Need to return home early - what would you do

I would very politely ask what their plans are the day they are meant to be leaving your sit. I would then tell them that due to strikes you will no longer be traveling for that final day, but will honor the original terms of the sit by getting a hotel or staying with friends.

If they say, “oh, please come on home,” or “great we wanted to have a day of sightseeing,” or “cool we can get to our next location a day early now,” then all good.

If they don’t offer, I probably wouldn’t ask. That 48 hours before a HOs return is usually fairly hectic. And there’s no guarantee that you won’t experience travel interruptions anyways.

However if you’re dead set on returning, you could offer to pay for their hotel that final night, have a friend/paid petsitter come by so they can leave earlier during the day (or sightsee), or pay for a cleaning service so they aren’t quite so stressed.


As sitters, We would be fine with it.


As a sitter, I am fine with it as long as it is mentioned in advance of the day but I’m also the type who will take the HO up on their offer to come and stay a day early before they leave to make my inbound arrival easier.

The last time the HOs came back on a Sunday evening instead of dealing with Monday morning traffic and they graciously took me to dinner on Sunday night at their favorite local place. Also, they dropped me at the train station on Monday morning instead of me having to take the bus as I had an early Monday departure so it was a win-win.


@IHeartAnimals we had to deal with UK train strikes when we were sitting for 4.5 months as we never had a car. A couple of times there were train strikes on our transit days, going from one sit to the next. We made alternate transport arranagements, in one case hired a one way rental car and drove 450km to our next sit. We never ever considered leaving early due to train strikes. @sleepless I would expect the same consideration from any home owner and for you to honour the terms of the agreed sit duration. There are other means of transport for you. You need to have a plan B rather than just coming home.


We certainly wouldn’t mind , if we knew in advance and were able to stay if no other accommodation options were available

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Another thing that no- one has yet mentioned - who makes dinner? More stress/food shopping etc

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Yeah, but a restaurant can solve that. Or order take-away.

We would be happy to prepare a meal and get in some basics. A simple pasta and salad or a spread of meats and cheeses.

I’d just tell the sitters the issue. They may have no problem with a dates change. I’d present it as “We are completely flexible; happy to get ourselves a hotel room for the night if the date change is an inconvenience to you, happy to just come home a day early if the date change isn’t an inconvenience, even happy to come home and we can sleep in the other room if you’re comfortable with that, your choice.”


I’ve never had to come back days early, but I’ve had flight times changed on me by the airlines for a recent trip I have planned, I offered the sitter to stay or to pay for his hotel accommodations, and he didn’t mind staying while we were there.

If I had to return days early, I would probably either stay at a friend’s or offer to pay for flight changes, or Airbnb at my next-door neighbor, or offer our other apartment closer to downtown. I’d probably take the latter, though they have very strict HOA rules. :smile:

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We’ve been housesitting since 2006. I guess we are a bit more relaxed about things. If a homeowner says they are coming home 1 day early, because of unforseen circumstances, we wouldn’t stress. It would give us a bit more time to hear about their trip, tell them all about the pets and the goings on in the neighborhood, how we enjoyed our time and any suggestions we may have for their next sitters. We always try to spend a day and night before a sit and the night after the owners return home, making them a nice dinner or taking them out, so this really isn’t an imposition for us. Life happens.


As sitters, we would have no issues leaving the sit early, but we are in control of our transport and don’t go from sit to sit.
I would contact the sitters, explain the situation and I’m sure you’ll get a satisfactory outcome. Good luck.