Hi! I joined this lovely community 10 days ago, have had 2 video calls (plus 1 upcoming) and had 1 of those sits confirmed on saturday. How exciting! I have a question about both sits:
EDIT: This sit was just confirmed . // I had a video call on friday about a sit in November. They said they wanted to confirm me after I send them my travel plans. So I did. We have messaged through whatsapp a few times but they haven’t confirmed yet. Maybe they’re doing more calls and I don’t want to seem impatient so a question to you experienced sitters out there: Would you contact them again or wait patiently, or maybe even look for another sit?
On saturday I had a video call for a sit in february. It was a lovely chat and they confirmed me right after our talk. This is my first sit and won’t be until february so what are the chances that it will be cancelled? It’s so far away in time that I’m a bit worried that they might cancel or change their plans. They seem lovely and only have good reviews so I’m hopefully worrying about nothing. I’m from the Netherlands and this sit is in Seattle so it’s not exactly next door.
I can’t wait to go on my first sit and be a proper part of this community =).
Following a video call and submission of your travel plans, I would expect to be either confirmed or declined by this time. Yes, you should contact them again through the site (so it is recorded if you withdraw) asking them if they have made a decision yet. Don’t wait patiently,
As @pietkuip says, it is impossible to say. However, I have carried out many sittings overseas (e.g. UK to Australia) Once confirmed I have sent details of my flights so that they know I have outlaid substantial funds. That will reassure them. Also, you could send Whatsapp or emails from time to time to keep in touch.
Just a thought, have you received the Welcome Guide for this one? You want to ensure there will be no unpleasant surprises later down the line
Hi @WendyNL, congratulations on getting your first confirmed sit for February. In most cases owners don’t cancel sits but it can happen. We have done over 20 sits, many booked months in advance like yours, and we have never had an owner cancel on us. The key is effective open communication between you and an owner to build trust and a respectful relationship. But always have a plan B as life can cause chaos resulting in sits being cancelled by both owners or sitters.
In relation to the owner who hasn’t confirmed you yet, it’s highly likely that boat has sailed if they didn’t confirm you straight away when they said they would. You’ve got nothing to lose by giving the owner a “nudge” with a check in message, just avoid sounding needy. You do need to have a thick skin in this game and be ok with not being chosen, even if the owner did indicate you were their chosen one. People can be fickle!
Welcome @WendyNL that is fantastic that you already have a sit confirmed , well done . The fact that the hosts have good reviews is a strong indication that the sit will go ahead as planned . (Have you checked the app to see if there are any missing reviews ?) Keep in regular communication ( not just through THS platform ) exchange phone numbers etc
asap. Advise hosts when you have booked your tickets so they know that you are definitely coming .
Of course there are extraordinary circumstances where sits do get cancelled ( for example pet dies, host becomes seriously ill ) Although it’s rare it can happen so it’s good to have a backup plan if this happens to you.
This could be :
•refundable airplane tickets
•being ready to adapt / switch and pick up a last minute sit.
•Having sufficient funds in place to stay in alternative accommodation.
We joined THS this year are currently on sit no 7 - none were cancelled completely- although 2 were curtailed one because hosts became seriously ill on holiday and had to rush back home for emergency medical treatment , the other was because the hosts decided to return home several days early to attend a social event . It’s rare but it does happen so as long as you have a back up plan - majority of sits go ahead as scheduled.
@pietkuip That’s good advice! I won’t mention it at the border =).
@Itchyfeet and @Crookie Thanks for the advice. I will send the sit in november a message through the website to ask for an update. Of course it will be a bit disappointing if they don’t confirm me but it’s more that I would like to know because then I can start looking for a new sit during that time.
@Silversitters The sit that hasn’t confirmed doesn’t have any reviews yet, they only had their first sitter last week. I will definitely make sure I have enough funds if there is a cancelation or refundable airplane tickets so I can try to get another sit. I’m quite flexible, especially in the weeks of these 2 sits as I’ll just be happy to be out of the country haha.
If one sit has no feedback yet , it maybe good to wait and see what their current sitter says at the end of the sit before accepting.Also note anything they don’t say ! If hosts are away on holiday that may be why they haven’t confirmed you yet ?
Nothing stopping you from applying for more sits for the same dates - until the sit is confirmed you can apply to as many as you want .
We’ve had two cancellations in 30 sits over two years @WendyNL - we went into plan B mode and filled the gaps mostly with short sits, Airbnb and a borrowed car. They were both international so it was stressful but you have to roll with it as a house sitter. Definitely keep applying for more sits, don’t wait for that slow HO. If comms aren’t great at the start that can mean they’ll be generally a bit rubbish. As @Silversitters suggests, waiting for that first bit of feedback from the sitter is a good strategic move. Enjoy & congrats!
Cancellations happen on occasion, but it’s not a frequent occurrence.
In our 4 years and 33 sits (not all here), if we ignore Covid related cancellations (there were lots!), then we had 3 cancellations (a. decided to go with their usual sitter after she became available, b. cat passed away so they didn’t need a sitter, and c. landed in financial difficulties and couldn’t go on their planned trip any longer) and 1 sit where they came back from their trip 3 days early. We cancelled one sit because of a change in the pet’s condition and we couldn’t accommodate their additional needs.
Things like that happen. Always have an emergency fund for hotels/transport, and always have a plan B or be flexible.
It can sometimes be quite difficult to find sits if you are on a specific route / schedule. We had to resort to Airbnb or alternative accommodation frequently when we couldn’t find sits on our planned route. Even though we knew our route long in advance, it was a (large) area but with few sits. Don’t assume you’ll find sits. It’s hard work at times, with lots of rejections.
Congrats on your first sit. Here’s what I do if I’m happy to sit after the whatsapp call I say so at the end and say i’ll be happy to confirm the sit if you invite me via THS. I’ll then book my flights and send you the details.
That throws it back to the HO. If they haven’t invited me for a few days post the chat, I’d send them a polite message saying you were waiting to accept the sit but wondered if they’d changed their mind?
Well done @WendyNL 2 sits confirmed within 10 days of joining. I feel excited for you.
Have you gone into your THS Inbox and in the message thread clicked ‘agree to sit’?
You didn’t ask for any advice and have already completed sits outside of THS so forgive me for being presumptuous and offering some more advice - it might help others .
Next steps after confirming a sit on THS - you need to
•Exchange phone numbers straight away ( probably you have already done that in order to do video chats )
•Request the address from the host ( you don’t get this from THS )
• Request a Welcome Guide - so you can check the responsibilities at the earliest opportunity
•Keep in regular contact with the hosts between now and the start of the sit.
•Agree with the hosts the time of day that you will be expected to arrive and depart the sit .
Please keep the forum updated on your THS journey. We love to hear how other members are getting on .
In the meantime, here is a thread that you might like to read :
I read this and was like, wait, I haven’t even posted that sit yet??
I do 1-2 month* long trips a year, and while I haven’t posted my sits that far in advance, I do so as soon as my plans are set, aka flights purchased. Did the HOs mention anything about their flights? That would set my mind at ease, at least.
And if they somehow do cancel, there might be another opportunity in Seattle during that time. Just sayin’ …
clarification: 1-2 trips per year that are around one month in duration
For the homeowners that I’ve done phone or video chats with, they sent over the confirmations immediately upon being done with the chatting. There were 3 other homeowners who said they would send over the confirmations but I didn’t see it right away. Those all ended up going with someone else.
Regarding cancellations, 2 out of 18 confirmed sits cancelled on me and it was a scramble and stress to try to fill those as they were both in the middle of a bunch of other sits. We are finishing up a sit today that was confirmed beginning of March so I don’t think the ones that are far in advance are more or less vulnerable to cancellations. You just never know who’s going to cancel and for what reason. Now we learned to have backup plans now
I agree with previous posts that you follow up with the pending confirmation. Perhaps the HOs are still trying to figure out their logistics. As a HO, I don’t even set up calls until I have figured out my game plan, I.e., flights, hotel, and car rental., but everyone is different in their approach. I usually confirm right away unless I’m considering multiple people, but I typically let the other sitters know that I’m still deciding or still talking to other sitters. I hope you hear back from them soon!
As for the sit in Feb., I would hope they’ve also figured out their plans. Still, confirmation is an agreement and HOs like sitters, shouldn’t be canceled for other than extraordinary circumstances. I have a trip and confirmed a sitter for a week in Nov. I confirmed them a month ago. I also already have flights purchased.