Getting Pet Sits Abroad - advice please

Hi there,
We are pet sitting our way around the UK this year but hoping to go to NZ, Australia and the States next year. Do people have any advice as to how easy it is to get sits abroad at the moment? Do you try to get sits before you go or wait until you are in the country? Do you plan a route and fit the sits around the route or the other way round? If you are a home owner out there, how do you feel about having sitters from the UK pet sitting for you, are you more likely to choose someone if they are closer to home or if the sitter has flights booked or is it based just on experience/ratings? We have good ratings in the UK and hoping to have many more before we finish our sits here, so hoping that will go someway to getting some sits abroad. Any tips welcome :wink:

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I can tell you how we, as Canadians, plan our trips abroad. We choose a date range and an area (usually the UK, France, or Italy) and start looking for sits within that range. We try to leave at least one night free between each sit and we tag on a few nights at the beginning and end. Once we have our sits booked, we book our flights and other accommodations. Our trips are generally about 4-8 weeks in length and we have the freedom of flexibility because we are retired.

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Hi @Kelownagurl that’s really helpful advice, especially the timing between sits which allows for delays etc and some down time! Thanks :slight_smile:

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If you’re heading down this way, a few thoughts.

Have a look at when NZ & Aus school holidays are as are a good indication of when to expect sits. I would mix using TH & Kiwi/Aussiehousesitters sites as heaps more options.

How long will you spend in each country? Perhaps for Oz, choose which side of the country to focus on as people have no clue of just how big Oz is :+1:. Perhaps WA/NT/SA as you could do the loop & you won’t run out of things to do :slightly_smiling_face::sunglasses:. For cars etc, have a look at gumtree.

Same for NZ, choose an island & please see places other than Auck/Welly/Queenstown :roll_eyes:. Def go as far south as possible. Please be aware of our weather. If you need a vehicle, have a look at trademe.co.nz or turners car auctions or the ellerslie car fair in Auckland.

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Either will work. You will find those that will and those that won’t.
If it is aplace that already has lots of availability your chances of acquiring a sit are multiplied.
Apply apply apply shamelessly. You start with one and then go from there.
Once in the country the probabilities again increase. You don’t need to have them all booked in advance. Things will happen very nicely. They have for me and if I can do it, anyone can.
Go get it :sparkles:

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Ok and to be more precise, we always book an Airbnb within an hours drive of the airport for 2-3 nights so we have some time to get over jet lag before we start our first sit.

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Thanks @RunnerC for the advice about school holidays. We have been to both NZ & Aus before so aware of the distances, hence the desire to visit again. We have a grandson in Auckland who we haven’t met yet, so looking to do a longer sit there. Definitely want to visit WA, looks incredible. We also want to visit some places on the East coast which we didn’t have time to previously. Petsitting will hopefully give us longer in one place, get to know an area rather than whizzing from place to place!

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Thanks @Amparo for your encouragement. Not having all “our ducks in a row” is something we are working on! :slightly_smiling_face:

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@RunnerC thanks for the info re cars too :+1::slightly_smiling_face:

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Yeah free the ducks! :duck::laughing:

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Hi @AHartyAdventure, what great fun you’re having in the UK and have a special year planned next year for NZ, Oz and the States. As an Aussie sitter who usually heads to the UK for the summer, I generally have a rough idea of when I want to be away and for how long. Up until this year, I have booked my flights first then found sits; however, this year, I had 8 sits booked before booking my flights. When flights were booked, I notified all owners to give them reassurance I was definitely coming. We had had video chats prior to confirming the sits as well. I am now looking for just a couple of short sits to fill gaps but not greatly worried whether I do or don’t.
I usually have a bit of a plan in that I select a couple of counties (or it was Scotland one year and Wales the next) I don’t know that well and look for sits there, and this has generally worked well. This year the planning has been around being close to elderly family and friends and it has fallen into place so well with sits near all of them.
In looking at the Aussie sits being advertised the past month or so, some of them are lengthy as owners (especially retirees) are wanting to head O/S once again - and to miss our winter! So a good time to pick up sits here - if you like cooler weather! But it will depend on how long you want your sits to be.
I’m sure you won’t have any difficulty being accepted by Aussie owners, especially with the experience you are gaining this year in the UK. Happy pet sitting!

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Thanks for your advice and experience @temba we are looking forward to making plans :+1:

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I always get the sits first, leave some time in between for being a tourist and book flights around that plan.
When you are in Aust (I’m Aust), find out a bit about the weather. The land mass is so huge, 2/3 is desert and the seasons vary enormously, depending where you are. The north is great is winter and awful in summer, for example. The southern states have cold, wet winters. If you want to ask any questions, I am happy to answer.

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We would rather wait until you’re in the country to apply, it will significantly increase your chances and you’ll be almost 100% certain that you can fulfill your commitment.

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I’ve been a member almost 5 years and it seems owners are more willing to confirm sitters that already have travel plans to their destination.
I am an American and my second sit was in Brussels. One of the owners was an American with my home state connection so people seem to prefer sitters with some type of personal relevance.
One of my earliest sits was in Arctic Norway. We had a video call while I was in South Korea. We didn’t have any personal connection but guess they liked my profile. Another one in Australia where I had plans to visit Down Under.
Since the pandemic, my first international sit was this past winter holiday. The owners and I were a bit nervous but worked out fine. I am about to return to Europe for the third time since the pandemic with sits several lined up in 4 different countries.
I feel most owners in Europe these days are open to international sitters but NZ may still be cautious.
U.S. still requires negative test 1 day before entry so I’d apply for sits after you are in the country. Though I hope by next year, if not sooner, they’ll drop the negative testing requirement.
Happy Sitting!

@Loplop - did you do a sit in Tromso, Norway? I saw one advertised for last winter. It looked fascinating, but too long for me.

Yes! I did a 3-week summer sit and still one of my fave. But not northern light season. The owners are German professors so they return to their native country for holidays.

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I live in Sydney and at the moment there are way more home owners looking for sitters than there are sitters. That applies for all of NSW too. We are getting requests and invitations daily and we know of plenty of home owners unable to find a sitter at all. You’ll have no trouble filling your trip with sits, and very good quality ones at that.
Enjoy your travels…

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@AHartyAdventure,

I only do longer international sits. Am on my 8th right now. Starting the 9th in a few days.

Cannot say I have a routine in place as yet - “thanks” to covid I had to wing my travel plans on a few occasions. However, based on the experience I (nonetheless) acquired, my advice to you would be:

  1. Pick a destination. (Worldwide also works great if you´re spontaneous and up for an adventure)

  2. Important. Make your destination your location so that you show up on the local list that consequently (with a bit of luck) will result in numerous invites dropping into your mailbox.

  3. Find and secure your sit(s)

  4. After you´ve secured your sits, shop for tickets. Note, even though ticket prices skyrocketed over the past couple of months you can still find cheap flights … if you´re willing to travel with alternative airlines with one or two layovers. Covid restrictions permitted, visiting exotic airports and testing exotic food can be an adventure in itself.

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Visiting Australia & NZ has been a dream of ours but so far we have only received rejections. We will keep applying of course. We had a fully booked trip to Australia at the start of pandemic but we couldn’t secure any sits and we ended up cancelling the trip due to the COVID restrictions. We have relatives in NZ, so we may visit them first and apply from there.