Newbies - is this reasonable?

Hi everyone,

We are a newly retired couple from the UK. We have previously been dog owners and over our 30+ years of marriage have regularly looked after friends’ and relatives’ dogs.

Being retired we have some flexibility on being able to house/pet sit.

Our son lives in Sydney and whilst we are comfortable with our pensions they will not stretch to annual flights AND 4-6 weeks paid for accommodation.

So we are looking at the possibility of arranging either a long term sit or several shorter sits back to back in the Sydney area to allow an annual visit which is long enough to justify the flights and gives us time with our son and his GF.

As far as references are concerned we can provide one formal house sit reference and numerous pet sitting (in our house) references although these are from friends.

Are we being overly optimistic with our plans?

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Welcome @Navrig - I don’t think you are being overly optimistic and many members travel and sit as you describe.

We personally don’t do international sits but I believe THS members have had great success through Aussie Housesitters.

I am sure more knowledgeable members will be along soon to give advice and tips.

Good Luck

I second the use of Aussie Housesitters. I just has a quick look at my account and 755 new house sitting opportunities have been posted in the last seven days.

I do something similar in another AU city and wouldn’t be able to do it if I just used THS - there just aren’t enough sits - although if you are willing to go more into rural parts of NSW you should have more options. It’s just the cities that are pretty competitive when it comes to good/long sits.

Hi @Navrig , Welcome to the group.

You are not being too optimistic at all!

This time last year we set off on a 7-month house-sitting adventure to New Zealand & Australia. In total, we did 10 back-to-back house sits.

Of the 211 nights we were away, we were house-sitting for 196 nights and paid for 15 nights in hotel accommodation

8 of the 10 sits gave us their car to use during our stays

For the Australian leg of our trip, we spent approximately 6 weeks in the Melbourne area and approximately 6 weeks in and around Sydney

I would recommend you join THS and also that you join Aussie Housesitters . We got 50% of our Australian sits from each ( ask on here before joining if anyone has referral codes to give you to make the membership a little less expensive)

Go for it!!

Here is a snippet from our blog I wrote while we were in Sydney


You could undertake some shorter UK sits to build up THS references which would boost your chances. And you could aim for a variety of shapes/sizes/species then you can show a range of experience with different animals - this would give you more flexibility on sits in case they arent all dogs.


We are a couple in our 50’s and 60’s. We only joined in March and went full time straight away because we loved it.

The HUUUUUGGGGE benefit of home owners having you, is that you have a gigantic reason to be in the area, and an even larger reason to return. Point that out to HO’s when you apply. I know, because our son lives in another country but we have built up really good connections with pet owners in his area now.

But, try to gather some local reviews to you first as it will be much easier with evidence from others to say how great you are.


I second what @HappyDeb says about doing some local Sits first for 2 reasons:

  1. To get some good reviews
  2. To learn the ropes.

You will have a better experience in Australia if you have a few Sits under your belt. You will be better prepared to choose the right Sits which fit your needs.

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Hi, you have to register etc but you know that already. We’ve got Australians coming to cat/house sit for us in April next year. My reckoning is, if they’re coming here, it stands to reason there’ll be openings over there. Good luck and enjoy your stay. My suggestions; go for as long as you can.

Hi @Colin out of interest what is the discount for Aussie sitters for friend referral?
It’s very cheap in comparison to THS we might give it a go

Welcome @Navrig
No you’re not being optimistic but you might need to build up your feedback first by doing local and last minute sits. It took me 23 applications to get my first (local) sit in June of last year. Currently on my 19th sit.
Make sure your profile stands out and is fully filled out. Check sits often do not wait for notifications as sits can go before you receive these.

@Enjaybee If i remember correctly the memership for Aussie is much cheaper than THS…around £35 a year… so the discount is less too…around £5 …dont quote me on those figures but in total you’ll be paying less than £50 for sure.
@Smiley might know better and she should haveca code you can use
As its Australia specific, although there are less opportunities than on THS there are still more than enough to make it worth your while joining
I checked their uk sister site and they charge £29 a year so i imagine the Oz site should be comparable

@Colin is correct. The discount is Aus$10 which is approx £5. If you’d like a referral code please message me

Thanks @Colin :pray:

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Wow, so many helpful and friendly replies. Thanks everyone.

We will have a look at Aussiehousesitters.


If you need a discount code message me. Be warned, there is a lot of competition for sits in Sydney. While I’ve managed one I’ve been looking for another for February without much luck so far

Hello I’ve just written an almost identical post but invention to house/pet sitting in Perth Australia. I’m interested to read the advice to join the Australianhousitters site- but we’re planning to firstly build up some local reviews here in the UK so I can’t see how it would work?

Where in the UK are you based?

No. But it may take time to “click” with the right pet parent. We were lucky with our first sits. We found a connection with them - sailing and a love of Scotland. Maybe try a few locally first just to get a few good reviews.
We have just returned from a three month trip to New Zealand. We spent a month on each island and a month travelling to and fro from the UK. Half the time was spent pet sitting. The other half staying in airbnbs and being a tourist so it’s very doable.
Good luck with your adventure

Hello Navrig. My husband and I just joined Trusted Housesitters last week and we already have two house/pet sits lined up.
We have one very good reference from a friend and we have good references from Airbandb. When I reply to the home/pet owner, I make sure to let them know about our Airbnb references. They are more official since they are not from friends.
We think this is going to be a lot of fun and are feeling very positive about this experience.
I have a friend who used this service for years and traveled around the world with it. She loved it. So I think you all should do well too.
Hope that helps.