Out of state USA sits-when do you arrive?

As a sitter, this is my first sit and I am from out of state in the US. I am traveling a day before and staying at an Airbnb. The homeowners I am sitting for offered for me to stay overnight at their location but I didn’t want to feel like I was intruding.


Out of state sitters who are flying in, do you stay nearby the night before?
Do you ever stay at the home you are sitting for the night before, if they offer?
If you stay elsewhere the night before, did you meet the owner in person the day/night before and then arrive the next day?

I am very comfortable doing this sit as is the owner, they are new to THS as well. Video and pictures show a very clean new home so I am not concerned at all. Just looking for insight from seasoned THS. TIA


Hi @Libby2019 Great question.
I do a mix of both depending on the situation. I have an open dialog with the HO and always ask, “When do you need me to arrive?”.
I look for flights, tickets whatever and then get back to them and tell them what I was able to find. If it works with their need, easy if not I tell them anyway and ask if that will work for them. Usually they say yes and I come a day (or more if that is their preference for acclimation). Sometimes it happens that they do not have the space (only one bedroom) then I make other arrangements.
If the offer is there, try it. Trust your intuition.
I was going to say if you are comfortable but sometimes when we get a little out of that zone we open doors to some wonderful experiences.
all the best,


Hi. @Amparo has said her points very nicely, and I agree with her. As for feeling as if you are an intruder, remember that they’re inviting you - you’re not asking. I make sure to get specifics of when they would like me to arrive. If they’d like you to join them for a meal, they’ll usually tell you that. Otherwise, I’m happy to arrive after mealtime, or join them for a meal out (pre-pandemic). I’ve then done the range of paying for them, or accepting that they wouldn’t hear of it and thanking them when they insist on paying. I try to stay out of their way that evening, when I see a need. I had concerns about conversation, but quickly realized we already had two things in common - travel and pets. Sometimes it’s good to get yourself out of your comfort zone. Enjoy :slightly_smiling_face:


Hello @Libby2019 and first of all congratulations on getting your first sit. This is a good question and one that you’ll find varies depending on a number of factors including the complexity of pet routines and things you may need to know about the property (is it straightforward or an off-grid remote location for instance).

We personally always prefer an overnight stay and particularly where dogs are involved, as it provides the opportunity to be part of the routine before the owners leave, perhaps go for a walk together, and generally be accepted into the pet’s environment. You’ll get some good and alternative feedback from other members here on which to make your decision, but for the future this is a good topic to include in pre-sit conversations… “how do you like to handle the handover?”.

We’ve developed lots of ways to ensure we don’t become intrusive on a handover… like offering to take the dogs for a walk, or getting settled and agreeing to meetup for the meal (which has always been offered). We show understanding for their packing, and any necessary early nights. That sort of thing. Handovers like this are a great way to form wonderful friendships, we’ve found, and get the sit off to a very good friendly start!

Here’s another thread on a similar topic that you might find interesting to read and contribute to:

Do let us know how your handover goes!


Yes those are the common links (pets, travel and often plants).
I have this simple philosophy
Ask not what your HO can do for you,
Ask what you can do for your HO (or pets).

Service them and they will service you.

Nice comment @Snowbird


This is a question that actually cannot be answered only in one way. It always depends on the time we (HO) leave.
Just recently we left home early in the morning and therefore we invited our sitter to arrive one day early. I picked her up at the train station at 5 PM and there was plenty of time to show her the house and the pets.
Then we invited her for a meal in an Italian restaurant around the corner and had a really nice chat.

Completely different will be our next give over to our sitters in December. This time we will leave in the evening so for them spending the night here isn’t necessary, because they already are in Europe and it’s easy for them to arrive around 3 PM.
We are going to leave around 6 or 7 PM and, because that’s also the time all the shops close here, we might make a reservation in the Italian restaurant for them and give them a voucher. If I were at home the days prior to their arrival, I would prepare a meal, but I don’t know my schedule yet, and it’s possible that I will come back from a long haul flight the morning of our departure day, I definitely won’t have any time for this…I even need to squeeze in a PCR Covid-19 test, which we need for the country we travel to.

So, you see, not two scenarios are the same. Just talk about it and everything is fine.


Even without crossing the Atlantic, I’ve often slept the night before the owners’ departure in their guest room,
it’s very nice as we share dinner, we have time to do the walks if there are dogs, to know details, routine, with no hurry
On my last sit, in France (i’m french but it was 6 hours drive away) the owners wanted to show me during the whole afternoon things. So we decided to stay in a hotel 70km far from their home, to take the opportunity to visit a nice town, and arrive quietly and not tired after lunch
They were leaving the following morning, so I was able to do myself, with the owner near me, what she had “taught” me the day before (I had taken notes, but i relied on my memory and of course i made mistakes having forgotten some details, important for her…) so she could “correct” me with the hens and ducks routine, all the birds feeders (there were plenty all around in the trees). And leave probably (???) relieved.


Nine times out of ten we have our sitters come in the night before. It allows for the opportunity to meet, have our pet feel more comfortable before we leave and it give the sitter the opportunity to settle in and relax.

The only time we don’t do that is if the sitter has been to our home before and knows the layout, or if they are fairly local and can arrive a couple hours before our departure.

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As an owner i always invite our sitters in our home the day before. We always share a meal at home (my husband is à good cook)
We don’t bother them, they don’t bother us as we sleep on another floor, totally indépendant from where they stay (we have our own bathroom, bedroom, livingroom and even à small kitchen, very useful too when we swap and welcome the swappers)with an extérior staircase.
And if we have not packed yet, we have time to do it…
As i’m anxious, pathologically, i prefer to see our sitters a day before we leave, it may give us time to find a solution if the sitter had an accident on the road (a tyre), missed his train etc.
I would hate to welcome somebody just before leaving. I like to show the village, the grocery, the butcher, to introduce the sitter(s) to our neighbours.
Our dog understands sitters are welcome. We all spend a few hours together.

For most of my sits, both in the US and my 3 overseas, I’ve arrived the day before and spent the night with the host. We’ve talked about the sit and about our lives, it is nice to get to know folks. In a few cases, I’ve arrived the day of the sit, sometimes meeting the host, a few times, not. At first that seemed strange but the few times we’ve not met, the sits have gone just fine.
The main thing, I think is to talk about what is going to work best for both parties.
Out of 3 dozen sits, I’ve only paid for a hotel room once and it wasn’t real money as I was using an expiring Hyatt free night coupon.


I usually invite my sitters to stay here the night before and invite them to dinner if schedules align.

Whenever is convenient for us and the pet companions. We are full time sitters so our sits are usually back yo back, leaving in the morning and arriving in the afternoon or evening.
In November we have a first. We are flying from UK to Panama with a 48 hour stop over in Panama City before we continue our journey North. This was built in so we didn’t arrive frazzled and jet lagged at the house. We are spending a day and night with the owners before they fly out.
It is good to spend the evening before a sit with the owners, getting to know the pets, the routines, the home but sometimes it can be awkward. We are tired, they are frantically trying to remember things and pack. We usually do the talk, show around, meal then excuse ourselves and go off to bed.
When we sat in London, the flat was one bedroomed so we stayed in an Airbnb the night before they left to give them space to get themselves ready. We are comfortable with most things that the pet companion suggests, if we are not we make our own arrangements.

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As a homeowner I would prefer that you stay with me so that you can get acclimated to the pets routine and I have time to brief you on all the peculiarities of my home.

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So do you disclose that in the interview or?

My sister and I rent an hôtel by the sea two days prior to the sit. We will take a cab from thé airport and visit with the family to get to know them and the furry friends and come back the morning they leave. I am Canadian flying to Florida, USA. We agreed on that before final décision.