Hello Gang, my husband and I would like to take 2 - 3 weeks and go to the UK in Jan or Feb. Our membership is for HO and sitters, so the question I have is…
Timeframe-what would you consider the best way to apply for sits while posting your own home for sitters? Do you usually apply for sits and hope that someone applies for your sit, or do you do it opposite of that? Post your dates and then once you have an approved application, start searching homes to sit in the area your traveling to?
All comments and tips are welcome. Thank you in advance.
Hi @SunshineNCoastlines we are also sitters and HO for the same reason. Originally just sitters before we decided on 4 to 5 months of house sitting in the UK from Nov 2022 to April 2023.
Your question is very much like the chicken and the egg quandry… what comes first?
Disclaimer: I’m not someone who can “wing it”, I need to have structure, a plan and bookings in place. You will get different advice from others. This is how we have tackled it.
We live in Australia. Around March this year (9 months out from our intended departure of December at that stage) we started applying for and booking our foundation house sits, a couple at the beginning of our desired trip date. As we are retired we were flexible with our start date which moved forward a couple of weeks to late November based on the sits we got (and the steep increase in flights from early December). This gave us structure (start and finish dates) as we are finishing with a European cruise in April.
Once we had about 4 sits confirmed we booked our return flights, this was in June (5 months out from our departure date). We then immediately advertised for sitters, to give ourselves ample time to find someone suitable. Fortunately it only took a week to confirm our sitters for our 5 month sit.
The biggest challenge for us filling 4 and a half months sitting has been co-ordinating our sits to minimise time between each one so we are not paying for too many nights accommodation, getting sits in locations so we are not crisscrossing the country costing us time and train/bus fares, and allowing ourselves enough time and wriggle room to get to each sit in case of public transport disruptions. We only have a few gaps left to fill in 2023 that will likely be filled once we are in the UK. We also can’t/won’t take any sit as we won’t have a car. We need to be mindful of accessibility to transport, shops, amenities etc. Thankfully a big UK travel map, Google and a colouful spreadsheet is helping us achieve this.
I used to deploy teams in field operations in much the same way so am enjoying this challenge in retirement. I can’t deny though there is a certain amount of fingers and toes being crossed hoping it all works out!
We are grateful for the folks on this forum who have been very generous with their advice, tips and tricks. I’m sure you will get plenty of tips!
Thank you so much for the quick reply! I too am structured and need some sort of planning. Really, I kinda need everything in its place. I’m not as spontaneous as I once was. Ha!
We are planning to see a lot of the country, but opposite of you, we want more rural areas - we love the Cotswolds, for example, and we too are flexible. We own a business in a tourist town and are able to get away quite easily in Jan and Feb, as long as we have our babies situated here at home. That’s my biggest concern really, making sure we have someone wonderful to sit.
How did you start with the dates, since you are flexible? Did you apply for a sit for a certain time, and then just work around that? I guess that is almost what you would have to do, isn’t it? You’re right, it’s like which came first…
Again, thank you so much for all of the info. I might pop back around with other questions, if you wouldn’t mind.
Hi @SunshineNCoastlines we started with a rough date for leaving Australia. We we wanted to be in the UK for Christmas. So we looked at flight prices from Australia to the UK and saw the price went up alot in early December, I think it was about 5 December. So we started looking for sits that started from late November. We set up search notifications in the THS app for the whole of the UK from late November to early April. We got our first sit starting 26 November in the south of England and worked our sit bookings from there. So yes we were flexible with our start date. We too are aiming for regional, small town/village sits. A couple are rural sits but all are handy to public transport. We have had to pass up some beautiful sits due to not having a car but we are ok with that as car hire now is super expensive, almost unaffordable, paticularly when we are paying several thousand dollars to fly there.
I totally understand. Let me ask you, if you don’t mind, how did you set up the notifications for the whole of the UK on THS? We have only been on the platform for a short time and didn’t realize you could do that. I’ve been going in to the search option and just looking at sits in that area. Some I have marked as favorites and only they are sending notifications if they post new dates.
@SunshineNCoastlines I suggest setting up your favourite searches in the app not the website as you get instant notifications to your mobile device when a new sit gets listed in your search parametres. When you do your whole of UK search, you can then filter by from/to dates and the type of pets you want to look after. You have to save this search & name it something meaningful for you. You need to have the app notiifications switched on in your device settings to be notified when a new sit is listed that fits your saved search parametres.
You can find most answers to your app & website quesions on THS help & support by using the looking glass to search. Here’s an article I found
You can also get similar help from historic forum threads the same way using the looking glass above. Here are 2 threads I found.