Rough costs of house and petsitting as a long-term lifestyle

Yep Chiang Mai! I was first a student in 1995 and then had to find a way to go back and live there. Made it happen. Then ended up getting married and having a kid and stepped into the “stability first” lifestyle for various reasons so “needed” to come back to the US. Now the kid is an adult, so I’m getting back on that other track!!

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@Petermac have you found SE Asia house sits via this site somewhat easily? I’m very at home there in general and I’d happily make the region my focus. I would be able to stay with old friends in Thailand in between sits, so it’s even better.

That’s very useful to know, thanks! I’m up on the visa regs in general since I work in international education and exchange. I’ll look forward to seeing how things shake out “post” Covid (definitely not over yet…).

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Back to having the freedom to travel again! Love it!!! Chiang Mai was amazing I loved the iced coffees in the bags that they sold!!! So sweet!

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How incredible! What a big hearted woman!! There’s something about the people in third world countries! They appreciate the small things and they are very very good at coming up with new ideas and ways to help others!

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I’ve been pet sitting full time for over a year now, and it’s gone very well for me, to the point where I have almost no gaps in between. Like others, I rent out my house throughout the year, so that is my income. I try to keep travel within my home state of FL so I can minimize travel expenses, although last year I did travel a lot throughout the PNW, having family out there. I have found it’s a lot more comfortable living this nomadic lifestyle if I have my car. I have my own sheets, blankets, a pillow, and my beloved coffee and other foodstuffs that I bring with me. Not to mention, the space to store a summer and winter wardrobe, depending on where I travel. I like to be prepared for anything. I do not eat out in restaurants and am very careful about expenses. I spend the same or less than I would spend if I were living at my home, so I make it affordable. Very rarely do I need to pay for an air bnb or hotel, I can usually find a friend to stay with for 2-3 nights if there’s a gap in between. As far as your question regarding finances, as others here have commented, if you are flexible and adaptable, you can certainly do this full time without any additional expenses incurred. The question is, how long do you want to do it for. It can be challenging being away from a “permanent home” if you don’t have a home base to come back to. But everyone is different. I was excited to see your post and would love to connect with others who do this full time as I do.

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@savoryandrose this is useful information! I am also currently petsitting in my local area. I find it fun and easy but I do have my car so I can travel with my favorite things, too (extra sleeping bag, favorite coffee, my own cleaning supplies, etc.) plus not feel stuck at the locations if they don’t offer a car – some are fairly remote. I imagine European locations might be easier to access in terms of transportation but I did just get invited to an interesting place in the Spanish Pyrenees that is 3 hours by car from anything, so obviously it’s not always going to be easy traveling.

One question, when you rent out your house, how do you do that? I am an Airbnb host (since 2013!); I have both a house and an ADU. I need to make both Airbnb rentals if I’m going to have a revenue stream I can live on, but am struggling mightily to find a good local co-host in our small town who will manage the in-person maintenance details. If I turn it over to a local property management company, they told me I will have to remove and store (or liquidate) all of my personal belongings, furnishing, etc., which I am not ready to do–plus the property management companies only do annual leases, so I wouldn’t have the option to block some time for myself at home if I wanted to come back. I’m wondering what other alternatives are out there.

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We went with the annual rental option via a rental agent. We only kept our most loved furniture and things, and stored these in our garage. We then rent out our home without a garage, just a covered parking spot. Of course we had to commit to a one year rental then, but in our case that was not hard. We also travel with our own car, so it kind of becomes your ‘storage’ unit for personal items, which is very handy.

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Thanks, @botvot Alas I did not buy a house with a garage so this is not an option for me. But that’s a great approach.

@cherylfah I have been extremely fortunate, to have a home in an area where people want to rent, as well as a real estate agent who helps me. I have the option of renting it out annually, but can get a higher revenue if I rent out month to month, so I can get more during the FL high season. My agent is not exactly a property manager, but he does what I need him to do—find me the clientele and handle all the leases and paperwork. I have built up a solid network of service providers who take care of everything in my absence as well as a great relationship with my handyman. I am basically the property manager, so I field calls and e-mails as needed. It has its pros and cons for sure.
To your point about having to remove your belongings, I planned on this about 2-3 years before I made the leap. I did a lot of cleaning, purging of things I no longer needed, and basically got my home ready to function as a rental. But because I mostly rent it as a vacation rental, the house is fully furnished, so all of the furniture stayed. I have an “owner’s closet” where I keep my valuables locked up. The rest of my stuff is neatly stacked in the garage, but not an excessive amount. With the mass exodus of transplants to FL recently, I’m finding that most of my tenants want that garage space so they can either park their car and/or store their belongings as they move.
The property management companies in my area will run your house however you want them to, as an annual rental or Air bnb, however costs can run you 30% and up. And with Air bnb, the turnover is so high that there tends to be more wear and tear on the house. Which is why I opted to work with my agent and do the property management portion myself.
Sorry for the lengthy reply, I’m happy to connect offsite if there is a way to do that! And would love to hear what others are doing.

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There’s some great info in this thread, thanks so much for sharing, everyone!

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We’ve been traveling full time since January of this year, but only started housesitting full time in March. We aren’t documenting every penny spent, but I do keep track of accommodation and flight costs.
Accommodation looks like this:
Jan: £708.79
Feb: £902.20
(Jan & Feb was Thailand hols, staying mostly in nice hotels)
March: £1006.12 (March was mostly in Thailand, but then some pricey accom upon arrival in Sydney)
April: £165.82
May: £184.55
June: £314.36
July: £699.20 (took a bit of a break to travel around NZ, but still did two weeks of HS)
August: £0! (Booked the entire month)

Flights look like this:
(All prices in GBP for two people)
Edinburgh-Bangkok 527.88
Bangkok-Chiang Mai 42
Chiang Mai-Krabi 91
Phuket-Sydney 246
Sydney-Melbourne 98.45
Melbourne-Sydney 105.25
Sydney-Melbourne 88.21
Melbourne-Auckland 507
Wellington-Brisbane 408
Brisbane-Cairns 119
Cairns-Sydney 197

SO! All in all from January through August we’ll have spent £2429 on flights for two people and £3981 on accommodation for two people, which comes out to about £915/month (about £350 less than what we were spending on rent in Edinburgh).

So it’s definitely doable, but even more so if you have the ability to work while you travel (I work remotely and very part time and it covers my costs nicely.)

Good luck! I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it work for you.

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My husband and I traveled the world for all of 2018 while we worked remote. We did Pet sits when it worked into our schedule and also so we could have some down time (it’s aways nice when you’re a full time traveler to have a few places where you can actually settle into a routine and unpack the bag.) Pet sitting makes that all the more enjoyable as well!

From what you wrote I’d say our prices back in 2018 were very comparable (we did spend two months in Bali each month was around $1,500 USD and that included food and a fair amount of tourist activities.)

Europe our prices were a lot more per day than SE Asia (as should be expected) but we never went over $200USD a day, it just takes a lot of time to plan out the itinerary in accordance with budget and get creative on how to save and where/what to splurge on. Because we were also working we never felt any guilt for having the occasional splurge because our monthly expenses were always less than they would have been at home (even taking our mortgage into account) we rented out our home while traveling like many others in this thread.

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Congratulations. Well done. I have spent exactly that much on two one-way tickets. And I travel solo :sob:

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Ahhh! That is wild! Can I ask where you are flying to/from??

April - Mexico City - Dubai 1.200
June - Dubai - Seoul 1.000

In addition, 2-3 flights Jan-April but not as expensive

I am looking forward to crunching your numbers in my spreadsheet, thank you!!

This is good to know. $200/day is 400% over my daily budget so it looks like I won’t be living that particular lifestyle.

We just paid about $3000 for two return tickets to London, from Kelowna, BC, Canada. About $1100 more than we paid for same trip in May.

We are just booking transatlantic return flights for October/November. Thank goodness the price has gone down by nearly a third and that’s with a mainline carrier.
All the horror stories going around about cancelled flights we thought it would be better to book direct.

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