Reservations prior to confirmed sitter

This is a question for owners and sitters. How many owners make reservations, flights, condo/hotel prior to getting a verified sitter? When owners post do sitters take this into consideration or ? We have used this great service a few times but I hesitate to make reservations for the December dates I have currently posted without a confirmed sitter. So I am asking how others deal with this dilemma? Thank you all for your input.
Happy sits and travels.

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I have usually confirmed my trip before I post my sit. If I don’t find a sitter, I would pay someone to check on my one easy cat daily. I have always found a sitter, even though I’m not in one of the very desirable cities.

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About 40% of my hosts did not have their reservations confirmed prior to confirming me as a sitter

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Just be sure to put your dates as somewhat flexible in your posting so you discuss it with applicants- you can add it to the description as the first thing they read. Some sitters are more flexible than others.

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Hi @LBB,

This is a great question and one I am curious to find out how other homeowners deal with as well? I have an owner/sitter membership so I have an understanding of how both sides of the membership work (although I am not a prolific sitter like so many lucky ones here on the forum).

As owners/pet parents we do a combo of flight/hotel/airbnb for travel and roadtrip travel that doesn’t take too much pre-booking especially now with so many places offering last min. cancelation options. When we book airfare travel we tend to book ~3-4 months in advance sometimes slightly longer if it is for travel during peak travel seasons (ie. the holidays).

We immediately update our HO profile as soon as we have purchased flights so that we can start getting applicants. We had booked our Holiday flights in early July and confirmed our sitter a week later. We aren’t always that thought out however. Last year we got a sitter in November for our December holiday travels but it took some work to get a sitter that close to the holidays.

So my answer is yes we definitely take it into consideration when booking airfare because there’s nothing more stressful than having booked airfare (especially non-refundable) and no confirmed sitter! That being said, we have never had an issue finding a qualified sitter for any of our travels. The US is still dealing with MAJOR flight delays/cancelations so when we booked our upcoming holiday sitters we made it a point to find sitters that would already be in the area to avoid any situation where if our flights got canceled returning our dog would be without a sitter.

We do also book a fair about of other travel (even flights if booked though Southwest because of their cancel/change policy) and then wait to see if we get a sitter. So far :pray: it has all worked out in our favor and we have been able to take our trips and find a sitter. We now have a few sitters that we absolutely LOVE and they get booked out far in advance so I usually check with them first before booking any sort of travel to see if they would have any availability.

As a sitter though it really depends… I have done it both ways - booking airfare before finding a sit (applying everyday to sits so I can have some relief) and waiting to get a confirmed sit and then booking airfare. I want to give the assurance to HO’s that I will 100% be in their area no matter what.

I hope this helps! and thank you for bringing this topic to the forum

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I typically have my plans booked thus needing a sitter. I usually advertise the sit with a date a day earlier in case we cannot meet beforehand. Last two sitters came in the day before so I could show them around. I have a guest room and prepared dinner.

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It really depends on how much interest your listing is going to generate. If you are in a popular location and have easy animals you can list fixed dates and there will be enough sitters. But if you have difficult / a lot of animals and are located far away from any touristic sites it might be prudent to be a bit flexible. PS: It’s also good to be a bit more flexible around the holidays (big demand for sitters!).

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Hi @LBB,
I’m on my 6th sit of the year and of these 4 HO’s had confirmed their plans prior to confirming the sit with me. I guess it’s a little chicken and egg situation unfortunately.

@LBB I took a look at your listing and see that you don’t have any applicants. I have some suggestions about your listing.

One important detail is the weight of your dog, who needs to be carried at times. You show that information in the captions under your photos but those only show on the app. That detail needs to also be in your listing, so that it’s shown on the website.

Your willingness to pick the sitters up and grocery shop with them should come earlier in your content. Otherwise those who don’t have their own vehicle may stop reading and move on before they get to that helpful information.

I realize I strayed from your original question (as a sitter, my answer would come down to, ‘it depends’). Instead, I thought I could be more helpful if I focussed on increasing your chances of finding a sitter. Realistically, however, if you do have travel arrangements made, you should have Plan B decided and in place.

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Thank you I will make some changes. I appreciate your input.

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