I’m Kelly I am new to trusted house sitters and I am planning on traveling Europe in November for a year.
I was hoping to rely on house sitting as accommodation while I’m over there, has anyone done this and had any issues?
Any advice on landing house sits in Europe as I’m nervous I won’t land any!
Look forward to hearing from you, thank you
It’s certainly possible with a few gaps. I know @botvot did a year in Europe sitting.
Not sure what country you are a citizen of but you need to be aware that many European countries are part of the schengen zone which limits your time in this zone to 90 days in every 180 days without a valid visa or having an passport from one of the countries within the zone.
Hi @kellyoldroyd and welcome.
If and when you join up please remember that accommodation is only part of the ‘deal’. You will need to fund your travel and convince homeowners in your profile that you have experience and that their home and pets are in safe and responsible hands.
Members on here have concerns that THS is advertised as being like a free Airbnb but nothing could be further from the truth. If you are willing to put the effort in and take on the responsibilities of caring for a home and pets it is a great way to travel.
Not impossible but make sure you have funds for accommodation as a back up and for gaps. Even us experienced sitters with dozens of 5 star reviews would find it challenging to have back-to-back sits in the major (popular) European destinations for a full year if you want to move around and not just be in one place. The exception would be the UK where there are hundreds of sits. But popular locations like London are still very competitive. I suggest you do some local sits where possible to build your reviews before heading off on your trip.
Hello @kellyoldroyd - we’ve just done 3 months of sits in Europe. 8 countries & 11 sits. A lot of logistical planning, definitely gaps to be filled, a last minute emergency cancellation in Switzerland (eeekk!) that had to be filled/accommodated. Tough in practically the most expensive country in Europe but part of being a house sitter. You need funds & flexibility to make it all work if the sits change or don’t happen at all. And top of the list is the love of taking care of pets & others homes as if they were your own to land the sits in the first place. Best of luck with your adventure
having to find accommodation in switzerland in an emergency is a pain, its so expensive here for non swiss! I hope it was all ok in the end!
@Cuttlefish @PepsAndPrince We’re in Switzerland this summer. We have one sit lined up, and looking for a couple of others. But the rest of the time were on our touring bicycles with a tent and cooking gear. Even that will be expensive relative to other countries but hoping the scenery makes up for it!
Thank you! It was actually fine in the end, the HOs who cancelled kindly lent us their car for the duration and we filled some sits plus found a good hostel type accomm in the mountains. A little painful but made it on to Munich & then Zandvoort and we were off
Hello @kellyoldroyd and welcome to the forum and to the wonderful world of petsitting with some of the most amazing furballs in the World.
I see that you are new to petsitting, so I would suggest you try to get some local sits under your belt before heading out to Europe. This will give you some experience in what is expected and in turn, get you the reviews you need to become successful. One of the best ways is to locate a local “last minute sit” where pet parents are needing someone right away. The secret (or not so secret) is to do the very best job you can by first, taking care of their pets (which is why we are all here anyways), and second, taking care of their home and following their Welcome Guide filled with responsibilities. Great reviews make you much more desirable!
Next, I would suggest you link your member profile to your forum profile here at How to add a listing or profile link to your FORUM profile - Owner & Sitter Exchange - TrustedHousesitters Community Forum. This will give you added exposure to our seasoned members who can give you valuable feedback on your profile and help you make the most of your membership.
It might be difficult to find very long stays at first so be prepared to accept shorter sits and know you will need to make sure you can afford the cost of hotels, hostels, AirBnB’s, etc. With hard work and diligence you will grow your sits and find it all so valuable.
Welcome to THS, if you don’t have a European passport you are only allowed to stay in Schengen area countries for a maximum of 3 months out of 6 as a tourist/ visitor.
You can work around this as not all countries in Europe are in Schengen area so you can leave for 3 months to countries that are not in Schengen area.(e.g U.K. , Cyprus, Romanian, Bulgaria) and then return after 3 months .
If you are planning to work in Europe whilst house-sitting to provide an income to support your travels you may need a work visa ( again it depends which passport you have and what work you would be doing). Each country has its own rules about work so you need to do some research.
I would agree that it can be challenging to use Housesitting as a primary means of living situation. Especially since Covid people are hoping for some flexibility in arriving in advance of a sit and in their return, especially given the number of flight cancellations per day. If traveling from a different country I like to try to be there 2-3 days before a sit in case of cancellations or problems.
I would also advise that Housesitting is not conductive to being a tourist. Your obligation is to the house and pets- not being a tourist all day. I find this works better for long sits- I did one month in London and because most people don’t live within walking distance of tourist sites, I had to budget tube costs, walking time, etc. Plus make sure I didn’t abandon the cat everyday- so I worked out a plan to be a tourist every 3-4 days
Occasionally an opportunity to house- sit without any pets to care for comes up . By far
the majority of sits on THS are for Home Owners who want their pets cared for in their own home .
To increase the chances of being invited to sit , Consider what types of pets you are able to care for and list all the experience you have of looking after pets .
I would suggest that it’s more realistic to make house sitting part of your plan to travel in Europe with alternative options to fill in gaps.
The more flexible you can be ( location, duration of sit/ pets you are willing to care for) you will increase your chances of being invited to sit.
Good communication is important to Home owners. When you apply for a sit -offer to have a video call with Home Owners . Reply promptly ( same day ) to their messages .
Thank you so much for the reply!
Thank you so much for your advice!
Thank you for the advice!!
Thank you so much for this advice Debbie, you’re such a great help
Thank you so much, I’ll definitely have to research before going!
Thank you so much!
I hope you’re having the best trip
Definitely, I’m such an animal lover so I’m so excited to meet and look after all of the pets around Europe
Thank you for the reply!
Yes I definitely see how home owners would get worried about that and that it’s a massive responsibility!
I’m currently doing a few local house sits before I go to get a feel of the responsibility, but I absolutely love animals and meeting new ones while travelling would be an absolute dream so I definitely think I’m on it for the right reasons.
Thank you for that information and replying!