Hi there, I have a phone chat scheduled tomorrow for a 4 months dogsit that starts next year. As a sitter, is there something different that I should ask or discuss with the homeowner that may be different than the 1 to 2 week sits that we’ve been used to? I wouldn’t mind a longer sit like this but just just considering what to do if I have a personal emergency, or if my husband needs to go to our hometown for a company meeting, grandparents may want to see our kids, etc. Can I get some thoughts on your experiences with long-term sits?
I don’t have any experience here, but don’t forget you can search on the forums for similar topics. E.g.:
You say your chat is tomorrow but the sit isn’t until next year. At least that gives you time to iterate.
Hello @IHeartAnimals - 4 months is a long time (we’re on one of those now). Really trust your gut. Think about things that you need for normal life (as it’s long term), groceries, transport, doctors, vets, neighbours, things to do etc They’ll all be more important than on a two week sit. And there are 5 of you to consider too. Other things to ask would include their emergency plan b if you have a family emergency or what happens if one of the pets dies as it’s a long time. Take your time, talk to them at length, trust your gut, make sure you’re all fully committed. Our challenge with long sits is us getting the fidgets to keep travelling so bear that in mind too
After many years of housesitting, I have established a pretty solid sense of my preferences and what works for me. The most important thing I consider when deciding on what sits to apply for is what my day to day routine will look like and how well that assignment hews to those preferences.
I may be willing to compromise to some degree in certain cases, such as a shorter-term sit that seems really great in other respects. For example, I travel with my husband and I really like having my own space and some privacy. So I don’t apply for sits in studio apartments, tiny houses, one room casitas,etc… But if I were to find a sit like that for a short period that filled a gap in our schedule, I wouldn’t mind. But staying somewhere like that for weeks or months…a definite ‘no.’
The longer the sit, the more important it would be to me that the assignment checked most of my boxes, especially the ones that are really important.
So my advice to you would be to carefully consider your needs and the things most important to you, and how the location, responsibilities, the house, the animals,etc…align with that. And you may find certain questions arising from this exploration that you would ask the HO.
Thank you for the info!
Thanks for your wise input. My husband and I were just putting our questions together
Yes it is a long sit and those are great things to consider
@IHeartAnimals We haven’t done long term sits, but we have had a couple of sits where my husband had to travel back to our home town for a day or two. On one occasion he had a hospital appointment come through that was in the middle of a sit, on another, my mum was offered an appointment for a scan at very short notice, while we were on the sit, and he offered to go back to take her there.
There are a couple of questions to ask yourself:-
Are you comfortable that you and the kids can fulfil the sit responsibilities while he is away? We actually do more sits without my husband than with him, so we only do sits that the kids and I could do alone.
Will there be any other impact of him returning to your home town? For example will he take the vehicle and leave you without transport, and could you manage without? Or can he take public transport?
One one occasion my husband did take the car and we agreed that we could manage without a car for a couple of days (we were in a small town and the nearest shop was about a 3 minute walk!) On the second occasion we had taken 2 cars to the sit as he had gone straight from work, so it wasn’t an issue.
As for grandparents wanting to see the kids, could one of you take one or two kids to visit them while the rest of the family manage the sit? Or if the grandparents like to travel, could they arrange a short break in the same area of your sit and you could ask the hosts if they could visit the home for lunch / tea? We often sit locally over Christmas and ask if my mum can come over for the day on Christmas Day.
Hope the chat goes well!
We have completed some long sits ( over 1 month ) during our initial video calls the homeowners we asked about the possibility of having visitors for coffee/ dinner .
Both sets of homeowners in these cases were open to us having some visitors and actually suggested that we could have family to stay also ( we didn’t take them up on it ) but in their words they didn’t expect us to be living in a bubble for xx months .
Definitely need to think about your “what if” strategy and discuss with homeowners if one of the family became seriously ill for example …
and similarly what if homeowners needed to curtail their trip and come back early this needs to be discussed….
Very good suggestions already. It would be even better if you could visit the premises and meet the owners well in advance to get a feeling for the owners and the place.
Our longest sits were 3 x 7 and 6 weeks respectively, and it’s very important on the longer sits to feel ‘me casa es su casa’. It will be your home base for 4 months, so you must feel (and be made to feel) completely at home, including receiving the odd guests if you want. Garden work, or some things might need fixing. Work out if they’ll leave some emergency cash, or how they’ll reimburse you if you have expenses, or even pet food for 4 months… It’s hard to imagine what might pop up.
I am also interested in getting some long-term sits. Does anyone want to give me some hints? Right now I just search for the places I am interested in and then review posts to see which ones are the longest. Any other way to do it?
Annie on her way to Boston from England
@Debbie wow very good things to consider. I will certainly ask these questions. I’ve never asked a HO if anyone could stop by but maybe for a long sit, I could see if there is flexibility. Thank you
@Corbettmoore You can just use to filter to look for long sit and then save. I have one set up for 1+ month.
I just copied and pasted this into my list of questions. Thank you.
@Silversitters that’s one of the thoughts I had. What would happen if someone (either on our side or the HO’s side) got seriously ill. Plus one of the dogs is 14 years old, what happens if she gets really sick. We’ve been doing mostly 1 week to max 2 week sits so far and it’s a bit tiring moving my family from house to house so a longer sit is appealing. Jumping to a 4 month sit doesn’t feel like traveling anymore. Feels like a short-term lease more stationary. I’m at least excited to talk to the HO and then discuss over it with my family. So far I’ve been making the decisions on where to go and what pets to watch but this is so lengthy that I feel it’s only right to get everyone’s opinions