Thanks for the input. I appreciate the effort you put into this response.
Here here. I think this entire response should be a template as it addresses so many excellent points as well as answers some of the questions people have when they encounter something that is not part of their known and current concepts of living, being and thinking.
You are truly excellent at what you do here @Angela-CommunityManager
I’m with angela on this one.
We often do local-ish sits, esp short weekend ones as that’s when we’re available or that’s all that is/was avail. In NZ or parts of Oz, 2hrs drive could get you to a cool little town to meet good people (homeowners) and a furry friend to be with .
Our furthest sit from home was maybe 2.5 hours drive. Our closest 45 minutes and literally down the road from a small town where I used to work. AT every one, we’ve enjoyed exploring the area and finding new and interesting places
We agree with almost everything @Angela-CommunityManager says. We love pets and want to spend time with them, that’s our main motivation. We now realise that we can have a holiday and a total change of scenery without travelling far from home. We can visit and really get to know places we have only previously seen signposted from a main road. Simple things like opening the curtains each morning to a completely different view than the one we have at home can make such a refreshing change.
We are a family of 4 with 2 children in school and I work in a school. The children and I have more holiday than my husband. If we sit close to home my husband can still join us even if he has to continue to commute to work,
We’ve stayed on modern housing estates, villages, in cottages in the woods, in the city, and in a historic former pub. We’ve discovered beautiful riverside scenery, fabulous woodland walks, amazing green areas and ponds in the city, castles, churches, fords, country pubs, nature reserves, commons, beautiful country parks. There is something wonderful to be found everywhere if you explore with an open mind!
I have done most of my sits in SE Asia, I tried to get my first sits back in 2017 when I was still in Scotland, and although I got a lot of nice replies, no one was willing to take me on as a sitter because I was so far away.
I eventually travelled to Singapore to stay with a friend and within a couple of weeks, I got 2 sits in Bangkok, which the HO’s thought of as “Local”.
I was based in Singapore for almost 3 years, travelling around the region for sits in Thailand, Vietnam, Bali, Malaysia and even as far as Hongkong and Japan - but mostly local - within a 2-hour flight from Singapore. I have also done around 10 sits in Singapore, being a “local”
When I travelled home to Scotland at the end of 2017 for a couple of months I completed 4 sits for a HO on the west coast of Scotland, a short train ride from Glasgow, it was just good to get out of the city although it was only 30 minutes away.
I am lucky enough to have recently got a visa for Bali, and have a meeting with a HO later today as I am now “local” to her, and hopefully will get a few more Bali sits over the next few months.
Hello Petermac, I’m curious, how did the pet owners know you were in Singapore? Can we change our location on THS??
By the way, I love SE Asia! I completed several sits in Vietnam and Laos.
I will contact membership services too. I love your experiences!
I’m imagining the Airbnb reviews: “I didn’t meet the hosts. They had an unpaid housesitter doing all the work, and still took my money.”
I think HOs shouldn’t rely on “local” sitters, unless it’s clear that the sitter is full-time. I’m getting a fair few invitations this week from local HOs–like, walking distance or bus trip local. I have a home and a schedule. It’s not worth it to me. Maybe someone who has roommates (or are transitioning from a relationship) would be interested.
That said, something out of the city–1 hour+ drive, in a nice spot, I’d consider.
Before THS we had ONLY local sitters. Most of them living in the same small town as we do:
A twenty year old, who was thrilled to have a place of her own, a young couple, who both lived in their parent’s house (they probably didn’t leave our house at all), my former regular cleaning lady, all of them actually living around the corner.
I understand that being a sitter on THS, even as a not full time traveler, it’s different, but sometimes, especially for short sits of +/-5 days, arrangements with a local are much easier. They usually brought their own bedding, so washing all the sheets wasn’t necessary for both sides and they could jump back home for anything they had forgotten to bring along.
There were many reasons to do the sitting for our cats and all of us were happy with it.
For short absences I would always prefer a local.
Yes, If I know I am going to be in Singapore I will change the location in my dashboard/profile.
In Dashboard, edit profile, about you - scroll down past pictures and you can edit your location, remember to save at the bottom of the page, and save all at the end.
ATM my location is Bali, for the next six months, then possibly Singapore again, or Thailand depending on travel restrictions lifting.
Being a nomad with no roof to call home, I often apply to sits in my “resident” city. This past summer, a first-timer requested the sitter to also do the laundry from their Airbnb unit in their backyard. I thought thy should have paid me. I was an Airbnb superhost and paid cleaners when I couldn’t do the turn over. A cleaner came for less than an hour (who got $65 - a check I was to leave with clean laundry), but it took me a couple of hours to do the laundry. I also had to do quite a bit of cleaning in the house to be comfortable so needless to say, never again.
I feel some owners who only seek locals are trying to save money and are abusing TH system. Local services or apps like Rover would cost them minimum $20 just to stop by and feed the pet. People charge or $100 to stay over night.
it seems like they have confuse trusted housesitters with WorkAway
I was shocked to receive a local request yesterday, right after accepting one in Chicago. The bonus for us, Roger will be working his normal job, and I’ll be sitting with the pets all day. Yay for local sits!!! Looks like my December is almost completely full. Just so excited to begin this new journey with THS.
That’s wonderful news Joanne and great to hear about all your bookings!! We are just as excited to watch your journey with us at TrustedHousesitters!! Happy weekend!!
Thank you @Vanessa-Admin-I’m a firm believer that if something is meant to happen, it will.
Totally agree with you.
It’s an old concept, a community of people that help each other.
Do many of you get invited to sit by homeowners nearby? I have had this a few times now. I live in Prestatyn in North Wales and I have been invited by a few HO in nearby towns like Colwyn Bay, Mold, Holywell. I reply by thanking them for their invite but I then go on to explain that my reason for Housesitting is to be able to travel, to visit family & friends, to go on holiday and that there is no advantage to me if I housesit locally. I wondered what others thought?
Hi @Sianee - I am from South Wales, but have lived in Canada for most of my adult years. I have not taken any of the local sits I’ve been invited to, for various reasons, but have restricted myself to sits within a 2-hour drive of my home. I have had two wonderful sits, with pets to enjoy (I don’t have my own), and have had time to discover those areas far better than I would have otherwise. One was an area I had never visited before. Add to that two pet owners that were so grateful for my help, and who now keep in touch. So many benefits to taking advantage of local sits, but so different to my usual sits. Normally I would be seeking the sun to escape Canadian winters, but that’s not on my radar for now. I’d say take a second look at any enquiries that come your way, and look at them in a different light. After all, we are in different times.
Lots of lovely tips. Thank you.