Hotel nights pre sit at HO request?

Hi all. What’s everyone’s feeling about a HO requesting you turn up some days earlier and book a hotel pre sit?
I ask as I declined a sit in a holiday location during peak summer holiday season as the HO wanted me to turn up 4 days early and book a hotel. The problem was the cheapest hotels at this time of year were a minimum of £150 a night. So £600 total which wasn’t in my budget. Would you expect a HO to offer help with such costs if staying in a hotel at their request?


If they want me to be there early I would normally expect them to host me.


Hi @richten1. 4 nights early? That’s a bit much and one I truly don’t understand. For the night before we usually bunk in the PP’s home or at a local hotel on our dime, as we, like many others, build extra time between sits to ensure we’ll arrive as promised to the sit.

We have 2 sits coming up that are different, however. On one the pet parent volunteered to pay for our hotel, as she really wanted us to stay at the hotel right next door to her apartment complex. On another sit we’ll arrive the day before the pet parents take off, but they said they’d be most comfortable if they stay in a hotel the night before leaving to ensure they get up and out of town on time.

Flexibility on both parties’ part is key. But I do think more than one night is excessive.


I often come 1 night early - and then I’ll stay at the HO’s house. I once came 2 nights early on request of the HO and they housed me at an AirBnB nearby at their expense. I was fine with that. 4 nights early & paying for hotel? A big No-No for me!! Let them pay or find a professional sitter if they have such expectactions


I can’t imagine why a sitter would need to arrive 4 days early and I would definitely not expect a sitter to pay for it if that was a requirement. I have paid for one night in a hotel completely as my own choice so I didn’t have to drive as much in the morning. When the owners have left early in the morning a couple of times I’ve stayed with the homeowners for the night before, and I have a couple of sits coming up where they’ve arranged (and paid for) a room for me. When I was a pet owner a couple of times I paid for one night in a hotel for my sitters for the same ease of handover reason. I can’t wrap my head around expecting someone to pay to come that long before a sit.


If the HO requests it then yes it should be at their expense .


If a home host wanted me to book four nights in a hotel before arriving at theirs then they would have to pay for it.

This is screaming red flag to me - :triangular_flag_on_post:


Well, this sounds like a ridiculous request to me! Why on earth would they need you to do this? A hard no from me :slight_smile:


Just to answer the question many are asking why 4 nights early. The HO wanted to get to know the sitter prior to the sit starting. I agree with many a day before would be ok.


Thanks @Karen_E. I did suggest arriving the day before and staying 1 night but HO was stuck on 5 days and 4 nights early.


@richten1 : It sounds like you may have avoided a problem by turning down this sit. If the host is that demanding, I would be concerned about what other ridiculous demands he would place on you. It is just weird that anyone would want that.


We have always tried to get people the day before and give them dinner and our annexe to stay in as we leave early the next morning. Some have chosen to stay in an Airbnb. But we would also offer to pay for that for the benefit of showing them the ropes with our 4 legged tresures.


The only reason I can think of to request 4/5 days early, is if the sitter is flying in over a busy holiday period. The owner might be worried that the sitter’s flight might get cancelled/delayed and want to build in some cushioning. But I agree, too many days for me!

1 Like

When I apply for overseas sits I state that I am willing to pay for one night at both ends of the sits so the HO is comfortable knowing I will be there, Any more days than that I would have to really want to go to that location or they would need to pay.


As others have noted - happy to stay at the HO’s home. I have had a few that put me up in hotels - once during covid, a few times because the HO said they were so disorganized when getting ready to leave - but the HO paid for the hotel.

I have never had a HO want us to arrive that many days in advance. If there was a lot of stuff to go over because it was a more involved sit–like a farm with lots of different animals for example-- I would probably honor the request to come. But I would expect them to pay for the hotel if they were unable to host us in the home and wanted us to come that many days ahead.

With the exception of a couple of times, the HO has always offered for us to stay at the house if we were arriving the night before they left. One HO paid for our hotel next door automatically since they only had one bedroom, and it wasn’t even something that needed to be discussed.

The rest of the sits where we paid for our own accommodation were in cases where we chose to arrive early and the HO didn’t expect us there the night before–we usually like to get in at least one day early if flying from one country to another or coming from a long distance within a country.

In most cases, the sit was pretty straight forward so there wasn’t much to go over, and they weren’t leaving super early so we just met a few hours or less before they left. And in other cases, because we were already there the day before, we did meet then and then just came to the house the next day after they left.

That she would want you to pay for 4 nights in a hotel in general seems odd, and especially if she lives in an area where accommodation is that costly. I would think she has to be aware of what type of expense that would be. Or maybe she isn’t. Either way, that would be a bit of a red flag for me. You made the right choice.

We’re on a sit with multi animals (25+) in a very rural Asian location right now. The hosts wanted us two days before they left for Europe as there’s so much to explain & learn. They hosted us in their guest house and offered it for a few days on their return if needed, all as part of the deal. 4 days sounds really odd as have never seen a sit more complicated than the one we’re on & it’s definitely not your cost to bear @richten1 - bullet dodged we reckon! :raised_hands:t3:


Thanks guys for your input. This was for 1 cat sit so nothing out of the ordinary. I recently did a 10 cat sit that I arrived on Wednesday and the HO went away first think Friday morning giving us a day to run though the cats etc. This was in the HO though.
So yes happy to arrive early and have paid for a hotel the night before but not 4 nights.

I have a sit this summer that I will have to pay for a hotel the night before and after because the HO was really vague about arrival and departure times. I had to ask multiple times when she wanted us to be there because I had to buy train tickets. She had just said she would leave sometime in the morning. The she decided she was going to leave really early in the morning so she wanted me to come over the night before. I had to change my plans to be able to arrive the night before and get a hotel. I still don’t know when she’s returning. So, I can’t book trains to our next destination. I really wish I hadn’t taken this sit, but I’m stuck with it now. In the future I won’t accept sits without arrival and departure times. I also strongly feel if an HO requires the sitter to arrive the night before a sit, the HO should be responsible for providing accommodations for that night.


Asking you to come 4 days early for one cat is unusually high-maintenance. As others have said, she sounds very anxious and hard-to-please.

I’ve done multiple cat sits and often never even met the homeowner - they leave keys for me somewhere. I am also a HO here with one cat and have had sitters arrive after I leave.