Thanks for the feedback everyone.
HO and I are in contact.
Thanks for the feedback everyone.
Per the THS Terms and Conditions, sits should only be cancelled for extraordinary circumstances. Of course, if you and the host agree, there’s that, but travel interruptions can happen even if traveling locally. I wouldn’t let worry over challenging or stressful logistics cause me to cancel a sit that I’d committed to.
We are awaiting the HO’s reply. We did express to her our concern abo ut the logistics.
If they come back and say they have a back up plan… I am mostly concerned that they hve three animals.
You’re going to be in Europe for a month before your sit starts. I don’t really understand why you can’t give yourself more time to get to the sit city. I don’t think cancelling is the right thing to do here. Just don’t cut it so close that you’re concerned!
For an international sit, I like to arrive in the city two days before the handover (yes, I pay for the accommodation for those nights; sometimes, the second night I stay with the HO, if offered).
Yes we will be in Europe a month before, but have booked hotels & transit for most of that and for us the concern is that we have never booked so many country changes before a sit (going through 5 before reaching the sit location).
Like you, we always allow a day or two leeway on both sides of a sit.
And we are using hotels or vaca rentals for 70% of our travels.
I’m just jumpy about all the flight disruptions.
Goodness, I would never do that. Organise your travel plans to work in with the sit, Europe has soooo many forms of wonderful transportation, surely there is one method of getting you to the sit a day or two earlier for a meet-up?
This can make it hard for other sitters applying for international sits as it can give a HO a feeling that they might be better off with someone already in their place of residence rather than depending on someone flying in from touring etc.
It just doesn’t make any sense to me as to why you can’t find an easy solution, anywhere in UK and Europe is so easy to get to from what I found doing it for six months last year and previously.
Don’t let an owner down for the sake of a days sightseeing somewhere that you could probably do after the sit if you really wanted to spend time there. This is one of the many problematic comments made by a lot of people about TH, that many sitters are now using the site just as a sightseeing/touring base rather than for the most important reason that being for the caring of a HO’s pets and home. You could shoot yourself in the foot for doing this so don’t make your decision based on that scenario. All said with due respect
I’ve heard from some of my hosts, and we’ve seen lots of discussions here in the forums, about people cancelling without good reason. They found something better, they changed their mind - in this case fear of potential travel difficulties. Not extraordinary circumstances. My feeling is that a commitment was made and it should be kept.
Of course, if you and the host agree, there’s that
I don’t want to derail the conversation but I’m curious about this. If I were in this HO’s position I certainly would not reply with “Well that’s too bad but I don’t agree. See you in a month!” I would try to accept their cancellation gracefully and look for another sitter. Does this kind of thing count as the HO agreeing to the cancellation? Even if it did, I’m not so sure I’d want a coerced sitter to be watching my pet and home. Just wondering if you had any experience around this to offer up!
I was in Europe all summer and didn’t have any major transportation issues. I had one cancelled train and some other train delays, but always got to where I was going the same day. If you plan to arrive at the sit destination a day or two before the sit that should be plenty of time if there are delays. I don’t see why you would need to cancel the sit.
I agree and if I had received such a message from my confirmed sitter I would have a loss of confidence and would probably want to cancel anyway, worried about not just their commitment but how they would handle a stressful situation that occurred on a sit. I think it reflects negatively on sitters in general.
Flixbus will get you nearly anywhere and everywhere all through Europe at sometimes the cost of two cups of coffee. I used them extensively and they were fabulous. Large reclining seats, some with seat back entertainment, double deckers, your choices are limitless. I wouldn’t depend on a UK train though personally, too many strikes and disruptions, unbelievable how many. You made a “gentleman’s agreement” stick by it.
I’ll admit that if I was the homeowner I’d be a bit miffed. You have a month to figure out how to get there on the day you committed to being there. I understand wanting/needing to do an in person hand off, but possibly that’s something the HOs could have arranged if you were going to need to get there hours or even a day after they left. They possibly if given the option could have slightly altered their plans or had a friend or relative familiar with the pets meet you at the house. However, if the home is in a location where it’s easy to find sitters, a month notice should be plenty of time to find another sitter, so while it’s an inconvenience, it’s not a tragedy.[
You also do a disservice to “traveling” sitters. When I need a sitter, my preference is usually a person who already has a sit scheduled nearby prior to mine, or some other solid reason for being here, and/or someone who lives in an area where they can get to me via train or bus with lots of options in a short time. Stories like this make me less likely to take a chance on someone from a distant place who wants to explore my area.
Marion - I have been a HO that was let down by a sitter seven DAYS before a 3-1/2 week international trip. I am very sensitive to the need to be considerate and resonsible.
The HO JUST informed us they want to leave right after lunch. That was earlier than we’d expected so it made all the pieces a little more difficult
The home is gorgeous and in a beautiful area that is near a significant city.
It would be appealing to many sitters.
I agree with you that it may tarnish “travelling sitters” and as we are such, it’s not something we came to easily.
I will say we are prepared to do the sit.
We simply want to be sure the HO is comfortable given the possibilities of disrupted travel that seem to be more and more frequent.
As it happens, we are going to be in Scandinavia going to southern England.
So, no, Flixbus can’t get us from Point A to Point B in this case.
We have done dozens of sits.
Our reviews are outstanding because we ARE very reliable and very considerate.
We have taken care of homes that had flooding, and power outtages, sick animals, etc.
We aren’t lightly changing our minds.
We’re concerned about the HO and their animals should there be a SNAFU in a time when travel is becoming less & less reliable.
GIving them a month to find a replacement isn’t leaving them in the lurch: their home is beautiful in a lively town.
We travel in the UK, EU, North America constantly.
Very familiar with all the forms & reliability of transportation.
Have had to deal with rail strikes, airline delays & cancellations, ferry delays & cancellations, and a car rental that wasn’t there when we arrived! Maybe we just travel more than you.
The problem is that the HO now wants us there at lunch time. IF we cannot arrive the day before (as intended) because of a strike or cancellation, we won’t be able to reach the home by lunch time.
This is a decision reached as a considerate person, not lightly or ignorantly.
Yes, that’s my feeling, too.
As a HO I had people cancel days before we were leaving for a long international trip because “your dog is too big.”
Yes, Europe has wonderful forms of transportation.
But getting from Scandinavia to SW England is not possible by train or bus or car.
A plane is really the ONLY option.
We JUST found out the HO wants us there at lunch time: IF we do as intended, fly in the day before, and something happens to cancel that flight? They are going to be in a bad place.
Giving them a month to find an alternative is, IMHO, considerate.
I was a HO who had a sitter cancel.
And it was bad: arranged it a month in advance. They came to our home, met our pets.
SEVEN days before we were leaving on a 26 day international trip, they emailed “Your dog is too big.”
Panic & scrambling.
We don’t want to have anyone go through what we went through.
The trip from where we will be to where the sit is located is ONLY possible by flight.
Lately, airports are having system issues that delay hundreds of flights.
Weather disrupts thousands of flights.
Lack of crew staffing disrupts flights.
We planned to be there one day ahead. BUT if our flight is cancelled?
Cannot get there at the time the HO wants to leave the next day.
That wouldn’t be fair to them…
Maybe I misunderstood your initial post. It sounded more like you had already backed out, rather than telling them you need to conference to address some concerns.
@ASASG given everything you have said, and the deep rooted fear that something may go wrong, I would now simply cancel the sit altogether. Going back and forth with the owner, no matter how considerate you are, is only holding them up from finding a replacement sitter and making THEM now feel shaky and fearful. Just bite the bullet, cancel, it’s done, you don’t have to worry any further and far, far better for the HO. If, as you say, the sit is in a desirable area, they will have no trouble replacing you.
This is all said in good faith for both parties and I think you feel more secure taking the cancel all together path. We are all only giving you our personal thoughts on your question, which you have asked in this forum, not personally on you. It is very difficult to sometimes see the whole picture without knowing all the facts. Now we know you are coming from Scandinavia, it IS a fair hike to the UK! So obviously, with your time restrictions, flying IS your only option in getting to the UK. Good luck whatever you decide to do but I feel you already know what you will feel comfortable doing x