Comments from sitters

Isn’t this now going way off topic?

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@Hallt64
Thank you for pointing this out. Yes, the topic has veered off quite significantly, so if we can please get back to the discussion in line with the OP’s original post.

Much appreciated.

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Sounds like you had a not-so-great sitter recently. Definitely not the standard; a good sitter does not leave a place like that upon departure. And there’s no way I invite guests to my petsits, except if very explicitly agreed upon with the HO and even then I’d be very hesitant to do so. Were these new sitters with few reviews?

Regarding hotels though: I live in Europe and never use hotels when travelling for non-work, non-THS etc purposes. I use AirBnbs, 25-35 Euro a night max with self catering (I normally don’t eat out). You usually only get those rates in the southern and eastern parts of Europe.

For western/northern Europe I use either THS, or I don’t travel to those places - e.g. many places I’ve pet-sat I would not consider visiting as a tourist, however if I have a house/apartment to stay in, working from home, looking after pets, and then some local explorations thrown in, I’m more than happy to check out a new city or town. For the US, when visiting I normally don’t use hotels either - I use Servas, a Couchsurfing type of experience.

Just to say that the comparison with $150+ hotels wouldn’t be relevant to me as a sitter, because I simply never do that anyway. If not THS, I would use AirBnB, Servas, maybe a hostel, a volunteer experience (home stay), or I’d have my own wheels.

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Wow, congratulations! They cannot be in prime locations though??? I’ve been checking the European Airbnb market lately on a daily basis, and not once did I come across a price even remotely close to the ones you mentioned. In fact, I find Airbnb to be more expensive than hotels, definitely more than 100 euros a night plus fees and cleaning.

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Hi @RadarInc - I’ve regularly used AirBnB in places like e.g. Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Canary Islands, former eastern Germany, Croatia, eastern Europe, during Covid even in Austria.

What I usually get for 25-35 Euro is a room (not an entire apartment) with the possibility to use someone’s kitchen. For example, I had a room for 25 Euro/night in the heart of Granada, Spain in October last year. And then actually I had an entire studio for 25 Euro/night in Split, Croatia in November last year.

During Covid I went to Zillertal (very popular hiking destination) in Austria in August and had an AirBnB room for 25/night. I’ve had rooms in Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante, Napels, near Venice, etc etc all for that price. And occasionally more than a room - in Cyprus a little before Covid I had an apartment for 25/night. Etc. So yes, it totally IS possible, in prime locations!

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@RadarInc I second @Bluehorse with airbnb prices. When airbnb’ing between THS sits in continental Europe we set a budget of max €40 a night and always find something nice, often as low as €30. This is for two people- usually a room in a family home with a shared kitchen and, if lucky, a private bathroom. We like meeting people and don’t need a whole place for ourselves (we get that anyway when we’re on a sit!) We’ve found this price in France, Spain and Germany within the last year. In KL, Malaysia we can get a whole self contained studio apartment for this price!- in the city centre usually with great pool and gym facilities! Even in UK last year we set a budget of max £40 a night and always found a room for that price wherever we needed to be, e g twice in London near Heathrow airport! So you definitely can find great prices if you do a little searching!

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We use sitters even for short sits, but I’m in a popular location so it’s super easy for us. If we didn’t use THS, we’d be paying a neighbor for dropins, so less cleaning and preparation would be involved and the money wouldn’t be enormous – about $50 a day. But here’s why I prefer THS:

  • Do I want my neighbors to know everything about how I live?
  • It can be more awkward asking a neighbor (even a paid sitting one) to do stuff like send updates – even if you are afraid they might forgoet something important.
  • The clean up I do for the sitter is also necessary and I might let things go if I wasn’t using THS
  • If the neighbor/sitter was willing to come 3 times a day – which my cats and I would prefer, then they’d charge more.
  • The cats like someone sleeping over.
  • Meeting fellow petloving travelers has been fun.
  • Finding good sitters is alway useful in case they want to come back.
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There’s focus is on how the sitters leave the home not how the HO left it. We’re on a sit now that is filthy, untidy, cluttered and freezing cold (the have the heating set via their app for a half hour morning and night). The photos on the profile were obviously taken when they first moved in or taken in a way not to show the piles of clothes, bedding and possessions across the floors. It’s the worst spare bedroom I’ve ever seen. Fortunately we are experienced enough to just be dealing with it and counting down the days til it finishes. The bonus is two beautiful cats.

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At least now you’ll be able to highlight this in a couple of the owner categories to be star rated @Stmarys. A positive is that the cats are beautiful! Roll on your next sit!!

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That sucks. Please review factually and warn off other sitters.

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@Stmarys it is so refreshing to hear a sitter mention that they are “experienced enough to just deal with it”. So many times I read of sitters wanting to jump ship etc because they don’t like certain things. We all get a bad sit at some point in our sitting lives, regardless of how well we feel we vetted a listing. We just have to deal with it if it happens. No point whining/walking out/reporting etc etc if you strike a bad one, deal with it the best you can, review it accordingly and hope the next one is a vast improvement and move on. It’s not like it’s your forever home, it’s a very temporary setback.

It’s going to happen to every sitter at some point (probably) and that’s the nature of the beast.

Always look at what GOOD sits you have done and don’t focus on the bad, solves nothing and dampens your enthusiasm to keep moving forward.

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Thank you for your words, you’re right and it’s good to hear.

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That depends on how many days one needs to be counting down.

And it depends on what it is. That heating app… I would probably deal with that by demanding to install that on my own mobile. Piles of clothes etc on the floors I would shovel away from where I wanted to be. Etc.

Animals (biting pets or biting fleas) would be a different matter.

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@Stmarys I hope you will write an honest blunt review and knock a few stars off- to warn off other sitters and to show the hosts they should not treat sitters so disrespectfully. Shame on them. We’ve been there too. Its a joy killer that’s for sure.

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I think that this is irresponsible advice. If the owners have lied and violated the Ts&Cs and some aspect of the sit is threatening the health and wellbeing of the sitter and/or pets, then owners need to be held accountable for that. There’s no special medal for sitters sucking it up.

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Sitters who are sitting to maintain a traveling lifestyle and see this as better than paying rent or a way to save money, may not see sitting as a holiday, but I think many “part time” sitters and combined members see this exactly as a holiday, even though we might be working or dealing with a pet/house emergency during the sit.

I can handle multiple cats and cats with chronic health conditions, a little bit of gardening and clean up, and still have time to hike, sightsee, relax in front of a fireplace on a chilly night, museum hop, etc. If I don’t think a sit will afford me time to do that, I won’t take the sit.

If I got to a sit and arrived to a dirty home, or a list of unexpected chores, or third parties, or extra pets, or any other conditions I hadn’t been told about, I would be very disappointed.

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@marion I do not consider housesitting a -‘holiday’- whatever the motivation might be. E.g We have (twice) done Christmas sits in Singapore. Both times the animals were easy & the homes comfortable but I did not feel like we were ‘on holiday’ despite saving a fortune on 3 weeks accomodation in pricey Singapore & having the chance to explore that amazing city. We were more than aware of our duties and responsibilities to the pets & their parents & the home, sending daily reports and always being somehow on alert.
I love housesitting- its a fabulous way to travel and can/does save a fortune but it is NOT a holiday in the way I understand holiday- total relaxation and freedom from responsibility :blush:

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Do holidays that are total relaxation and freedom from responsibility exist? When I go on vaction, even leaving my home in the care of the most trusted of sitters, I still feel like I am responsible if I forgot to tell them something that leads to a bad outcome for them or my pets. I usually am able to cut back on most work during vacations, but wind up checking emails and meeting with new clients usually. My spouse may take vacation time, but that hasn’t stopped him having to put out fires at work. For me, just being in a different place where I can do different stuff is holiday enough!

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@Lokstar I have to agree with @Marion. Holidays with complete relaxation and freedom from responsibility don’t exist for me. - I have children!

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