Going full time

Me and my partner are thinking of moving to full time petsitting in the new year - just wondered if any of you who have been doing it for a while have any tips or things you wish you’d known at the beginning?

Thank you!


Have you been petsitting a lot? I am a bit tired of it now, happy to be on my way home. I read the emails with alerts but I am not in the mood right now for planning anything. That was after just three months.

I have thought about full time, but I see all kinds of administrative hurdles with health insurance etc etc. What I might do is to move to a small apartment, and then use that as a base for travel.


I’ve been on THS for a year and jumped right into full time. I’ve learned to pay attention to a long term plan, so I don’t find myself commuting between Southern California and Florida, which has happened to me a few times already. Also. after you get some good reviews, you can afford to be choosy. I was booking myself 6-8 months in advance and I’ve learned that if I say yes to one sit, I am effectively saying no to everything else that might come along.

I must say that I’ve had a great time and don’t see myself stopping anytime soon, though I probably will leave some gaps for visiting family and friends and places where I haven’t been able to find a sit.


Hi @Junipers I’d say just do it! I went full time in January 2019 and have never been happier. One big tip from me would be that if you own your own home don’t sell it but rent it out if that’s possible in your situation. It could be very difficult for you to get back on the property ladder if you sell up and housesit for several years.


Always have a Plan B! We have been sitting full time since June 2022. We’ve had a few bumps along the way but we’re loving this new life. Other than the next two weeks we are fully booked until late March 2024. We head over to Europe in April.


Hi @Junipers. @hitchedandhiking has a book coming out soon (a week) about this. I haven’t read it, but here’s the link:

What’s funny is I googled to find that link, and there’s a very similar-sounding book:

I haven’t read either, but at least I’ve met @hitchedandhiking/Jess online. She’s currently in Kazakhstan, so they must be doing something right! :grin:

There should also be a few previous topics on this forum about going full-time. If you can’t find them, let us know.


Are you looking for a Sit for the next 2 weeks? We are currently near San Francisco, and the weather is so great!

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Thanks for asking, we wish to remain here
on Vancouver Island. We hope you find someone wonderful for your sit.


We’ve been full time sitting for two years (& working remotely) through 17 countries to date and haven’t looked back. The biggest thing when it’s a constant lifestyle, is that you have to be flexible and adapt to changes in sits and circumstances & have a plan b to fall back on. Always back each other up and be a good team as it’s a lot of time together :heart: Don’t sit full time unless you have funds for unplanned gaps & emergencies. They would be our top tips. Enjoy & welcome to the FT tribe @Junipers


Hi @Junipers , We have been travelling full-time since Setember 2020 and pet sitting full-time since May 2021. We love the lifestyle but my advice would be, as much as possible stick to long sits, Our ideal is 4 weeks.

Wherever possible split up and overlap a day or two so that you keep the cost of hotels down but more importantly, so that you don’t end up doing too many very short ‘fill-in’ sits.

Also, if possible try to avoid bouncing back and forward in your travel route.

If you find yourselves getting tired try to pick up a chain of back-to-back sits in a small area, again, to keep the travelling down

Too many very short sits with all the travelling and stress of getting from place to place is really exhausting!

Finally, keep a blog or a simple record of where you have been, it soon turns into a lovely memory bank to look back on.

Here is ours, Good Luck with yours!!


We’re coming up on two years of traveling full-time, with housesitting being a big part of it. While I know some sitters can/want to do back to back sits and pay for almost no accommodation, we’ve chosen to plan pet-free trips into our budget so as not to be limited only to places with a lot of sits.

Things to do before you leave your home country:
Get an international driver’s permit (they tend to last for a year, and can be helpful if you want to rent a car in say, Japan).
Get travel insurance/travel health insurance. I use Genki health insurance and it’s been fantastic. It’s not just for emergencies, the cost is affordable and they have good customer service.
Get new bank cards/credit cards if yours are set to expire soon.
If you plan to get liability insurance, shopping for it from home is easier than abroad.
Download some VPN software. It can really help if you need to access a website that only operates in your home country. (for example, I need to use a VPN to do my taxes).
I wish I had brought a US SIM with me. I sometimes need a US number, even for a few minutes, so I tend to organize with my mom and have her receive a text or notification for me. It’s a pain. When I finally go back, I plan to get one.

There are a lot of logistics and administrative tasks that come with full time sitting, and it can really feel like a full time job at times. We’re actually wrapping up (in the sense that we plan to have our own place in the next 18 months!) so we are more interested in longer sits and cheaper trips than we were in 2021. Your priorities will change. Go with the flow and if something isn’t working, you can change the way you do things to make it work for you.


Thanks so much for the replies everyone! There’s some really helpful tips in here. We aren’t homeowners and have been on the road for the last year so it should be an easier transition than if we did have a house.

We do have a decent amount of good reviews already. I am a bit nervous about whether we’ll get tired after three months but we’ll see! So far we’re only booking out to April and keeping ourselves limited to a small area.


I’ve been doing it pretty excessively now for a bit over the year, but not completely full time. I still have a home base.
I am currently a bit tired of it too. The biggest issue for me is owners who are not transparent about expectations and/or too demanding.
I would not consider going full time, too stressful and too much of it would depend on the goodwill of other people (pet owners in this case).
The best advice I can give is to ask as many questions as you can before you accept a sit, or if you don’t want to do that, listen to your gut feeling and don’t be so tempted by a dream location that you ignore any inklings on what might be wrong.


Cool! I actually thought about writing a book myself, about my Year as a Trusted Housesitter Travelling the World, but I will rad these two publications first! Thank you for your research!


Everything and anything gets boring after some time, so always have a Plan B.

I agree with all the advice above. Myself, I have done full-time housesitting with THS for a full year and it was great, actually absolutely amazing (and I want to write a book about it), but after about a year or so even the most amazing adventure starts to become boring, too stressful, or too straining, and you may feel the wish to calm down again.

My advice: Kick it off with exciting short sits and then move on to long, calm ones. Find the right mix and the right sequence for yourself.

Personally, I am really grateful that - after my “wild year” which led me from Northern Scotland to Morocco and then through the Swiss Alps to the Danish islands - I finally found free accommodation for whole five years (5 years!) as a sitter for 20 rescue cats in Germany, so I can settle down and calm down a bit, write books, do translations and save money for my old age.

And when the home owner comes home for a few weeks I can do then exciting short sits again, in other parts of the world, and save hotel costs. Being a THS member is just wonderful!


How do people get relaxing long sits?
Literally all the sits that didn’t go well for me (4 out of over 30 to be precise) were longer ones. Perhaps I am just more suited to shorter sits?


Interesting @andrealovesanimals. What kind of problems do you run into on long sits?
I think most of us like longer sits because it cuts back on traveling, packing, cleaning, learning where every kitchen utensil lives, how remotes work, pet routines etc.


It was probably accidental, and the long sits didn’t automatically mean anything bad…
All these sits were with pet owners who were not very considerate.
Two had excessive demands and didn’t care about my wellbeing, one couple thought it was OK to repeatedly come back to the apartment while I was there, and in the other case people were hard to reach and stingy (asked me not to use their heating for example).


I am at 50 % for my longer sits.

First one was great. Very relaxing, HOs that were very hands-off, wonderful dog. I would not have minded another month there.

Second one, there was constant micromanaging, and the HO was not satisfied. After two weeks, I offered to leave the place. That improved the communication part. But I was glad it was not longer than a month.

Edit: And now three stars. These were the people where I ran out of cat food. Ah well. I think I should make an illustrated blog about this sit.

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It’s a good idea to ask in advance rather than jumping in. I’m sure you’ll get some great advice. On the opposite end of the scale , my wife and I are happy with around 5 sits a year but it’s horses for courses. Good luck and I hope you have great fun doing it.

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