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

Yeah, I think off-season is much cheaper to fly.

Another serial tracker here! Recently spent 5.5 weeks sitting full time in UK and spent $1900 USD for 2 people (about $50/day) not including flights to/from the UK though. Compare this with the 3.5 months we spent in Mexico earlier in the year without housesits, that was about $4500 or $43/day with a very similar lifestyle, so it’s really amazing how much housesitting has “leveled the playing field” for us in terms of places we can afford to travel to/live.


Responding to everyone with more nitty gritty figures and additional questions to help me figure out my budget.

I think my average monthly budget is going to be $1,300 USD for ONE person. And that needs to cover everything. For me, “everything” means:

-Flights from place to place
-Transportation in country
-Mobile phone and computer fees/repairs/replacement
-Non-housesit housing in between sits
-Weather/location appropriate clothing
-Medical care & medical insurance
-General emergency travel insurance
-Visas/legal fees

Is this realistic?

If this is NOT realistic, can some of you recommend where to find online work (that is legal for US citizens to do internationally)? I’m not extravagant at all, I am versatile and can learn–I have a bachelors and master’s degree-- but I don’t have many digital nomad type qualifications, nor do I think I could stomach online customer service work.


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I would also love to find online work to do remotely to support my travel habit!


@cherylfah, I guess I wasn’t very clear, the $200/day was maybe a total of 5 days out of the 350 days we were traveling while working remote. So overall our yearly expenses including airfare/accommodations/excursions/tours/food/drink were way below our expenses back home for a year. We had to become extremely good at planing but also remaining flexible. I would also note that our expenses depended heavily on what part of the world we were in. Hope this helps clarify our experience


Hi again @cherylfah,

I’ve found remote work aplenty through Upwork,, I even taught online through VIPKID for awhile. To stay within your budget I’d recommend SE Asia (Bali/the Philippines have fairly good digital nomad/full time traveler communities). I think lately it has been more difficult to get house sits in SE Asia but you can find monthly accommodation that includes A/C and one-two meals a day for $800-$1000/month no problem in Bali and in the Philippines. You can find accommodation for less than these prices but typically you’d have to give up A/C to get to a lower monthly cost. So I still think your budget is realistic it’s just more a question as to what you are willing to live with or without?


Yes, this is realistic.
If you are getting regular housesits and self-catering most of your meals you will have no problem making it work. :relaxed:
As a few others have said it’s all about what you want to spend your money on. We tend to spend a lot more when we aren’t housesitting since we eat out more and spend more time out and about. But then it balances out when we’re in a sit since we will self-cater 90% of our meals and we aren’t paying for accommodation.
We’ve been housesitting in Australia and New Zealand for the past 5 months which are not the cheapest places in the world, but we’ve managed to stay within our loose budget by choosing public transit over car rentals or taxis, eating at home when we can and being selective about the paid activities or experiences we do. We could make our money stretch even further in a less expensive place, but this is where we want to be right now.
Europe is a great place to start out as it is relatively cheap and easy to transit between countries and there are plenty of sits to choose from. The UK alone could probably keep you in sits for as long as you are allowed to be there.

As for remote work, I used Upwork to find my current job, which I’ve been at for two years now! I’ve applied for A LOT of jobs on there with no success (other than my current job), so if you can get something it’s great, but it can also be tricky to wade through the listings.


Wow! Reading how much folks are spending for flights is really interesting! Were your flights so expensive because you are locked into certain dates? Or is it because Kelowna is a bit rural? Thankfully we have been mostly flying to major airports, and our dates are generally flexible, which has helped us save money.

Ours were pricey because we have to first fly to a major airport, we never get to fly direct. And we were booking les than 6 weeks out. Normally we book 2-3 months in advance and get a better price. Also, we’re flying near the end of August so it’s still the high season.

But you know, after missing out on 2 years of travel, I’m willing (and lucky I can afford) to pay it. I am just so happy to be travelling again.

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We find that, when we sit in more remote areas, we spend much less on food, because we cook at home. Whereas, when we sit in cities or cool towns, we tend to spend more as we want to try local restaurants. This is our choice of course, but keep it in mind.


Your budget is doable @cherylfah. I am well under that amount. The key points to remember is that there will be fluctuations. Some months you incur more expenses and some less. That is the biggest difference from being in a fixed place with fixed expenses like rent/mortgage and all the other expenses that come with being “fixed”.
When you let go of all of that you are now in a world of uncertainty with a very big but.
You have full control now of how you spend your money.
The second key is that you have to learn to be very strategic in your planning whilst still remaining flexible.
Examples: Flight from home country to new country. Explore one way vs return flight if you are really determined to take off, do one way.
That will be one big expense, one time in what could be 6 months or a year depending on country allowance. Bear in mind that you can leave a country to another country and come back sometimes for less than taking a train ride. You just have to be patient with yourself as you learn these little ins and outs. They are not well known by the average Jane that takes a holiday however grand once or twice a year.
You are not that person. You are becoming a different type of human :grinning: and I mean that in a very good way.
Look at what is available. Where does your passport allow you to go and for how long?
Are there a lot of sits there? Is it an inexpensive place to live if you needed or wanted to hunker down for a month, two or three by yourself? Would you enjoy being there?
How often can you come back? When would you have to leave? Can you do a quick hop off and come back?
Learn about Schengen and non-Schengen countries and how you can hop back and forth,
With a splash of UK.
Do this in whatever continents interest you.
Go slow as you start till you get into a rhythm and you will as your knowledge and confidence increases.
You are possible and doable :sparkles:
Don’t plan or expect to know all the details before you make a move, that’s how you get stuck wishing and not doing.
AND big key point
Don’t take the people you meet for granted.
Treasure the people and the relationships you will make. They are priceless!


That’s not applicable to US citizens. Not currently, anyway.

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Thanks for this as well. Never cared much about AC or other luxuries even when I lived in Thailand, so it doesn’t matter. If a place has wifi/data, lights, mosquito protection, a way to cook my food, running water, and a way to warm the water for washing, I’m probably fine.


OK thanks a lot for clarifying, that makes sense!

Very useful information here, thank you @CoolCatAunt Have definitely been thinking about the Europe/UK bounce-back-and-forth plan (I have 90 days in Europe and then 180 days in UK as a US citizen).

When looking for your remote work, did you need to get it cleared first that it was truly legally OK to work internationally? I’ve had a few people tell me that there are tax implications when you work from different locations (for example, a few weeks is OK, but any longer and you end up having to pay double taxes or risk getting deported, etc.).


It most certainly is if you are an American citizen wishing to stay long term in Europe.


I will also look into I applied to teach TEFL online (I have a certificate and taught before) and I see it only pays $9USD per lesson which seems low but I guess it’s all relative…


Fingers crossed I’ll get a remote job with a European company :smiley:

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The Youtubers GoWithLess have great breakdown videos of their costs and their travel experiences as full-time nomads who do house sitting.


@Katie ditto what @Amparo said. It absolutely is applicable and we did it for 3 years before coming to the southern hemisphere.