Concerned about communication of sitter

There is nothing in this post to imply that she has Italian citizenship. Many Americans have Italian heritage and family in Italy. But lack the line descendent requirements to gain citizenship.

It’s not at all early to be booking airfare for the holidays.

@pietkuip I disagree. It is completely up to a HO how many prospective Sitters they speak with. Likewise, knowing my application is one of many (5) I would not be offended if the HO spoke with all. In fact, I would find it somewhat reassuring that the HO is doing its due diligence to find the right Sitter for its pets and home. Far more so than accepting a Sitter without speaking with them at all.

My post was referring to the actual word “interview” not being appropriate.

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She had only just confirmed on Saturday!

One hopes that she has a passport…

Agree that she may not have purchased a ticket yet. But even a message to the HO stating that she was tracking flights would be reassuring.

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Yes, I asked her about the visa on the chat and she said it’s not an issue. I’m getting worried because she tells me she is checking flights and then I never hear from her. A fair concern.

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That is what I called it a nice long chat before –

Good advice. But if she is not messaging me back when I even ask her if she booked flights, and my message is ‘read’ I don’t see how she will reply to that one. And I have messaged her yesterday, messaging again today asking for the image of the flight tickets sounds a bit full on. I was going to call her in a couple of days.

Exactly and when I asked she saw it and did not respond.

You make good points, and I will consider that in the future. My other house sitters have been in Europe at the time of booking. That said I book my sits in Australia with house owners on a different site and I never have an issue with communication. I confirmed the sit while I was chatting with the house owner in Australia and he told me on the spot that he was cancelling all other ads.

Three were coming from the States and they all requested a chat on WhatsApp - it was not me.

As a fellow home owner I would tell her exactly what you tell us here:

you are concerned about her not communicating and you wonder if she is the right choice, because you fear that the same might happen during the sit.

Tell her you need to know if she has looked up and booked flights, because you need to be sure that she will actually do the sit.

I would also tell her that if there’s no better communication with her you will cancel the sit and look for someone else as long as there is still enough time.

Somehow she might not yet have understood that this kind of communication is important to you.


If I had agreed or applied to a sit that required me to book flights my process is the following:
I used to check flight prices before applying to make sure it was affordable - I don’t do that any more as the new 5 limit means I would miss the application so I now do it while typing out my initial message or soon after.
If prices are too high I cancel my application or do not send it.
During any call with the HO I confirm when exactly they are leaving and returning. I like to arrive the day before if flying so any delays don’t cause a problem and explain this to them. Regardless I make sure my intended flights are something they are happy with. I will have looked into flights in details by now so would know all the permutations. I would never wait until being offered the sit to decide if prices were affordable.
If the sit is agreed once accepted I book the flights within 24 hours and send them my flight details so they know when I land and when I plan on meeting them to get keys and walk through the home and pets. There will be a backup plan in place to get keys from a neighbour in the event of flight problems so it doesn’t have to be arranged on the day in the middle of any wider travel chaos.

I am a little surprised they haven’t already booked their flights as prices aren’t going down. Possibly they plan to and have hit a hiccup so they are waiting to reply once they have it done rather than to tell you they are still organising flights.
Be aware they may have booked something and just not got back to you so please do try and make contact before cancelling if that is what you want to do. You say you are going to call in a couple of days. I think if she hasn’t got it done by then I would be a little wary myself.

You can unconfirm the sit if you are not sure about this sitter. You have plenty of time now, so if you don’t feel good about the person you chose, you can still change your mind.

I disagree with some other advice you got. It has to work for you, and if it feels off, it probably isn’t right for you. Gut feelings matter.

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(1) You are within your rights to feel insecure about your sitter if she is “ghosting” you. Unfortunately it is an increasingly common thing for people to disappear when they want to rethink something. That doesn’t mean she is absolutely doing that - but it’s quite possible. We were last-minute sitters for a couple traveling abroad who were “ghosted” by a sitter so it does happen.

(2) If you have 50 days until the sit, my suggestion is this: send the sitter a note giving her a chance to confirm her flights are booked.

“Hi I’m concerned that you haven’t sent me confirmation of your flights as promised. If you aren’t able to do the sit for any reason, please let me know ASAP so I can make other arrangements. I am willing to work with you on this, but I do need clear communication since I’m trusting you with my home and pet.”

If you still get no response, time to take action.
(A) contact THS’s help group and let them know the situation.
(B) With THS’s help group involvement if she STILL doesn’t respond you’ll still have time to relist and find a new sitter (or contact your other applicant).
Best of luck


Seriously??? Interview is used in all kinds of situations. In this case both sides are INTERVIEWING each other. Sitters can certainly choose NOT to take the sit based on things they learn in the course of the two-sided interview, HO’s also need this to make a choice about whether or not they trust the sitter and whether or not that sitter is the best choice. There are INTERVIEWS for school accpetances – not jobs, interviews for volunteer positions, NOT jobs, interviews for unpaid internships. There are even interviews for all sorts of housing situations - apartment shares for instance. Of course this is an interview.

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With an international sit/sitter situation it is critical that the sitter confirms they have made arrangements to arrive. When we are travelling a long distance for a sit, we always send proof of our purchased travel arrangements.

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I am sorry about that…I know it must be stressful. You are asking her a very important question that requires a timely answer, so the fact that she has read these messages and has not bothered to reply after several days is a red flag to me. It would be different if the nature of the message was something that really didn’t require a reply, though even then, I think it is important to acknowledge it. I am very good about communication with HOs because I know they must be nervous about things going wrong and the sitter not following through.

If she had booked the flights, she surely would have answered you promptly that she had. I don’t think this automatically implies she isn’t going to book them and will flake out on you, but again, her behavior doesn’t inspire confidence. I don’t think it would be unreasonable if you unconfirmed the sit and looked for someone else.

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Thank you. This is all sound advice. I’m travelling to Australia in December and then LA in Feb and my tickets are all booked. Even my house sit back home is confirmed. I have a basic account with THS, so hopefully I can still get assistance, I don’t see why not :slight_smile: I like your message template, I will use that for sure

We have done sits for HO who had bad experiences before us and were leery of a repeat. Not all HO are alike or have had the same experiences
(1) Providing confirmation that you can make it to the sit (whether via a plane ticket or proof that you’re at least a reasonable distance to the sit) is fair.
(2) As HO we were sent an EM one week before a 25 day international trip that our sitters weren’t coming. Happily a second applicant was still available So I DO sympathize with this HO

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You’re wanting to spend a month in someone’s home being responsible for their pets and their property. I would think the least you could do is spend some time talking to them beforehand. If they decide it’s not for them then either you didn’t make them feel comfortable with that or you just didn’t click. If you’re going to “not appreciate it” or see the call as “wasting your time” then maybe that is coming through on the call.
I’ve been declined a few times after a long call and don’t take it personally. Either we didn’t gel or I didn’t sell myself correctly. Sometimes I just don’t like them and I decline. On a couple of them I ended up doing the sit when their first choice fell through or they had another sit that I applied for. Living in someone’s home taking care of their pets is a very personal thing and requires a level of trust that you can’t expect them to just have because you paid some money to a website.