Sitters - please share how you got started on THS

Perhaps they should, the service members answering questions provide is priceless :smiley:

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We found THS after doing a few sits with Nomador, and searching what other platforms exist. We have found THS to have a really great community and a quality platform that definitely outperforms other sites :laughing:

We got started with pet-sitting about 3 years ago, after first doing some au pairing and workaway gigs around Europe. That’s when my partner started working full time in online digital marketing, so it meant we had the finance to be able to drop the paid au pairing & workaway gigs and could travel with free pet-sitting exchanges instead. We had heard about pet-sitting along the grapevine, and being big pet-lovers, we wanted to try it out!

This really suited us, as not only could we cuddle sweet pets, but it also meant less time pressure on my partner with his work, and a break for me with au pairing & babysitting… You can imagine that full time caring for 3 non-english speaking children in Italy during the pandemic with no school for 7 months wasn’t without its challenges! Cats though - cats are easy :joy::joy:

Ever since, we’ve been travelling Europe with pet-sitting, exploring different countries, cultures and opportunities that life throws our way. Eventually we’ll settle down, but we really believe your 20’s are for trying anything and just exploring what’s out there. Many people (including our own families sometimes!) don’t really understand our unique lifestyle or why we do what we do, and that’s okay. Many of my old classmates already have houses, kids & full-on careers, and that’s great for them but just isn’t for us at this point in our lives. A lot of the time when we speak to much older generations, they comment that they wish they hadn’t rushed through life in such a hurry and had more time & opportunity to explore, travel and really do the things they wanted to do.

So we’re on a different journey, and are really excited for every new pet sit we get to do and new place to explore. Yesterday we celebrated our 5th anniversary and realised that every year so far on our anniversary, we have been in a different country! :blush::airplane:

One reason I really enjoy the forum is because many sitters here have a similar mindset and are nomads too, & it’s nice to connect!

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Im on a facebook page for women over 50 who travel solo and a lady had posted she was in Greece for 6 months pet sitting!! Excuse me, how does that work and sign me up!! Love of animals and travel…win win. And here I am.

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That’s a shame but good news for you, starting out on your housesitting ‘journey’ :blush:

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I joined and 1 day later I had my first sit—the HO actually messaged me and invited me to sit for a last-minute trip. She lives about 5 minutes away from me. So I got my first sit and 5-star review in under a week. I have my second sit scheduled (in a nearby vacation location) with only a few reactions in between. Going well so far!

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I’ve always traveled and I enjoy reading newspaper and magazine articles about travel. I listen to travel podcast and watch travel shows. Somewhere I read or heard about THS . I kept the information in mind as something I would like to do . After I retired my kitty passed away, and covid happened. It was time to try THS.
I started in fall 2021. I sent out several applications and it wasn’t too long when I connected with very nice people looking for a cat sitter. They were happy to host a first timer. The mutual trust was there. The location was Croton-on-Hudson, NY. I had a wonderful time getting to know the area and spending time with two cats.

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It was 2018 and I was bored and ready for something different. I had been a solo traveler for work and personal joy for decades. When I retired I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself so I emptied out my savings, shoved the cash in the console of my truck and took off with the sole purpose of doing nothing except explore my home state of Florida and read the hundreds of books I had been collecting and never seemed to have time for.
I literally lived out of my truck for about 6 weeks. It was amazing.
In conversation with my daughter, a vet tech and international pet sitter for several years, she suggested I give a try. I thought she was nuts and l told her “who would want me? That’s for young people”.
“MOM, try it” (insert eye roll)
I did.
Loved it.
Started locally and became full time and fully booked 6 months out almost immediately. Then I got my first sit in the UK and the world opened like an avalanche of goodness.
I joined the forum years afterwards and met my first fellow sitter @toml at our own private meet up and then again in London where we met with I believe 18 or so of some of the most wonderful people. We had so much fun.
It made me realize that I, my own color of crazy, was just right.
I am very okay with that.

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I joined THS in November 2021 with the intention of doing just one sit. At that point, I had been a full-time traveler for about seven years, but it never crossed my mind to join pet sitting platforms, as I couldn’t imagine staying in someone else’s home.

In the fall of 2021, I was visiting a friend in upstate New York who had two dogs and a cat. It was that cat who kind of turned my life upside down. Originally a stray and invisible to all other visitors, the cat, to everybody’s disbelief, adopted me. There was no shortage of praise about how pets were attracted to me. So I got this brilliant idea …

From upstate New York, my plan was to fly to Ecuador with a stopover in NYC. So, why not join THS and cat-sit for a week in NYC? I signed up, found a cat to sit 30 seconds from Central Park, applied, and got it right away. No video chat, no questions asked. Just an email from THS saying, “X chose you.” I know now the whole thing was rather unbelievable and I was extremely lucky, but at the time, I thought this was how it worked. When I completed the sit, I was done with THS, or so was the plan.

A few weeks later, in Quito, out of curiosity, I logged into the platform to check if there were any sits in Quito, never expecting to find one. But there was—just the one. For me. I applied (just like that) and got it. Then I gave THS a rest for a few weeks until I came to Mexico and applied for yet another sit.

From then on, I’ve been sitting full-time. Tomorrow, I am starting my 52nd sit.

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Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread. I am just catching up after the weekend and what great stories and insights. Thank you :heart_eyes:

If any other sitters want to join in the thread please do!

I heard about THS years ago via word-of-mouth on online travel groups, but didn’t join till last year, after career demands and work travel had eased off.

I’ve since done 15 sits in 15 months and have more booked. I found THS straightforward to figure out and quickly started getting sits across the country. I did San Francisco first, but before that, I was offered an unsolicited sit in San Diego, which happened a few sits later.

I also quickly landed ones in the U.K., including one in London.

My sits have been overwhelmingly great. I telecommute solo and sitting is icing for me, so I’m selective.

Any red flag and I’ll avoid a sit. To me, I’d rather risk a false negative than a bad sit. And I wouldn’t accept any sit without a backup plan. That’s because I don’t plan to get trapped into any sit by bad hosts who mislead or such.

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We had looked after our friends’ dog, fish and parrot while they were on holiday since before my children were born. So they grew up with a dog who came to live with us a few times a year. Lovely Jazz went over the rainbow bridge in summer 2019, when the boys were 10 and 8. We were all devastated, but I also knew the boys needed an opportunity to to continue to look after pets, especially dogs.

I had seen an advert for TrustedHousesitters on Facebook, and couldn’t quite believe that people would want a family of 4 as their house and pet sitters. I decided that I’d sign up, and we would give it a try.

The forum didn’t exist back then, so I created a profile without the benefit of advice from other sitters. While our friends would have been the obvious people to ask for a reference, it seemed a bit insensitive right after their beloved dog had died, so I didn’t have any references.

I made a point of applying for sits in ordinary homes that were not in popular tourist locations. Around a month after signing up, on Bank Holiday weekend, we did our first housesit - a sweet older cat and 4 chickens. We never met the host family, and we only communicated by THS and by text. I don’t think we even had a phone call. We will forever be grateful to that family for trusting a family of new housesitters with no references.

We have now completed 31 sits, with another 6 booked over the rest of this year. We only sit during school holidays and a few weekends.

I joined the forum as soon as it became available to all. I enjoy helping other sitters, especially families. I love hearing about other sitters adventures and seeing photos of pets and places. I’m also a big fan of meet ups with other members! Maybe at some point in the future I might become a full time nomadic sitter, so i enjoy meeting and learning from those who are already doing this.

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We retired in November 2019 with the plan to do plenty of travelling overseas. A colleague said “you guys would be great house & pet sitters on THS.” What? It must be a scam! We decided to risk $129 and see what happened.

Started with some local sits. “This is pretty good” we said, and booked some overseas sits just across the ditch in New Zealand for April & December 2020. We all know how that worked out!

We had our first epic UK 5 month sitting grand adventure in November 2022 to April 2023. With wonderful advice from the likes of @Colin @Amparo @Misschef @temba @Smiley @mebarn @botvot @Knowmad @ziggy and @Samox24 we did 11 sits and had a blast.

Here we are again in the final week of our 3 month second UK adventure.

30 sits under our belt now…

Thank you forum peeps! :heart:

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In 2010,we became one of the first Airbnb hosts in the Uk, we had been letting our spare room, advertising on gumtree. Airbnb had recently started advertising and wanted to increase their number of listings. They were poaching from other platforms and called us to talk us into joining. We agreed and the occupancy rate of our room sky rocketed immediately.

We were so impressed with the company that we started using it for all our own travel accommodation too. Every time we booked an Airbnb we would talk about the possibility of living full time as an Airbnb guest, unfortunately, although I was retired, my husbands work tied him to the office so we did not have the opportunity to test our ‘full time Airbnb guest’ idea out.

By 2020, we had been working really hard with Airbnb for ten years. We had done really well out of it and had already decided it was time to wind down and take it easy…but it was difficult saying no to the income from continuous booking requests.

Then Covid hit! All our future bookings cancelled, overnight,we were forced to stop what we had been trying to stop ourselves for months.

Covid also meant my husband was now working full time remotely. One night as we were listening to the experts talking about tighter movement restrictions we got talking about whether we should leave our apartment to go to live somewhere quieter before we weren’t allowed to.

Then our original idea came back into the conversation, why not let our apartment and see how long we could live in Airbnbs?

We had to act quickly to avoid lock downs so within six weeks we let our apartment and sold everything we owned that would not fit into two suitcases. We booked a one way flight and a six week airbnb stay in the Canaries.

From there we went to Greece, Italy, Spain and back to the UK, making full use of all travel opportunities. It was an amazingly period, accommodation was really cheap because no one was travelling and we were getting to visit some of the most popular tourist attractions- with no other tourists. We were two of 35 people on the day we visited the Vatican instead of the usual tens of thousands on a ‘normal’ day.

We were almost a year into our living full time in Airbnbs adventure and had been telling another Airbnb host what we were doing, we explained that we were loving the nomadic lifestyle but accommodation costs were creeping up. They asked us if we had thought of pet/house sitting as an alternative?

We hadn’t heard of it, but did a quick google and Trustedhousesitters came up. It seemed ideal for us so we paid and started to apply thinking we would mix petsitting with Airbnbs.

In June 2021 we did our first sit and the rest is history. We now use Airbnb only in the very rare times that we are not pet sitting - we are currently on our 63rd sit!

The forum was a great help to us when we started, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of experienced hosts willing to share their knowledge with us. We are forever in the debt of some members when we were wet behind the ears,for their practical advice and also their inspiration and motivation, and are delighted that, since then, we have been able to meet some of those wise members in person! ( and there are still some we’d love to meet)

They are all Trustedhousesitters royalty in our eyes!

We’ve had some ups and downs, but on the whole, we’ve had a life changing fourteen years and are looking forward to many more to come.

Thank you Airbnb and Trustedhousesitters :heart:

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I used to pet sit my brother’s dogs and then I retired and started traveling much more. So he joined TH and referred me - it didn’t get me back to sitting his dogs, but it did save me money and get me to places that I’d not have traveled on my own. I’d likely never have gone to Jeju Island, or San Juan Island, WA or Whidbey Island, WA. Or visited the Pez factory in Conn. Or the Bethlem Museum of the Mind in the UK (Bedlam). Or stayed in a Tudor house.
Tudor house, Longdonimage
Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Beckenham image
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Pez factory and museum, Orange, CT


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I started applying for sits in early summer and my first acceptance was along weekend in Virginua Beach, VA with an old mastiff and a young cat. It was great and it continued from there - a few days near home with 3 dogs, a week in Santa Fe, NM with 2 dogs and 3 cats. And once I had a review, got accepted for 3 weeks in a 19th c grade 3 listed castle in Somerset, UK with 2 dogs and 2 cats followed by a week in Edinburgh with a flatcoat retriever. Left Somerset on the morning train and was in Edinburgh to have dinner and settle in that evening.
A week on Jeju Island, Korea; multiple UK sits through all of 2022, 3 sits over 6 weeks in Australia. About 80 sits all told now and I can say the worst experience was a messy cluttered house and 1 aging, sickly dog (which just occurred).
A few cancellations, but those all worked out.

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cool, you sat on Jeju Island. Just read the book Island of Sea Women.

@Huronbase There is a very good museum telling their story on the island!