Of all the things we’ve done that have peaked people’s interest this year; TrustedHousesitters has to be number 1. It’s the sole reason we have been able to stay in great places and experience local life without paying for short term rents or Airbnb’s.
What is TrustedHousesitters (Pet Sitting)?
Simply put its a pet sitting site, you pay an annual subscription (the only money that changes hands), to then apply to available housesits all over the globe. It starts with filling out your social media style profile. Once completed you get applying. Sits range anywhere from one night to one year and really are global.
How much does trusted house sitters pet sitting cost?
£100 for the year – though our discount code is below that will save you 25%.
Our experience with pet sits for budget travel
Between the beginning of February and the end of August this year we spent over six months in housesits ranging from 3 nights to two months, staying in cities as diverse as Perth, San Fran, New Orleans, Adelaide and Chiang Mai. From the bottom of our hearts we have loved each and every ‘sit’. In total we’ve cared for and fallen in love with eight dogs and six cats, and what’s more made such good friends with people all around the world that we still keep in touch with. This site is for you if you genuinely love animals. For us it was particularly nice as we were missing our two kitties who are back home with family.
Wests Wandering Top Tips for getting the best pet sits
Take time preparing your profile, have a video on there that shows you being you. Talk about your animal experience and if you’ve got any previous petsit experience get references from there if possible.
Applying for pet sits with TrustedHousesitters
Where possible have flexibility in time and geography, we knew we were spending three months in the US but were so open as to where that may be. We applied for the sits that appealed and sorted logistics afterwards.
Try to work 4-8 weeks in advance though of course there are last minute ones that always pop up.
The site is pretty good, it has various ways to search and filter. We like the map version personally but one of the best filters is to look at ‘new listings’. If you are one of the first few applicants, we’ve found the success rate goes up dramatically
Think a bit left field with your locations. We had a beautiful pet sit in the city of Roanoke in the West Virginian Appalacians, there was lot less applicants than there would be for example an NYC redbrick.
If we are not physically able to meet the owners during the selection process, we always offer to have a Skype/Facetime call, this really helps for both parties to find out more about each other.
Be efficient in correspondence, before hand and reassuring during the sit. Our owners loved that we sent pictures regularly throughout, we even offered Facetimes with the pets although no one actually took us up on this yet (even though we facetime our cats back home every other week LOL)
Be pet prepped. Know about the pets you’ll be looking after. We have had mixed bag of pets, some with a few behavioural issues and other older pets who needed medications. So read the sit requirements carefully and make sure you are comfortable with these things. Be realistic with your own capabilities – if you are a young woman on your own, you might not be able to handle a huge dog who pulls on the lead or kicks off at other dogs. Don’t put yourself or the animal in a vulnerable position.
You need to be willing to build your day and travel plans around the animals, it isn’t like going on holiday where you can be out all day, pop back to your room and go out again. This experience is best for those who have time and attention to give to the animals and like the idea of living like a local. You need to be ok with giving up your time for walkies and cuddles.
As we are digital nomads the set up was so great for us. Having a home to ourselves that we could work, cook and relax in. Having the pets gave us that extra home away from home feeling. Of course, we still got out and explored the places we were in, we just didn’t stay out all day. If there’s two of you this is even easier as you can take it in turns to pop out and share walks etc.
Like Airbnb; reviews are critical. Both owners and sitters write reviews so always remember to leave feedback but more importantly earn your five-star review. Go the extra mile. Leave the house cleaner than you found it, do the airport run, prep a dinner for their return, cut the lawn or buy a bunch of flowers. But above all be yourself!
Being on TrustedHousesitters really is being part of your own secret community, whether you’re an owner, a pet sitter or both you will always feel a bond with the people and pets you meet through it we know we have friends for life through the site and look forward to one day welcoming them in to our home.