We’ve done it both ways. Staying with home owners was strange at first but we’ve learned that you meet very interesting people that way, in a relaxed atmosphere with loads (sometimes too much) of time for a handover. We’ve also stayed in hotels at our own expense and at the homeowners. Whichever it is we’d rather have the time to get to know the owner and pet before they go.
I always ask sitters to arrive the day prior as I like the opportunity to have a chat with them and to introduce them to the cats. Unless they have food preferences i usually ask them out to a local restaurant for a meal the night before I leave. I have had a number of sitters over many years and this has always worked well. I would add that the sitters room is at one end of the house and mine at the other end.
I have a post in the Sitter forum about this.
When my husband and I started with THS 4 years ago, we planned a year in Europe with many pet sits. As this was our first time doing this and being introverts, we were a little uncomfortable when the HOs asked us to come early and stay the night before their holiday. Over the course of that year with pet sits we actually looked forward to spending time with the HOs. We have made close connections with some of them and they have visited us back in the States.
Fast forward to this year. We are currently on a 4 month long road trip in the USA. Out of 12 sits, only 1 HO has invited us to stay the night before. 10 of these stays we have arrived a day early to do the meet and greet and walkthrough. We have had to find our own accommodations.
We do miss the interaction we had in Europe. It never felt awkward staying with our HOs and we loved sharing the time with them.
I have a 5 week sit, and want to take a few hours with my sitter the day before we leave. That would entail them having to sleep in my city overnight. We do not have great guest accomodations, and I’m not really comfortable spending night with them here.
Should i offer to pay for a hotel the night before; they would come here, get acquainted with cats and house, go back to a hotel, then come back here to start sit next day.
To pay for their overnight accommodations would be very nice of you and the right thing to do unless you happen to find someone local who can stop over the day before.
That has happened to me where there was insufficient room for us to stay the night before. They recommended local accommodation and paid the bill.
It has really surprised us how different home hosts are on this topic. The last sit we had, we were asked to arrive 2 days early which I thought was a bit excessive. The next sit we have, as the home host is leaving at 7 am and they have multiple bedrooms I offered to arrive the night before if they preferred, but no, she said she will leave the keys with a neighbour and we can let ourselves in after they have left. -
I’m just hoping she has let the dog know that we are not intruders!
I agree @Colin 2 days is excessive and I wouldn’t apply for a sitting that expected that.
We have carried out 3 sittings for the same family where we have never met them and not even spoken to them. They left the key in the grounds (it is a large house). The dog welcomed us when we let ourselves in. No good as a deterrent for burglars but it suited us.