Planning ahead for 2023

Hello my fellow “Sitters”! I am quite envious hearing about “longer term” International sits :wink: 3+ weeks. I was fortunate to secure two Int’l sits this past Spring (March, April & May) but had hoped for more. I tell myself that perhaps owners are still preferring to accept sitters closer to home due to ongoing Covid or travel concerns.
I will soon have 18 (5 star) reviews and I receive great feedback on my profile & reviews. My challenge is that due to other commitments as well as increasing travel costs, I try to book sits 3 to four months in the future domestically and four to six months ahead Internationally if at all possible. I’m currently scouring the THS site (have set up alerts) for April through the end of May in New Zealand and Southern Australia since my Son is getting married in Bali in Mid June and I’d LOVE :heart: to be closer to that part of the world well ahead of time. I’m reaching out to see if you savvy sitters have any advice for me. So far, the well has been dry …likely because most people probably have the current holidays on their minds (?) I’m traveling primarily from California & Colorado. Thanks in advance for any tips or leads​:smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Hey 1gypsygurl,

One method I am finding that is working, is that I apply for 3 sit every day.

Is it that you aren’t seeing sits that are available during the times you are looking for? Maybe folks haven’t posted that far ahead?

I’m new to this and wanting to learn as much as I can as well.

Oh also is your profile written in a way that represents how awesome you are? With good pics? I had a friend make suggestions for mine because originally it was not representing me very well.

I love throwing ideas around and want everyone on this site to have the most epic adventure!

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Hi @1gypsygurl. If you add your sitter profile to your forum profile, then everyone can give feedback. See here:

Besides improving your profile, you can try to:

  • be alerted to sits in an area
    • saved searches
  • be alerted to sits from specific HOs
  • facilitate HOs finding you
    • manage your TH calendar availability
    • set your preferred countries in your profile
    • post here in the forums (subject line should be clear and specific: e.g., “looking for sits in New Zealand and Southern Australia, April–May 2023”)
    • add info to your profile and update as needed
  • build relationships with HOs
    • If there’s a sit in your desired area but the dates don’t match, you can apply and kindly provide your info.
    • Some HOs may get thrown by this, but if I were an HO, I’d appreciate the proactivity, if I felt the sitter was sincere and not spammy/flaky. Note that the 5-app limit means the HO may reject your “app” to make room, or you can do it yourself. Not sure what notifications/UX the HO receives on their end.

Those are just some ideas. I realize you are doing some already. Good luck!

Another idea:

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Hi @1gypsygurl - We arrived in New Zealand from the UK last week to do 3 months of back-to-back sitting before going to Australia to do another 3 months. The new 5 application limit really frustrated our efforts to secure sits because of the time difference between NZ and the UK. There was plenty of choice over the Christmas period so we nabbed a 5 week stay in Christchurch plus we managed to tag on one more close by. After that we were struggling so we joined kiwihousesitters.co.nz - that site is specifically for New Zealand sits and we found it much easier to get sits there than THS. It is not expensive to join and I have a referral code for a small discount if you want it.

I would also recommend changing your profile location to where you want to be not where you actually are. I changed ours to Auckland and got a private invite from a homehost searching that area

From the UK we were also struggling to get Australian sits but now we are here in NZ with far fewer hours time zone difference we seem to be getting more luck - although we have also joined aussiehousitters.co.au ( a sister company of the Kiwi one ) to help us out.

@Smiley is also here in NZ at the moment and has been before so she may have extra tips to offer you.

Good Luck!

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I don’t have too much more to add, Colin already gave you most of my suggestions!
I will say, however, that you might want to take a look at the school holidays calendars for the areas you want to sit. Knowing about things like Easter break and bank holidays can help you anticipate what dates may have more sits posted in the future.
I’ll also add that in my experience (spent 5 months sitting in Aus and 2 months in NZ this year), you may be looking a bit too far in advance if you want loads of options. There are tons of long term Christmas sits (we’ll be doing one in Wellington ourselves!) and we’re anticipating seeing more pop up for post-Christmas once these are filled.
In addition to the sites Colin mentioned, you may also want to check out some housesitting Facebook groups. I’m part of one for each country and while the set up doesn’t really work for us, you might have some luck.

Oh and one more thing- there are frequently sits available in Singapore, which is very close to Bali! You might want to set up a saved search for there too!

Good luck!

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My observation leads me to believe that HOs aren’t listing as much in advance as they once did, at least not in the regions where I concentrate my searches.
Just sayin’ :woman_shrugging:t3:

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@Colin has said what I would have said. Join kiwihousesitters & aussiehousesitters to give yourself more opportunities for sits.
I’m on my second sit in the South Island of New Zealand out of a total of 7 sits. 5 of those sits were through kiwihousesitters and the other two for the same person privately, who I sat for via THS in 2019 when she lived in the North island. I’ve just applied for one more through KHS.
I’ll be going to Australia also and have a sit booked for next August which was via THS and was confirmed 5 months ago.
I’m sure if you take advice here you’ll be fine.
Good luck!

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In 2019/2020 we managed to book many 3+ week sits in Australia, and up to 11 months in advance! This changed, many people are still hesitant to book long holidays long in advance, due to the covid uncertainty. I am now very often surprised to see a 4-6 week sit being listed only 2-3 weeks out! Don’t people plan??? :joy:

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@1gypsygurl Just saw a long sit in WA (Western Australia) for your dates :wink:

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Hi - I have been a full-time nomadic cat sitter since Dec 2021. So far I did 26 cat sits in England, France, and Wales. I am now just about fully booked until the end of June 2023. The first half of 2023 is basically booked out with a 100 day Jan-April cat sit and a repeat sit with a different HO in April-June that is just under two months long. I will most likely also do a repeat sit in Aug-Oct 2023 that is 5.5 weeks long. I think that after doing 29 sits in 2022, the idea of doing fewer/longer assignments in 2023 seemed quite appealing. Also it’s safer for me as there have been a lot of train strikes in the UK which often makes travelling from sit to sit difficult. Hopefully in 2023 there will be fewer rail strikes!

As mentioned by geoff.hom in his excellent post, my method has been to favourite a lot of HOs and I also save searches based on the dates I have available. In order to get notifs of longer sits, you can save some searches based on cities or countries that you are interested in (or just use ‘Anywhere’ as the location) and set the duration to either 2 weeks + or one month +.

Good luck with finding some longer assignments!

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I don’t know the exact dates that you are interested in but I just did a search on Australia for the dates 1 April to 15 June with the duration set at 2 weeks + and 15 sits appeared with that search. For the dates 1 Apr - 31 May there are 10 available. Good luck finding one (or more) that suits you!

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Thanks so much for the tip about updating the location. I didn’t know that. Cheers!

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Colin and Smiley
Will be so interested to hear about your New Zealand house sitting adventures as we heading there in April for 5 weeks.
I am a little concerned about just using public transport and not renting a car so any tips/experiences on that front would be great.
We haven’t applied for any sits yet as not many advertised that far in advance.
Have fun.

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Hi @Kootenaigirl
It’s probably best if I message you with the information you require, then you can ask as many questions as you like.
You’re in for a treat as New Zealand is wonderful and the people incredibly friendly.
I’m sure @colin will be helpful too

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Hi @Smiley That would be wonderful, thank you so much.
I am hoping @Colin will be posting about their adventures on their blog too :grinning:

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Just messaged you (rather long) Stand by for @Colin :sunglasses:

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Hi @Kootenaigirl ,

@Smiley is far more experienced than us and was really kind and helpful when we were arranging this New Zealand adventure so I am sure she will have some really useful info for you.

We arrived 7 days ago - the limited knowledge we have gained so far is –

If you are going to Auckland you need an ‘AT HOP’ card to travel on public buses and trains . They are available from the ‘Time out’ shop next to exit door number 8 at the airport. They work like an oyster card in London and can be used all over the Auckland region.

UBER is available in the big cities but not in the smaller ones

The Intercity bus company is great for getting around city to city but they don’t jump North to South islands - to do this you would need to take one to the bottom of the north island, get the ferry yourself, then another intercity on the South island - you will need 2 days to do this. You can check their website for the cities they cover.

trains and buses seem to be reasonable prices but domestic flights are expensive - there are no budget airlines here. - Although flying North to South Islands is really convenient and many smaller cities seem to have their own airports for domestic travel

Only book either North or South Island , or North then South or visa versa. Don’t do as we have done and book North, South then North again. The journeys are long and can be expensive.

It does not seem to be complicated for Kiwis to add a person to their car insurance hence many will offer the use of their car. We have four sits here, two offered without me asking, one I asked and they said yes, the final one is a short sit so I didn’t ask. If I was you I would definitely ask when applying as having a car gives you so much freedom to explore surrounding areas.

The roads are wide and well-maintained, there is far less traffic than in the UK and the scenery is often breathtaking so whether you are on the bus, train or driving travelling is a joy!

You will love it here!

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A great response! I’ve messaged.
I have my original AT card with me!

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