New to THS/ advice for starters?

Hi guys,
question to all you experienced THS’s:
what happens when you end up in a home and feeling uncomfortable due to the home being iffy/unhygienic or you generally feel weird in that home/ neighborhood? I guess it’s not possible to cancel but what would you do in such a case? I think it’s not always easy to spot from photos of the postings how the home is turning out be especially with the pets. Has anyone ever had such an experience or am I subconsciously looking for reasons to not finally sign up ? :grin:

I have been thinking about signing up for a while now as I currently have plenty of time to see new places, but I’m not someone that feels immediately at home just anywhere if that makes sense. Any tips?

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Try Couchsurfing, BeWelcome etc first if staying in someone else’s home or having house guests is outside your current comfort zone :slight_smile:

Then add pets.

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There are lots of threads in this forum with suggestions on how to vet homes. Most popular suggestion is to do a video call with the homeowner before accepting a sit, asking for a tour of the house. I always show my potential sitters around my house when we video chat, even if they don’t ask for a tour.

I am a sitter on this site also, and have had 12 very good sits so far. Two places were not as clean as I’d have liked, but not filthy.

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For me, it helps that I do pet sitting with my partner, so if a place is dirty then we both just take a couple of hours or so to clean it. It can be quite satisfying and feel like you are making ‘your place’ for a few days.
We also bring our own coffee pot, favorite foods, shampoo and toiletries, and hobbies so we can relax with our things.
The pets also make us feel at home, they are often curious and friendly to new people.

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We love pet sitting. Personally, I think you can tell a lot from photos, such as is their clutter on the kitchen worktops, have they shown a photo of the bathroom and the bedroom where you will be sleeping, or have they chosen not to show those pics.

We love it, it’s changed our lives, and we can’t see us ever stopping doing this now.

Plus you get to review the pet owner on cleanliness (that only just started recently), so it is unlikely that a pet owner would sign up, only to have negative reviews for cleanliness and then their money wasted.

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Trying it means, worst case, you hate it and quit. You could always take a bunch of short sits, so even if it sucks, you’re out of there quickly. And by doing that, you can quickly learn to better screen for what you value or not.

Otherwise, skip sitting and you’ll never know. Maybe you would’ve enjoyed it.

And if you don’t easily feel comfortable, sitting is actually a good way to push yourself and potentially grow. Staying within our comfort zones all the time is typically a good way to limit ourselves as people.

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When we use Airbnb these days I now always look at the local crime map! We’re new to THS too but will only be sitting in areas familiar to us. We had a very weird Airbnb experience in Burlington Vermont USA in 2022, when we discovered we were staying in the midst of a gang ‘war’. As we arrived the police were taping the road outside due to a murder…. anyway it turned out ok as the local neighbourhood ‘guys’ ended up taking us under their wing realising we were very old school English folk! We also stayed in a very iffy place in Providence …. but we live and learn and we survived to tell the tales :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Study the photos carefully and if there isn’t one of a particular room, you can send a message and ask for one. We have done this as we are tall and metal bed frames are a no no. A video call prior to accepting, for me, is a must, usually the owners will have a walkthrough the home and show you the guest room etc (and the pets)

You can always start local and pop over to meet them and the pet, no pressure for you to say yes, you can always say you’ll get back to them later that day.

Cleaning a little here and there might well be needed, peoples standards differ. Good luck

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Hi @Hoops look for hosts that have 5 or more sitter reviews. READ the reviews each party left for each other.
Have candid talks with potential home hosts.
Read the responsibilities carefully and still ask for details/clarification.

Read the member code of conduct and the terms and conditions on the THS’ web site, so you understand what THS is and is not.

Good luck!

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For what concerns the area, you could walk around using the “lil’ yellow man” in google maps.

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@Hoops, start with short sits near where you live with homeowners that have multiple good reviews (that mention things that are important to you, like ‘very clean’ and ‘lovely walkable neighborhood’ or ‘very private setting’), and check the reviews those HOs have given to their sitters.

If you’re uncomfortable for even a sit that’s likely to be good, you’ll know this may not be for you, but since it’s a short sit you won’t have committed to being uncomfortable for very long.

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Guys thank you so much! I think that’s what I needed to push me out of my comfort zone :slight_smile: Does any one have a referral code for me to register? :hugs:

Hello, Just a quick reminder to share referral codes via DM rather than publicly posting due to the posting terms. Thank you :slight_smile: