In these uncertain pandemic times do housesitters, especially fulltime ones, have a backup plan if their booked sits get cancelled at short notice due to owners no longer being able to travel?
Stay at home, which is of course easier for the members who still have one ! The majority I guess among the testers ???
No home. We travel and housesit full-time so have no option apart from trying to book sits and places to stay.
isn’t it too anxious ?? Owners who have cancelled don’t feel sorry and don’t suggest any solutions if you are in the same state/region/area ??
When we feared to be obliged to cancel our last august sit in England because of Covid (and quarantine) I was very anxious as on our side we were supposed to welcome a couple to look after a mature dog and a cat. As these sitters lived in another part of France, as it was their holiday time I somehow feared we should be obliged to go away if they had not accepted the solution to share our house…
Instead of welcoming them in the biggest part, I could have asked them to stay in the smallest (on a different level) as we could have looked after our pets. So it would have been a real holiday for them. No task.
Finally we all pet sit as it had been planned in february. But I feared also they would cancel the sit quite late as the task was becoming different : I warned them in june there was no more dog to walk, mid july there was a young puppy to stay by…
The “work” was very different…
No home and fortunately a daughter with a vacant Airbnb cottage … since March 27th @Jon-JWalking We always have a plan B but for this “emergency” one needed more than a Plan B.
These are such challenging times for both owners and sitters, for our Plan B and peace of mind should a sit get cancelled and knowing there is limited availability, enough funds to secure alternative accommodation which could be an extended period. We are also very fortunate to have wonderful friends, many through THS. who will (and have) opened up their homes (and hearts) to us.
Not anxious at all @Provence just part of life’s big adventure. It’s what life is all about isn’t it, adapting and changing plans to take what life throws at you. And we have actually found that home owners are very sorry for the cancellation and always try and help as much as they can. In fact several have offered us accommodation until we sort the issue out. Always so helpful.
You’ve hit the nail on the proverbial head @Angela-CommunityManager . You certainly need funds to support hotel or Airbnb stays and of course an extended friends network to help you through. It’s a real challenge isn’t it but one that just takes a bit more planning and requires us to be more adaptable at short notice.
Yep us too. We have been very fortunate to keep sitting.
We’ve had so much kindness offered to us from previous HO’s. The latest is - an owner we keep in touch with is going to visit her friend for last 2 weeks of November, pretty sure she is visiting her pal just to give us a roof as she knows we have had 4 cancellations. How kind is that!
We’ve decided not to go for any more last minute sits, too risky, instead we’re extending our road trip to Brighton and Cornwall until mid November and then we have a Sit in Wales December, xmas/Jan - repeat sit which will go ahead.
We’ve been very fortunate to continue to find house sits during these uncertain times. And, rather than cancellations, most of our sits have been extended because of Covid or emergency family situations. Anywhere from 1 week to 2 months. We’ve also had an owner come home early when the state issued a stay at home order, but she graciously extended an offer for us to stay through the entire original sit.
Our plan b has been to house sit in cities where we have family as a backup. We’ve left open the possibility of going to house sits in other areas if they’re longer than a month or two (so that we’re not traveling often). We’re also aware of where the homeowner is traveling. For example, we’ve opted not to apply to a house sit that was nearby because the owners were planning a trip to a state that had strict travel restrictions that were supposed to be lifted, but kept being extended. Looking back, it was a smart choice because that state still has a travel restriction in place several months later.
As @Angela-CommunityManager said so well, we also know that we have a community of friends and loved ones that will help us if needed. We have many homeowners that we trust would open their homes to us if we asked. We also know that if we needed to, we could rent an apartment or stay at a hotel or an Airbnb if it came down to it.
And as @Jon-JWalking said, we also don’t have a home and do this full time. But it’s the adventure we love and it’s part of life. So we’re not anxious or worried.
We’ve had many people over the years ask us how we live a life like this. Aren’t we afraid we’ll fail? End up without a place to go? Loose clients and work? And so on. But we’ve learned to accept the uncertainty and thrive in it. When we started this adventure four years ago, we liked to have 2 to 3 months planned out in advance at all times. Since then, we’ve become comfortable with much less. We once didn’t have anything planned less than three days in advance and all turned out okay (it was still too close of a call, but in the nick of time we found a house sit!).
In addition to being okay with the uncertainty that comes along with our lifestyle, we’ve also experienced amazing love, kindness and help from strangers and people we’ve met along the way. We also know that we have friends, family and loved ones that would be there for us if we did run into problems.
It sounds like fraternity between exchangers of homes. When we began to swap, in 1988 internet did not exist. Swaps were not fashionable. But help was among members. We were in California in september 2001. Could not go back to France. No hôtels available in S. F, no planes. no car available to rent, all borders closed. We’ve been offered hospitality by members of swaps organisation. Who did not know us. Did not want to exchange with us. Just help.
@ScrewTheAverage Couldn’t agree more, it’s all about being flexible and having a positive outlook that things will work out. Like you we are constantly surprised and delighted at people’s kindness.
@Julie How lovely to be offered somewhere to go when the home owners are away. They often become great friends don’t they? Wales sounds great.
I was wondering @Angela. Could it be possible to put a section for members ready to help by opening their house if needed for a short time ? No obligation of course but a possibility for example for a couple of days between two sits. I would sign-up as I have an extra room.
HI @Brigitte thank you and your suggestion is worth discussing
It will be really interesting to hear what other members think of the idea?
I already suggested we could host some sitters between 2 sits. For a few days.
@Brigitte this sounds like an amazing idea, especially during this time when sits are getting cancelled at such sort notice. Sometimes we are feeling really isolated in our search for something and it would be lovely to know there are people out there that may be able to help.
Another sit cancelled due to travel restrictions. Left us high and dry in the New Year unfortunately and with no home to go to we have no backup plan whatsoever. Panicking may help I guess?
You are in UK, I guess.
Yes, currently halfway through a sit down in Kent.