How have you upped your hosting game? What makes a great host?

I’m so tired of reading about hosts/petparents/homeowners who are being lousy hosts. Neglecting to clean the house, not leaving any storage space, or worse – not giving sitters essential information about the pets or pet behavior. So the topic here is for “owners” – what have you done since joining (or what did you always do) to make your sitter guests feel “at home” and comfortable? To make your sit special and unique? Did you, based on experience, change things? Add things etc? For instance, after yesterday’s meet and greet with my third Italian sitter, and seeing the look in her eye as she spotted my electric percolator, I decided to buy a small Italian moka pot! I now have a new designated set of sheets for guests only. I always make sure my hairblower is left in one of the empty storage cubicles for guests, and so on. I’m going on a sit this week too. The hosts who are AMAZING are leaving us some breakfast foods and asked about my preferred millk. Previously, hosts have shared fresh from the garden veggies! One got me comps to her next door neighbor’s show! If you are sitter, could you write about a positive experience where a host left something or did something you thought was especially thoughtful?


Besides the standard preparations (fully cleaning the house, making space in fridge/cupboards/bathroom and providing clothing hangers, thorough welcome guide, etc) we have recently begun to leave extra things for sitters. We keep a small set of travel-sized toiletries in case a sitter forgets something (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shower loofah, hair spray). We buy them a fresh bag of coffee beans and recently got some flavored syrups to use with our espresso or drip machine (we drink it black, so it’s a sitter-specific purchase!)

We try not to leave things that could be considered extra work, like cut flowers which require trimming and water changing, but do leave little things like candles and small snacks or candy. For those traveling from farther out of state, we get one of those Starbucks “You Are Here” mugs for the state of Washington. As the weather cools down, we’re going to start leaving these cute pinecone and wax firestarters for our wood stove.

One last thing: I know I’m dragging up an old thread, but I did find it very helpful. It covers a lot of basic amenities like sharp knives, bedside lamps, and accessible outlets, which I’m sure sitters appreciate a lot more than a mug! :laughing:


We are sitting in Wales currently and this kind host purchased us many baked good items and fresh veggies. We travelled 5,000 miles and it was so kind of them to have basics here while we settled in a new time zone/country/etc. I plan on doing the same (and actually I’ll stock as much food as possible for sitter.) Sitters make a huge effort to care for our house and pets and I want to be sure to be an excellent host. Thanks for this post!


Hi @Travelingpotato It sounds like you are going to be an excellent host :clap:t2::blush:

Your sit sounds lovely btw :slightly_smiling_face:


At a sit in England the wonderful hosts left us afternoon tea. We really enjoyed it and appreciated not having to go to the grocery store right away.


@systaran how lovely :blush:

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Wow @adelia. You sound like dream hosts. Very thoughtful and generous indeed. Any sitter would love that. :heart_eyes_cat:


Well done and thank you @Marion. What a lovely idea for a post topic. :heart::clap:t3:.

Bring on the good vibes :sunglasses: and spread the love :hugs:


Thank you :slight_smile: We know our home isn’t fancy and our dog is a little more work than others, so we very much appreciate our sitters and want them to enjoy their time here!


Here’s a thread similar to your post that might interest you:


As a sitter, we’ve arrived at sits where there was a bottle of wine and/or a thank you card waiting for us - I really feel that is a nice gesture and makes us feel appreciated as soon as we arrive at the sit.


What make a good host for us is cleanliness, open communication, and a genuine concern for us to be comfortable while staying in the home.


We have laid in supplies for our sitters, especially those coming from abroad - usually we give them a link to our local grocery store and have them select items to avoid miscommunications about (for example) types of milk. We have guest only sheets, and the bathroom is theirs for the duration, including hair dryer, toiletries, etc.


Standouts vary and are subjective, from my sitter experience. Setting location aside, some of what I’ve experienced:

• Trust and a lack of micromanaging.
• Clear comms, transparency and coordination on timing.
• Cleanliness.
• Space for the sitter, including room in the fridge and freezer.
• Rides from and to airports, hotels or such at the start and end of sits.
• An en suite guest room with nice linens.

To me, food, gifts and such are unnecessary, though I get that they’re well intentioned.


That about sums up my list @Maggie8K, though a nice bottle of wine to enjoy on my first night is always appreciated and enjoyed. Just a “settle in drink” to relax before reality strikes :wink:

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@ziggy, yes. On arrival, I’ve had HOs offer me tea and scones, a cocktail, a bottle of wine. Some have made me a meal, ordered one in or taken me to dinner. I appreciate such hospitality, but it’s icing. I figure some folks are more socialable or hospitable than others. Some folks haven’t necessarily had the privilege. And some are scattered or stressed by last-minute prep for travel.


I love it when people leave me little gifts when I arrive. Looking after Willow at the moment and there was food in the fridge for a first night meal, plus basics, bread, milk, etc and store cupboard stuff. From Willow herself a card wine, chocolate and cake. It does make you feel appreciated. Most of all I like a clean, comfortable home, a nice bedroom an en-suite is a bonus. I chose a place from the photos, so I don’t apply if it’s untidy and crammed full of things. It’s like looking at an estate agents photos buying a home. Over the years, I have learned what works for me, some owners have become friends and keep in touch regularly, not just about housesitting. They make meals, bake cakes, fill the freezer and for them I will go back if I am free but I do get booked way ahead. I have a booking in my diary for May 2025 which will be an invite straight to my inbox. For me this works well. I leave a thank you card and flowers or a plant or a small gift


We always leave a personal thank you card with a gift card, value depending on how long the sit is. A hand written note is so rare nowadays that I hope it shows our deep appreciation to the sitter. We also have a different set of sheets & bedspread for our master bedroom for sitters & a separate set of towels that we only use for sitters.


I had two amazing sitters 1st one let me have all veggies in the garden, fresh eggs and coffee she gave me a pot of homemade jelly and crumble or cake she also put flowers to put beauty in the house.

The second one i did was during my birthday i had a cake in the fridge and chocolate

I was really feeling welcome


Hi @AnnieC and it’s lovely to see you again posting on the Forum and that’s so lovely to hear, especially the cake for your birthday :birthday::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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