First time Sitter overseas for a HO with No reviews

I have a Facetime with a HO in England today as they are considering me for a sit and I am super excited! I didn’t see any reviews for them, so I am thinking they are brand new which is fine with me. I will definitely ask them during our video chat. However, I would love to know any specific questions for going overseas for the first time to a HO that doesn’t have any reviews. Or just going for the first time, period. I want to be prepared as best I can be. I am very grateful that they are considering me. Any suggestions or questions to ask are greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance.

Tammie AKA Furever Pawsitive!

I would probably ask them where they are headed that they need a sitter, and if overseas, if they’ve already booked everything yet. You could even ask them outright if there’s any reason they can think that they might need to cancel their trip. This can give you a little peace of mind (although there’s no guarantee). We’ve only had one non-Covid-related HO cancellation but it did leave us scrambling and out a bit of money because it was overseas.
Also, since they are new, I would ask of they’ve had sitters before and how that went, how the pets were etc. You can also ask if they’ve had a chance to read over THS’ T&C’s, as there are lots of important bits in there they should be aware of (you could use this time to mention cameras and third parties). We make sure to do this with all new HOs and most of them have responded that they hadn’t realized those were important and hadn’t bothered looking at them.


@CoolCatAunt ,
Thank you so much! I will actually keep your suggestion up on my chat so I can use these great questions! I appreciate your input!

In general, I’m not one to ask a bunch of Qs. Not because I couldn’t come up with or borrow a bunch of them, but because I don’t think you can cover enough and not overwhelm yourself or the HOs.

The key things that I look for are the tone and expectations in their listing, ignoring the photos. (I usually only look at the first photo and go straight to everything they’ve written and their reviews, which are telling. If that checks out, then I look at the rest of the photos. That’s because humans are easily swayed by images.) I also observe such in our video or phone chat.

I look for people with the right attitude more than anything else. That’s because even if things go wrong on a sit, rational and communicative people can always work things out.

By contrast, if either party wants to nail a lot of things down and is on guard, it’s less likely to end up as a great sit, from my POV.

And FWIW, I do a lot of hiring and work with a variety of companies when I do advising work and it’s the same — assume problems can come up that you didn’t anticipate, but if both parties are rational and communicative, things tend to go much better and you spare yourself a bunch of unnecessary grief.


Thank you for your input. I truly appreciate it! :slight_smile:

Have you checked the app? There one can see if they have had any sitters that did not leave feedback (which might be a bit of a red flag).

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I think it’s import to discuss ( in the unlikely event that it was needed ) what arrangements does the home owner have in place for paying / reimbursement of emergency vet fees .

(The THS T& Cs say that a sitter should pay these upfront.)

@Silversitters I just had our video chat and they are brand new to the site per a referral from a friend. I will aske the emergency vet fee question via email. I like to have that kind of thing in writing so I can refer back to it :slight_smile: They will be traveling out of country and already have their tickets. They are lovely and I feel much more comfortable after chatting with them. Thank you all for your suggestions. I hope they choose me!


@pietkuip, They just joined. That is why they have no references. They were very excited about THS, same as I was when I joined ha ha. I appreciate the suggestions! I did look before we spoke to check that.


Another thing: at the border, when UK immigration asks you for your purpose of travel: do not say petsitting!

Your purpose is tourism. You are staying with friends (or you could make a hotel reservation that you can cancel when you are admitted to the country). When you answer friends, you may get questions like what their name is, their address, what their work is (the kind of things one knows about one’s friends), how you know them (the internet).


Hi @FureverPawsitive23 I am so pleased to hear that your video call went well and my fingers are crossed for you :crossed_fingers:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

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@pietkuip Thank you! Those are VERY useful tips!

Yes, I always say that I visit friends too. Nobody so far has asked me about an address, but I have only travelled within Europe, and I guess that’s less strict for me as a EU citizen.

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I am from Malaysia and my first sit was in Sidney. I took a leap of faith as I was new but my HO was not. It turned out very well that I went to my next one in Scotland and a few other sits in UK. Everything went as planned for that year 2022. I house sit May-Oct.

This year my first sit was supposed to be in Dublin. I bought my tickets and first day hotel accommodation confirmed BUT they cancelled. It was a 2 week sit. It was a mad scramble and very stressful to find a replacement sit for that specific dates for Ireland as I have confirmed sits lined up. My replacement was in Northampton! So some money was lost to arrange for flights etc. I also had to cancel one sit as the HO turn silent despite my attempts to communicate. I am now on my last sit before I fly home at the end of October from Luxembourg.

So I totally understand your concern on traveling far for a house sit. I love house sitting, all the great hosts and lovable pets (22 5star ratings) but the stress of a cancellation is making me think twice about doing the same next year.

I hope your UK house sitting will turn out great. UK is a beautiful country indeed.

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@Anne.323 I got the sit!!! I’m so excited!


@Samox24 I got it!!!


Yeayyyyy!!! Congratulations. Where is it and when? My first in UK, in Scotland made so many beautiful memories. I hope yours will be as well. One thing tho’, train travel can be so tricky due to the never ending strikes

@Anne.323 Barnstaple, United Kingdom - 27 Apr - 12 May 2024. Its a great first trip for me!


Congratulations! I hope you’ll have a terrific time.

I did a sit just outside of Cambridge as my first one abroad and had a great time. It fulfilled my daydream to live in an English village.

The HOs were first-timers to THS, on the recommendation of a friend. They were lovely and we enjoyed having meals before and after their trip. They also introduced me to their neighbors, who were nice and invited me out. They also kindly checked in on me when I caught a bug.

The HOs had clearly hosted guests before and knew how to make a sitter feel welcomed — it’s not rocket science. We still keep in touch.


I always make sure I have the full address of the homeowner just in case the immigration asks where I will be staying.