Hi everybody I am new on here and I am about to go on my first sit this week. I don’t want to sound selfish or anything but I’m curious, do homeowners often leave a tip? I would love to hear your input and experiences on this. Thank you kindly!
Hello - we’ve been sitters for six years now and no we’ve never been left a tip We have arrived at house sits to find a nice bottle of wine awaiting us and have received a nice Christmas present while sitting over Christmas. It’s always a nice touch when a homeowner leaves a card and a bottle of wine upon your arrival to do a sit. On the other hand, we as sitters used to leave a card and a bottle of wine and now we sometimes bake a cake or have a meal waiting for the homeowner when they arrive back.
Similar to @Annette, we’ve been sitting for five years and also never had a tip, though I have read that some others have. A bottle of wine, a meal, once a few goodies like a grocery card and treats. More often than not, though, nothing. A little gift is always nice, but we’re happy when thought has been put into our comfort and we are left with the things that have been discussed in other topics (a clean house, good instructions, space in fridge and freezer, a drawer in the bathroom, etc.). I would say that if you receive something, consider yourself lucky and be thankful, but don’t expect it. And congratulations on your first sit!
Congratulations on your first sit!
As this is a swap of services - the HO gives us free accommodation and we give the HO free pet and home care, there is no need for a tip either way.
It is best not to expect anything, then the occasions when we are given a small gift as a gesture of their appreciation it will always come as a nice surprise.
As sitters, we always leave a ‘welcome home’ card and a small gift for the HO when they return, - it is nice to be nice
Hi @Lizindesun and a big congratulations on booking your first sit… that’s wonderful news and we look forward to hearing more about your house sitting journey as it progresses!
As other members have indicated, tips are rare, although we have had them left in the Americas (north and central) where it’s much more part of the culture I think. More generally we have enjoyed lovely handover meals, wine, food treats, and the very occasional small gift. We usually reciprocate in some way, so if arriving for a handover meal we take wine or a foodie treat, or leave a small surprise at the end of the sit.
The nature of the house sitting exchange is one of generosity of spirit, and that’s what we value the most, so we don’t expect anything else. But, it’s always lovely to feel appreciated, so if you apply that principal and it happens, it’s a lovely surprise
Thank you for the info Vanessa that’s kind of what I figured and it makes perfect sense. I’ve already picked up my gift to leave for my HO. She likes to cook so I picked up a little Risotto olive oil and rice kit from the Queen Creek Olive Mill. Thought I’d bring a little Arizona to their island!
That sounds lovely and very thoughtful! Do let us know how it all goes!
As a House Sitter, I’d feel very uncomfortable and awkward accepting a money tip for my services. Our Home Owners have welcomed us with treats such as a home cooked meal, a bottle of wine, cookies, cheese and crackers, etc. We have given our Home Owners flowers, cards, wine, or small gifts as a token of our appreciation.
Us too… it feels awkward and out of context for house sitting (and for Brits). On the couple of occasions it happened for us we tried to refuse it, but that creates its own awkwardness. One said here’s some cash to cover your fuel expenses, which was easier
There are owners who are so incredibly grateful and who feel they would like to go above and beyond to reward their sitters. I always say I get back far more than I ever give.
Like other sitters I leave flowers, a welcome home photo card (from their pet) home cooked food, offer to pick up groceries for their return and other gestures of thanks.
There have been occasions where owners insisted on a monetary reward, these same owners who may have already given gifts, left fridges stocked, flowers, wine and more.
As Vanessa says it can get awkward and I never want to offend so I say “if you really insist and there is absolutely no need, there are two animal charities I support, if you would like to make a donation in Alfie’s, Casey’s or Izzy’s name (their pets) I would feel very humbled.”
They think it’s is a wonderful idea, each and every one has made a donation and of these owners some are now life long friends.
I sat for an Australian family a couple of times in Singapore, and both times the kids got me a present from their holidays as thanks for looking after their dogs so well.
That to me is better than any tip.
We have been taken out for dinner prior to the sit a few times, been given little gifts from their travels and we’ve been given cash, chocolates and other bits and pieces. WE don’t expect it and really appreciate the thought. But it’s not about the money or things, it’s about the appreciation.
I’ve done 50 plus here and in Europe and never expected or received one. Been taken out to dinner. All I want is more five star reviews
@Dennis totally agree …
I only ever received one $50 tip and it was from a multi-million dollar home I stayed in.
We only received a tip once. We already felt like we won the lottery having a beautiful brand new barn conversion in Cornwall and a lovely dog to ourselves for the week, but when we left the homeowner handed me an envelope with £50 in it!
I would never expect a tip though, and if given the choice I would take a clean house and a fun furry sidekick to hang out with!
Wonderful comments above, so I really don’t have anything new to add. I never expect a tip/gift. I do however always bring with me a blank card or buy a card at their local store so I can express my thanks and some cute details about their pets and how much I enjoyed my time there and hope to come back. If however the homeowner leaves me a gift of some sort like mentioned above, I do try to reciprocate and leave something small and equivalent to what they shared with me.
For instance, on my last sit the homeowner left two brimming vases of fresh cut flowers from her garden both in the kitchen and in my guest room. When it was time for me to leave, I cut fresh ones and left them in cleaned and watered vases in the same spots. She said she appreciated them as did I.
I let the homeowner be the guide. And, I always leave their place clean and tidy and wash the linens and leave them in the dryer if I am travelling early or place clean linens back on the beds if I leave late enough.
If both of us appreciate the fact that we are both getting something out of this sit (them-house and precious pet watching/caring and me-time away in a new location to relax/vacation), we are embracing the spirit of this wonderful community.
Thank you @BeckyG
I have been thinking about this over the past few days and I am definitely against owners leaving tips. It is against the whole ethos of THS. Yes, a bottle of wine or a nice meal or a complete free run of food stuffs but when money is exchanged, even as a gratis, it changes the whole dynamics.
I do this because I love animals and am a travel addict. I don’t want to feel I am employed by the pet owners. Yes, I follow instructions and keep the pets to the owners routine but there is no “orders”. It is a mutual agreement where both parties are in a win win situation. Giving or receiving a money tip is the first step on a long and slippery road.
I’ve been sitting for 2 years. I have received a couple of tips. It’s never, ever expected, but it was a very nice gesture by the host and was very much appreciated.