How much money are you ready to spend?

When you apply and don’t live in the same country as the owner, or not close (like Usa, Canada or Australie) how much money are you ready to spend in
-transport (plane, car)
-hotels or B&B between 2sits If you manage several sits in the same country/region in order to cut the expenses

Are you ready to take a plane even for a short sit? To rent a car?

Do you estimate the budget before applying? Do you change your plans If the bill seems too heavy ?

Some members try to answer quickly to an ad , want to be the first applicants. Do you take time to look at the price of tickets before?

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For me @Provence I’d likely be planning to spend a few months in a country far away, not just travel there for one sit, and try to organise a few sits and/or a road trip. If it was a sit in Europe I’d consider flying/travelling by train there and back for one sit. It would depend on the sit and length of time

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Totally agree. We always include overseas sits as part of a bigger planned trip.

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We always look up the ‘budget’ of doing a sit before applying. So everything from bus and airfare to local transportation and food. For example, food in Switzerland or Norway much more expensive than in Mexico or the UK. We generally use Rome2Rio to look up all travel methods possible, then use an aggregator like Google Flights to see the general cost to get there. Plus, just as @Smiley and @Jon-JWalking said, we tend to make a trip of it. So, we stay in a region for a while and travel ‘slowly’. However, if a ‘can’t pass it up’ experience comes up, we’ll see if it’s worth going out of our way and/or spending more. :wink:

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You’re more clever than i.
I spent a lot of money going to Guernesey from the south of France for a one week sit which became a 4 days one because of change in broadcast. Storm over the Channel.
Owners coming back sooner, i have been obliged to take a hôtel in London, to stay there. Coming back sooner to my country would have meant to pay a new flight ticket …
And no low costs flights exist in winter between England and Guernesey or direct lights from France… so you need to change airports, to take a taxi If you don’t want to miss your connection…
I was so happy to be called back 10 minutes after the sending of my application i did not evaluate the budget…
Before my departure, I had too to book a hôtel near the airport in Marseille otherwise i would have had to leave home at 4 am to be able to catch the early B.A plane… (they ask us to be 2 hours early before taking off and I had one hour drive )

The bill was high, the place charming, the dog lovely. So you forget and life is Guernesey is cheap : there is no VAT!!!

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Exactly what we do. Check all possible travel costs, work out an itinerary, get accommodation costs and then apply for sits if they fit.

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Most of my sits are in SE Asia, starting and ending in Singapore unless I can arrange a back to back.
I have a rough idea of flight prices between countries in the region but always check before applying for a sit. Some days flights are more expensive, so I have flown a day or so early etc and stayed in Airbnb, saving money on an expensive flight.
I have an annual budget for travel so try to stick within that.
Depending on location (city or rural) I may hire a scooter( Indonesia scooter is about $3 a day), but usually manage with grab/uber or walking. A couple of HO have left me use of car or scooter.
I only do short sits if I am already in a country - maybe tag on at end of longer sit.
Other things to consider are visas, baggage allowance, distance from the airport to the house.

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ADD : I got the baggage allowance of one airline wrong once, and had to pay extra at the airport - the baggage ended up costing more than the flight.

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Our approach is quite different. We have a yearly budget, that we calculate back to a monthly budget. We have budgetted 900 euros per month for travel and accommodation. Some months, when we do a long term housesit nearby, we spend much less. Other months we spend more as we also travel or sometimes rent an AirBnB for a month. In general we try to find a balance.

Furthermore, we don’t do housesits for just a week unless it is nearby, and we always check the cost for traveling there and if needed car rental.

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From a HO point of view: when we advertised our last sit we had a reply from a couple of Americans (we are based UK). They had brilliant references and the experience to look after all our animals. We thought should we or shouldn’t we invite them due to their costs? We did. On Skyping them it turned out they had worked in the UK many moons ago and wanted to move here AND have a smallholding like ours. They would have been ideal, but Covid prevented it. Perhaps encouraging overseas applicants to elaborate on why they are interested in a sit might help. We always offer the sitters a meal and bed the night we go and on our return.

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I know this is different in Europe but here in Canada and in the US, we have loyalty programs with credit cards that gives us opportunities to book hotel rooms and cars with their points. For airplane tickets, we only pay the taxes. Programs are linked with banks crédit cards, like AMEX and open us the worlds of Marriott, Hilton, Air Miles, Aeroplan programs etc. So I usually try to use them while in transition from a sit, But as I was still working, I never had a long sit. 15 days max.

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Because housesitting is part of our full time lifestyle, we just have to balance everything out. If we find a sit in another country that looks amazing and we really want to do it, we make sure that we can either get cheap flights, tag on some time after/before to see more or find another housesit after that we can connect.

It’s all about value. If it is worth it we are willing to spend the right amount of money on going to a housesit.

If it seems like a hugely competitive sit, we are more likely to apply and check costs immediately after applying and then withdraw if it seems unfeasible. However this has never happened, because if we really want to do a sit we can probably justify spending money on the experience. But normally we would check costs before applying and make sure the value of the experience vs actual money cost is in favour of the experience.

We would never ask a homeowner for compensation if we have applied for a sit. We’ve chosen the sit so we have chosen the costs that go with it to.

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@Margaret what are "brilliant" references ?
the sitter’s text itself, the amount of 5 stars or 30 feed backs if not more ?? the variety of animals they had been in charge, or the type of pets they had been in charge, which were like yours ?
I’m curious as I haven’t sit much (only 5 since 2019) I always wonder whether owners read the owners’s comments or looked only at the stars, or pay a lot of attention to profiles
Being a foreigner, I feel miserable as I know I probably make mistakes (personnally I hate mistakes in french) although I try to re read me and correct them (problem is on THS, sometimes you click too quick, you can’t delete or change a text once it has been sent !!)On the forum I may change when I notice I wrote badly “flue”… (in the Covid topic)

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Provence By “brilliant references” I meant positive comments in other House Owners’ feedback. I read these feedbacks very carefully and make judgements on these rather than the star ratings or the number of feedbacks. Comments like “He did far more than we asked”, “He coped admirably with the unexpected”, “It was easy to communicate with him”, These, and similar comments, all give me a positive impression about the person. The comment I have seen several times: “The dog greeted us when we returned home but then demanded attention from the House Sitter” indicates to me how well cared for the animals had been whilst we were away. (Sorry. I have referred to the sitter(s) as him just for sake of ease.)
On the sitter’s profile I do look for experience with the variety of animals that we have. For example, looking after 1 small puppy is no indication of how someone would cope with a large rescue dog with issues. If a sitter makes spelling or grammatical mistakes in their profile that does not worry me. I am sure I make plenty. Your English is very good so don’t feel miserable!

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Thanks a lot @Margaret, your answer is very helpful for me and all of us

as an owner I shall not forget to precise why we were happy,
you’re right stars don’t mean much (many people have 5 stars and sometimes in spite of the fact you have been slightly desappointed you give 5 stars too. I insist a lot on getting news of my furry kids and am really anxious when sitters don’t follow my instructions. But I feel guilty to be so demanding !
as a sitter I will insist more on my skills… I will precise the different sizes of dogs I had personally and the ones I’ve kept since I pet sat

It’s a pity we can’t send pictures to the HO when we apply, to show him/her the “proof” of what we pretend. On profiles, very experienced sitters are obliged to make a selection of pictures, I doubt they change them often in order to look more relevant.

Below: my own pets, from 6 to 44 kilos, a few years ago. Should I leave that photo on my profile as the dogs are dead now ?

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