I’ve been pet sitting for decades now, but recently I had an experience to keep me on my toes.
Recently, when on a remote sit, the owner unfortunately became ill, and had to return to the home with short notice , letting me know at 9 pm that they would return the very next afternoon, and we would need to vacate the next day. Of course there were no ill feelings at all, but the travel expenses of re-booking travel came to a fair whack (In the UK unless you book in advance the prices hike considerably), and we had got food in for the week. Until that day we were WFH, so our holiday was due to begin the very next day, when instead we had to go home that day, so it was an unfortunate timing for everyone involved, again no hard feelings as this was an unfortunate circumstance indeed.
Having looked for alternative accommodation and established next to nothing was available (remote location combined with staycations increasing due to covid meant nothing , not even on airbnb available in the area) we returned the next morning. However, this was a huge shock to the system especially after putting such love, care and effort in with their pets, and even worse we cannot afford a replacement vacation and also we have lost the annual leave from our jobs on this also at it was too late to cancel through work. We saw one possible alternative accommodation but it was £170 a night, and a bit further away from the town we were sitting in , so we discounted this as an option.
I was wondering, to help if this ever happened again, what support is given from THS? I contacted them to advise and they said cancellation needs to happen from the house owner’s side, and that was the end of it.
This experience has majorly knocked my confidence with house sitting, and I am now only keen to book close to home in case of cancellation. Of course we should plan for such eventualities, but without a car and with all other accommodations booked in town (The town tourist board said they are at 100% capacity currently) I am not sure what else we could have done in this situation.