How far in advance do you book?

Just wondered (especially for full time sitters) how far in advance you book your sits? I am intending to sit full time during 2023 and have already seen some sits for the summer months. However, I am hesitant to book so far in advance. I just wondered if there is a consensus as to how far in advance you tend to book sits?

We are also looking at our summer 2023. Since we are flying internationally, know where we want to go and the approximate dates, we’ve already booked our flights. Pricing is so much cheaper now than it will be if you start looking in later spring. We are taking the risk that things won’t come together exactly the way we want, and are willing to use airbnb in that case. But then, I’m a planner. I generally have things organized, have a concrete backup plan in case something doesn’t work out, and there is generally also a tertiary level of planning involved in case plan B also falls through.
What makes you hesitate about booking so far in advance?

We are full time sitters since July 2020. I keep track of countries/regions I am interested in for up to a year in advance.

We’ve had sits that were booked 9 months in advance, other ones with only 2 weeks to go.

If sits are booked a long time in advance, we generally check in a few times with the owner, just to see if everything is still on. And we always let them know when we’re ready to book flights/transport.

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@anon80172330 - We are full-time sitters and, as we are currently abroad we have now booked until the end of Feb and are actively trying to get booked until the end of May. From June we are back in the UK so then are happy usually to be booked 2 - 3 months in advance

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Thanks for this. I am hesitant because I only sit locally (as in, exclusively within the UK) and the sits I am seeing currently aren’t necessarily ideal in terms of proximity or dates. However, they do look great and I don’t know whether more suitable ones will come up in the future, so it’s a bit unclear as to whether I should apply at the moment.

I think if you are looking within the UK you can be selective about your sits. It seems like there are just so many UK sits, and many of them are with shorter notice. Silly question, but are school holidays in the UK all at the same time, or are they staggered by counties or cities (i.e. London has different summer school holidays than York)? If they are all at the same time, you should have a glut of options.

Thanks @Harris2! Yes, there seem to be plenty of options in the UK, so hopefully waiting a month or two to book for the summer should be okay. The school holidays vary, so it’s not a silly question at all. In Scotland (where I live) summer holidays tend to be earlier than in England, I believe.

I have learned not to ‘push’ for sits that are long in advance and ‘not quite right’. Rather wait until a very good match comes up. Too often I feel the need to organise the next 10 steps in our tour today…but then, if nothing quite good enough comes up, I just let it go…something great will come along, especially the UK is constantly full of sits. Sometimes (if you have nerves of steel) the sits that are 1-4 weeks out are very enticing. But if you’re already booked out, then that’s of no use!

PS. We are in Spain and Portugal for the next 4 months and it is slooooow going to find good matches. So we just wait and see. What must be will be.

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I agree on the not pushing a plan. I can plan all I want, and have an idea of what I’d like to do, but in the end it comes down to an opportunity being the right fit for everyone. If it feels off for any reason, I’d rather stay in a hotel than take it on. It’s a gut instinct.

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Sage advice everyone, thank you. @botvot Yes, it definitely feels that I’d be compromising at this stage by going for something that didn’t feel quite right, especially when there are several months for other sits to arise. Like @Harris2 , I like to plan ahead, but have noticed in doing so, sometimes other things arise that are more suitable. I agree, much of it is about gut instinct. A sit I had my eye on is now in the ‘reviewing applications’ stage. Funny how it is more appealing now it is out of reach, but I know that it wasn’t ideal for me.

I have some time in December when I will likely have to book an Airbnb or similar, so I might test your ‘nerves of steel’ theory for that time and see what comes up before booking! Interesting to learn that the UK has far more sits than Spain/ Portugal.

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