We’re so excited!

    We’ll definitely check out your information 🙂

    Cheers and happy travels.

  10. Hey Sam!
    We agree, we’ve been looking for sits in Central and South America and they are virtually non-existent….but not as bad as in Central Asia! haha. Europe would be a great place to find assignments.

    Good luck.

  11. What an exciting new adventure! I’ve been thinking about looking into the idea of house sitting for travel, too, so I can’t wait to read about your experiences/suggestions! Have fun.

  12. Great post guys!
    I’ve been thinking about house sitting for a couple of years now and I will probably do it in the near future. Just like you, I prefer to move around slowly and immerse in the local culture.

    I’ve done Au-pair projects a few times, which is also great, specially for young solo travelers… get paid to travel.

  13. Hey Yara,

    You’re right, moving around slowly is the way to do it. We’ve heard of other people doing au pair jobs, great idea! There are so many ways to make money while on the road, it’s amazing.


  14. I am just now researching this idea and it is so intriguing!! I am looking for more out of life, I want to see the world and do some soul searching. This seems like a wonderful idea. Interested in getting more details, suggestions, and tips on where to start!

Comments are closed.