How did you discover house sitting?

How did you discover house sitting? What was your first introduction to house sitting. How did you find out about it?

We were using sitters over 10 years ago while living on a remote island in Panama where it was a necessity if leaving because of all the off-grid systems, but had no idea it was a “thing”. We just asked around locally and usually ended up with liveaboard sailors looking for some land time while riding out hurricane season.

It was only when selling up and researching our future long term travels we casually searched “house sitting” on google. Up popped TrustedHousesitters and some other sites. What a wonderful day that was!!

I asked this question today on Facebook and had so many wonderful answers, I thought it might be an inspiring question to ask of this community. Would love to hear your stories.

I’ve put this in general as it would be lovely to hear from sitters and owners both.

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I was searching for house swap websites and I accidentally came across THS. After we read about it and realized that we could ALSO spend time with animals, we were sold.

We first joined in 2015 or 2016 I think, but didn’t do our first sit until 2017. People are always asking us about it and most have never even heard of the concept. It’s really a perfect way to travel for us.

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An old manager 8 years ago used THS & asked me to go check her house & pets while she was away! Instantly I thought what an amazing opportunity, I’ve waited patiently until the time is right to join!

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My story looks a bit like yours. I was already into home exchanging and appreciated that alternative way of traveling and meeting people. I once was offered by an english couple I had asked to swap houses with, to instead come and petsit their two cats while they were going to Spain. Oh! nice ! I enjoyed my stay enough to then start looking for “home sitting or pet sitting” on Google. Bang ! THS appeared to be and in fact was the best thing that happened to me that day and many more to come. I dragged my daughter and a couple of friends to subscribe as well. And we lived happily forever.

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I think word of mouth is a big one for house sitting… whenever we are in a new neighborhood there’s always someone interested in why we are at the house looking after the pets (if they haven’t already been told). It’s a great way to spread the word I think :slight_smile:

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I already replied on your web site with my sitter cap. And on another thread on this forum
Cf question of the week : what brought you to Trustedhouse sitters. September 20

As an owner what i was first, i was wondering what to do with my ménagerie (2 dogs, 1 cat) as we planned to spend a month in Perou. And i did not want to put them in pension. Somebody gave me the name of a pet organization. I was very used to leave my keys to perfect strangers and trust them as we were home swappers for 30 years

one year later i subscribed at THS

There are so many “happily ever after” stories around house sitting!

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I did think of you haha as I asked this as I knew you’d have seen both :slight_smile: A lot of house swappers have converted to house sitting it seems :slight_smile: Much better model (she says as a total house sit advocate :laughing:

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I’m not “converted” : swaps are different, there is reciprocity. You live in the swapper’s home, (s)je lives in yours. The relationship is fairly different.

Many swappers have no pets or put theirs in hands of relatives when they swap with us, i only looked twice after cats in 43 swaps and swappers rarely wanted to keep our pets, as they needed to stay and couldn’t be away more than half a day. Some were allergic to cats…

I could ask sitters to stay all day to my 3 months old pup, last summer it was the “deal”. They were informed he screamed when left alone. You can’t impose such a rule to a swapper If (s)he has no pet.

We organise often non simultaneous swaps in order to take a sitter when we go away. Next july we swap with a danish family who will keep my dog. First time ! She has a dog but we shall not be in charge.

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Good points about swappers… “Changed to” might have been a better phrase :slight_smile:
In our world we have come across a fair number of people over the years who once were swappers, but now choose to house sit because they can do have pets and don’t have to consider their pets separately.

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I know i may not have any more pet once my dog dies Problem is i shall not be “hired” any more either as a sitter. Because too old…

I really regret not to have known sitting earlier. I would have travelled more without my husband. Staying abroad with pets in a nice home is of course 100 times nicer than staying alone in a hôtel room.

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Oh dear, this may take many moons to explain but will keep it a short story.

In 2015 my husband accepted a remote role overseas after another expat role & it meant i’d need to do some exploring. I discovered another house sit site :-1::-1::-1::-1:, started in Singapore & after a few sits discovered TH :partying_face::partying_face:. I mix TH with ozzie/kiwihousesitters & am cool with that.

That’s the short version…

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Never say never… you don’t look like you are anywhere close to having to give up house sitting :slight_smile:

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Vanessa if my pup dies in 12 years, as my former dogs, i’ll be 12 years older. Do you think owners will trust me to look after their pets ? I wonder if I would choose such an elderly as a sitter…
Shall i be in good shape ?

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Our housesitting journey started because we moved from London to Brighton - with no knowledge of what housesitting was. Suze was looking for a new job and our landlady happened to be the CMO of TrustedHousesitters (believe she has since left). She said that there were a few jobs available at THS and that Suze should apply. Unfortunately/fortunately she didn’t get the job, but now we knew about housesitting! Throughout our time in Brighton we looked after so many dogs (Brighton really is dog heaven) through another website, so built up a lot of experience with pets. After only a year of Brighton life (we love Brighton, we just decided we needed a change of lifestyle) we remembered about Suze’s application for THS and thought why not give it a go!

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I found THS by chance while reading a travel blog somewhere. Thought, hmm that sounds like something I could do.
My very first application did not go well. Meaning, after going to visit for a chat etc (4hr round trip) the lady messaged THS and told them that she didn’t that think that THS was something I should be doing. :scream:
Can you imagine how I felt when this was relayed to me in a message from THS.
Long story short: I had secured 2 sits prior to the communications with THS. Chalked it up to experience. I have been honoured to have met and cared for many wonderful animals since then and looking forward to more.

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Oh wow! That’s a different story to many. Really enjoying seeing how we all got started!

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Well done you for not letting that deter you :two_hearts:

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Hello,
I had seen a TV report on pet sitting and as I knew I was going to have a lot more time for myself, I thought to myself why not, good mariage between love of animals and travels. I searched petsitting on google and I saw several sites. I choosed THS, very international and another site, with more petsitting in France. I am registered on the two and I have the same number of sit on the two. I only have one regret, not having started before.

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I read an article in AARP magazine on inexpensive ways for seniors to travel. I had just gone on a vacation that cost $450 for my dog to be boarded and he got a scratch in his eye from a playful interaction with another dog (a $250 vet bill). I felt it would have been addressed more quickly with individual attention. I wanted a different alternative for him.

As soon as I went on the site, wanderlust set in so I signed up both as a sitter and to have a petsit for me.

My first sit was in Anchorage, Alaska. I found a great couple to stay in my home with my dog. Getting regular updates, photos and videos of my dog made my trip even more special and I had so much fun providing the same, for the people I petsat for.

I’ve done 5 sits so far including one SWAP with a couple from Brighton, England. We have become good friends and they have a son and daughter-in-law who live in a nearby town.

In September I’ll be sitting for friends in Northern CA who I had recruited to join. A real win-win.

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