Nervous to book a sitter from overseas

Hi Everyone. We are in Germany and have received AMAZING applications from sitters from the US, Australia, South Africa, etc. Because of COVID and changing travel rules, we are nervous to have sitters coming from too far as we are afraid we will be stuck with a cancellation at the last minute (no fault of their own). It happened to friends of ours who had a sitter from France cancel because they couldn’t cross the border. What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance.

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Congratulations on all of the great applications you’ve received, @Andree-Anne!

If you accept a sitter from abroad, it would be wise to have a firm “Plan B” in case your sitter isn’t able to travel.

I just saw on the news that the EU is set to reimpose the travel ban on travelers from the USA and five other countries today (August 30). EU Member States are not bound to apply the ban so Germany may decide to allow travelers from the USA to enter if they’ve been vaccinated, etc.

I live in Switzerland and hope to find some sits in the UK in November. Because of the changeable travel situation, I’m going to look for “last minute” sits - after I’m physically in the UK - because I don’t want to commit to a sit that I may not be able to do.

Best wishes during this tricky period!

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It is still very problematic to travel from the UK. The cost of the testing we have to undergo is in itself prohibitive.
I’d love to start applying for sits in Europe but our traffic light system (allowing us to travel to countries) changes every three weeks.
I would personally love to travel to Austria but Brits are completely barred from entering. I always fly into Munich but I think I’d be turned away if the German police boarded the train at Rosenheim and saw my passport!
As for Australia- they are in almost complete lockdown and my guess is that no Australian will be completely free to travel out of the country for at least 6 months.

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We live in a postcard here in the German Alps and I would love to give friendly sitters an opportunity to visit our area but I guess I’m not that much of a gambler! Thanks for your response. :grinning:

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I am also HO in Germany and I have had the same thoughts about our (eventual) time away in December. So far I haven’t listed the dates as 1) we’re ourselves not sure if we will travel to South Africa and 2) if it would be wise to say right away that we prefer only German Sitters to apply.
Just in case our trip was canceled it’s much easier to turn down someone who doesn’t need to travel long distance by plane.
We’ve made it so far in this pandemic so I think a few more months until next year aren’t worth the risk. We will travel again so there will be many opportunities again for foreign sitters.

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Great advice. Thank you.

Hi @Andree-Anne welcome to our community forum thank you for joining. It’s great that you

sitters are is so eager to get back to their pet and housesitting lifestyles, we have so missed connecting with pets, people and places.

We can completely understand your very genuine concerns, there is still much uncertainty around cross border/international travel and most sitters are concentrating their travel around domestic sits.

I have just had two US sits scheduled for October cancel until later in the year and one for 2022 but I could not have flown in from the UK anyway due to restrictions on entry in the US. As a Canadian citizen I would have routed myself through Canada but would need to stay there for 14 days prior to US entry. All of which makes the process open to unforeseen problems which if it only affected me, the traveller then it’s manageable, but when there are owners, pets and their arrangements involved it really isn’t worth the risk especially if arrangements can be rescheduled and we know this current uncertainty will not last forever. .

But to your question, no matter what the individual owner or sitter decides the importance of doing travel research and having a Plan B is more relevant today than ever before as the only constant in travel right now is, change.

It will be very interesting to hear what our forum members say.

Thank you again for joining, enjoy the conversations and we’re sure whatever you decide will be the right decision and will work for everyone involved.

Angela and the Team

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Hi. I think it’s reasonable for you to be nervous at this stage. As others have said, rules are often changed, sometimes with minimal notice. I live at the US border in Canada, and currently can enter by flying but not driving. Earlier this year I had anticipated being able to travel south this winter, but now I’m doubting that.

I’ve seen recent postings for other Canadian provinces where they restrict their applicants to those living in their province. Even though restrictions across provinces are far less frequent, these people are reducing their risks. I think that’s wise. Let’s hope that 2022 brings us more options.

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I totally understand what you are saying. My parents are Québec-Florida snowbirds and this whole thing is causing them so much stress. :frowning:

Hi there, I am in the UK and I have to admit that for the time being we are only accepting sitters from the UK… Hopefully one day things will settle down and we will be able to consider sitters from overseas, at the moment I just think that the situation is just too uncertain.

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I am also in the UK, my only child, my son, and his family live in Sweden, so I haven’t seen them since Feb last year when I went over for my grandsons 1st birthday… They are booked to come over and visit next month so fingers crossed. I am hoping to go over for a couple of weeks at the end of March next year, but at the moment UK nationals are not allowed into Sweden, so who knows!

Hi @Andree-Anne,
As french sitters we started 4 years ago house-sitting in UK and Portugal. But since Covid we only apply for french listings. Lots of them have been cancelled last minute due to covid restrictions and, as someone said, it is much easier to handle when you have no flight ticket or ferry booking to deal with.
I can understand you are nervous about it. Hope you can find someone local to house-sit for you.

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It happened twice to me. Also i have a sit starting October in Europe and find out Americans have to be vaccinated. And have to take a covid test the second day in the country .
So your choice. I will obey.

Don’t do it. Plain and simple. Its too much stress and anxiety IMHO to select someone who is coming from another country, regardless of which direction. I put that in my recent post for a sitter and was disappointed with the many who applied from overseas. And the ones from the US know how hot Florida is in the summer. i had a plan B for my cat, but even if I had to pay a sitter to stop by, would have been less stress than worring about being canceled on last minute.

Go with your gut.

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It’s completely reasonable right now to indicate restrictions for acceptable applicant locations. We are not sitting for now outside of our home country (Canada) since we don’t want to get caught somewhere as things change. We are willing to accept sits for HOs who are going overseas because in our own country we have more flexibility if plans change, even though we are full-time nomads and don’t have a home base.

@Andree-Anne I am based in the UK and have done sits in Portugal, Spain, France and Sweden. I also travel with Workaway and have been to Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and Turkey. You could lock in a sitter one town away from you and it might still fall through for a whole range of reasons that you and the sitter have no or very littel control over. You could ask overseas sitters to show proof of booked flights but the sit could still fall through. You could have a plan B where friends etc can step in if the sitter can’t make it, but then that plan might fall through. There are no certainties in the arrangements we make but I am sure most sitters take the commitment they make seriously and no matter where they are coming from will do their best to get to you. Its worth remembering that they are taking a risk also. A sitter in the US, Australia, Japan etc might outlay on flights only to find that you can no longer travel They might not get all of their money back! I now ask HOs where I am out-laying on flights to meet me half-way on a return flight from London if they cancel and I can’t get my money back from the airline. Only a few HOs have agreed that this is reasonable, and if I am too be honest I would not want to sit for the others! Factor in the on-going covid situation and this can be even more complex. If you go into lockdown no matter if the sitter is coming from Australia or 100 miles away (Unless they are Dominic Cummins and your sit is at Barnard Castle…thats an English in-joke!) the sit will fall through.

I have 3 invites in the UK for 2022 all tentative and all repeats and a flight already booked.
Cats need me.

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We arrived in the UK yesterday from Canada and getting through customs was a complete anti-climax (after a year of worrying). We stuck our passports in the reader and walked straight through! No one was interested in our PCR test results or seeing our locator forms or putting a stamp in Aussie-boys passport.

I guess I expected a bit more drama… :rofl:

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Hi @Myhnabird that must have been a such a relief.

Unfortunately the problem is the next person or arrival destination could present a problem for the traveler. I had a call yesterday from a member in Rome in transit from the US to the UK who was refused boarding on her connecting flight because of a test paperwork problem (the member had done her research and made certain of compliance, or so she thought) she is now in Amsterdam. Her sit will not go ahead as she will miss the start date but additionally her owner, in the UK has tested positive and cancelled her trip.

When the individual traveler is inconvenienced the repercussions are contained and often manageable, when others are involved the fall out becomes far more complex.

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:rofl: I certainly wasn’t suggesting that because it was easier than expected for us, no one else needs to worry about customs. I was just… surprised.

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