Arrival/departure dates for sitters

Hello! Asking sitters: I entered my flight dates on my listing. Should I enter a day before/after so the sitter has time to get to my place and I can explain things/meet them? I will be leaving detailed info about the cats, my house and locale.


If you don’t include the handover dates in your listing, do mention them in your write up. Either way works, so long as we know what the end points are before we apply. So often the listing doesn’t mention it so it’s always the first question I ask.

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It’s always helpful if you include the day before in your dates. If you do so, please state that in your ad. ie, “ we have included an extra day before our departure so we may meet, show you around, and most importantly familiarize you with “Spot” and his routine”. As a sitter, we always ask if that day is included. There are 3 options for handover: don’t meet, keys are under the mat(have never done this, and will not do…do not recommend). Meet shortly before departure. Some HO may not have room for overnight guests while they are home, etc, many reasons. Then IMO, the best option, meet the late afternoon before departure. You are able to get to know each other, see how the pets behave, and see what routine is expected of you. The HO can see how you interact with their baby. I think this builds trust on each side. Also you can make some terrific new friends! Of course arrive time and departure time should be fully discussed on FaceTime or call before sit is confirmed by all. This is especially helpful when doing back to back sits.


It depends also on your preference and the time of your departure. If you leave very early, it might be better for the sitter to arrive the day before. We really prefer to meet the HO in person, but others might be OK with a blind handover. One non-stressed hour for explanations / questions would be great.

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I’m a sitter and HO, with one easy cat. When I have sitters at my place, I like when they can meet beforehand, but it is not essential. I can easily do a video walkthrough if they aren’t in my area early.

I’ve done 5 sits, and only met one HO before the sit started. That was a local sit, so it was easy for me to drop in a few days before the sit. The other sits were cats, so a blind handover worked well for everyone.

Unless you can offer the sitter accommodation for the night before you leave, I wouldn’t ask them to arrive early

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I’ve done many pet sits, and most of my hosts listed the sits with their actual travel dates. Only once was the listing start date the meet-n-greet / walkthrough day. Either way works fine, just ensure you clearly mention if the first day listed is the meet-n-greet day, or your actual travel day.

When in doubt, communicate, so everyone has a clear picture of what to expect.


I am an international sitter. Starting and ending dates are very important to me as I need to make travel plans. So far I have always met the HO before each sit either some time before the sit or just a few minutes before for a go-through. I prefer to be gone before the HO arrives tho.

I think I would be uncomfortable going into an empty house on my own.

As a sitter, I’m always happy with more information regarding homeowners travel, rather than less. It absolutely helps us make a decision about our arrival time, when we know their departure. We are fine with a meeting and/or handover of keys before the sit, spending the night, or showing up after they have left. Each sit is different, and they can all work, given the HO/sitter’s travel itinerary. The ideal situation is what works for both parties, and what is agreed upon before the sit begins. If travel issues change last minute, as they have for us over this summer, being flexible is ideal for all.


This is most definitely one of the most important points of a sit to communicate and confirm from the very beginning so that there is no confusion from either side.

Additional to handover date and times

  1. Flight/Travel details - carrier and times
  2. Destination address
  3. Destination contact details - in the absence of mobile or internet access
  4. Travel itinerary if applicable

This information could be invaluable in the unlikely event of an emergency

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I always do day before our holiday, we go and stay in a hotel,then same coming home, dont like to turf sitters out ,just becauce we are home