Hello House Sitter Community, we have just joined and are very excited to get started.
We are a family with two teens that love to travel and love being around animals.
We will mostly be able in the U.K. for weekends and over the school holidays to travel further afield.
We are also having some building works completed at home from Oct-Dec, so hoping there might be local opportunities in Norfolk to escape the havoc and mess for a little while.
Any tips for newbies would be more than welcome!
Helen & Mike
Hi @Helen01 Helen & Mike and welcome to THS and the forum.
We are another housesitting family of 4. Our boys are 13 and 11, love animals and are old enough to be really helpful on a sit.
We have done 11 sits in the UK so far, all in the school holidays and taking in different parts of England, Scotland and Wales. Like you, we are tied to weekends and school holidays, with the boys being at school and I also work in a school.
Funnily enough, we have also been discussing the possibility of doing a few very local sits to allow us to get some decorating done at our own house.
Housesitting has allowed us to explore parts of the UK we might not otherwise have considered, and to have a welcome change of scenery much more regularly than we might otherwise have been able to.
Of course we’ve also been able to get to know some wonderful pets - dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, ducks and geese. Housesitting families are great for sit with several animals as there are more pairs of hands. Our maximum so far is 23 pets in one housesit (although 16 of them were poultry)!
Whereabouts in the UK are you based? We are in Gloucestershire.
Hi Debbie, wow that’s really impressive - hoping to reach that kind of level! I’ve been having a good nose around and am loving looking at the potential opportunities, just not spotted any that match up just yet.
We are based in Norfolk, between the towns of Diss and Attleborough. There are quite a few local homes that have dates available, so hopefully some will match up soon. We are very keen to sit in Scotland, Cotswolds and Devon in the U.K., and looking potentially at Dubai, Spain and USA if the right opportunity comes along. Keen to get some booked in soon to reep some feedback/reviews to hopefully get those special sits.
How do your children find getting comfortable in strange surroundings?
Fingers crossed I will find something for Oct half term and Christmas week!
Do you have anything lined up for the rest of the year?
@Helen01 there always seem to be a good number of sits in the Cotswolds, so hopefully you should be able to find some good opportunities there. If you find a sit in the Cotswolds and we are around we’ll have to meet up for a drink as we live in Cheltenham. I’ve met up with a couple of other sitters when they were staying not too far from us.
I’m just starting to look at October half term and Christmas, but haven’t applied for anything yet. At Christmas we usually try to stay fairly local so that my mum can spend Christmas Day with us (with the homeowner’s permission). We do have a repeat sit in Tenby, Pembrokeshire confirmed for next Easter though.
The boys are quite adaptable, so they are reasonably comfortable staying in (often) another child’s bedroom. My older son is an avid reader and housesits can provide a whole new library for him. They do also have to come to terms with the fqct that their bedroom for the week might be pink and a bit girly. My younger son will almost always bag the boy bedroom if there is one! Other then that they are now so used to it that they settle very easily, and have mastered the TV remotes before the car is fully unpacked!
We would also love to sit internationally when the time is right. I’d love to sit in France as I speak French and older son Will enjoys French at school. Germany, Holland, Belgium would also be convenient and we could take the car. Spain, Canada and the US are also on the list. It is an ever growing list as I keep seeing photos and posts from other sitters on this forum and thinking that we’d like to go there too!
We did get our share of rejections before securing our first sit, but perseverance paid off and there is some great advice on here.
Oh that does sound promising! A drink sounds great.
Yes, prepared for some rejections, hoping someone will give us a chance.
Your sit in Tenby must have been good if you are heading back?
Welcome @Helen01 . This a great opportunity for animal lovers to spend time with our furry friends, see new places and sometimes make new friends. I’m relatively new sitter myself after joining in mid May to be a part time digital nomad and run my business remotely. I have done 3 sits so far in Amersham, Henley and Copenhagen. I am flying next week to Venice to do a 5 day sit. Then Oxford for a week. So plenty of opportunities out there if you put the effort in.
Not all sitters will agree with me but I found starting local on my first sit helpful to get my first sit and to get feedback. The first sit can be the most difficult. It took me 23 applications to get my first sit. Get’s easier after you have feedback.
Good luck on your family journey.
Wow 23 applications, I best get started! Sounds like you are living an amazing adventure at the moment. Thanks for the tips.
Hi @ Debbie, I am completely new to this site and I’m very impressed with you house-sitting 23 pets at once! I have 3 teenage children and sometimes still feel like I have to count them and make sure I still have everybody with me!
Anyway I’m in the South East of Kent and not yet found anyone for my Christmas house sit so if you have any tips I would be grateful as you sound very experienced !
Hi and welcome to the site. I am also new and based in South East kent. I have family in Europe and frequently go over for short breaks and have had great friends over the years to look after my 2 dogs. After looking after my dogs most of these friends have got their own and I’m now a little stuck so thought I would try this site. Seems a great initiative. Good luck with your sits and check out my listings.
Hi @jojo2. If you put a link to your TrustedHousesitters listing in your forum profile, the folks here in the forum could take a look at it and maybe suggest ways to make it more attractive to sitters.
Hello @jojo2 and a warm welcome to our pet loving community! Another member reached out as they’d noticed that while you’d taken @Karen-Moderator’s advice to add your link, it wasn’t working so I’ve just fixed that for you.
I have two wishes for you this Saturday morning … first that you’ve woken to a full head count of kids (see above for anyone wondering) and secondly that you find a sitter family to make Christmas special for Raffi and Jessie, very soon.
thank you very much for your kind attention. I am starting to get a little nervous as I have not yet found anyone. Now that the link is working perhaps more people will be in contact.