We are very new and just booked our first sit for February, and a sitter we are communicating with about a sit next summer warned us to be careful concerning sitters who don’t have a regular home and go from sit to sit or a family member’s home. The point being the sitter is more concerned about find a temporary place to live rather than caring for the pets. Anyone experienced this?
I think it’s pretty doubtful. If you do a search on the forum, you’ll find there are a number of “nomads” who may not have a permanent address but are far from “homeless”. Rather for most, it’s a lifestyle choice for people who love to travel and have the ability to work from where ever they are (or are perhaps retired).
I’m not going to say there aren’t any people in the situation you mention - maybe there are some - but I would think they are few and far between. If you read the reviews of any sitter who applies, you should be able to get a feel for their reliability, responsibility, and general caring for your home and pets, regardless of whether they have a permanent residence and travel part time, or whether they are a digital nomad who spends most of their year travelling.
I just wondering if the people they are communicating with actually know of people such as this or whether it’s an assumption. In fact I use the fact that I have been doing housesitting on permanent basis for over 7 years now. I consider it my job. As with anybody who is self employed if you don’t do a good job my reputation will catch up with me. I love travelling and having the chance to see new places. I also love animals and am very particular about cleanliness. I’ve never had anybody comment about the fact I don’t have a permanent address.
I’m always wary of people who try and elevate themselves by putting a negative slant on others.
This sounds pretty much like what is happening here.
I think that’s a big assumption and in my experience, it’s almost the opposite. Nomads are looking for somewhere they can really settle in and bond with the pet and know the community vs people who are sitting while on vacation and are there more for sight seeing and being a tourist while they also take care of a pet. When you are traveling full time you lose that “I must be out all day every day seeing everything I can see because I only have 2 weeks before I’m back to the grind” pressure. And if you’re working remotely, you’re around the pet a lot more, which most enjoy.
I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve seen saying “I want to go to paris for 2 weeks in the spring on vacation, I’ll just find a house sit to save me money”
To me it reflects bad on the sitter you interviewed rather than on sitters without a fixed abode. I don’t trust people who slant others off, I’d rather concentrate on convincing why I’d be a good sitter than on saying why others aren’t…
Usually full-time sitters work from home, meaning they will probably be home more than people who prefer to go sight-seeing all day. Of course there will always be the occasional free-loaders. But I think you can weed out the “bad ones” quite easily during an interview. If all they talk about is the city/country they’ll be staying in (e.g. I’d always wanted to visit Paris), that would be a big no for me. If on the other hand, most questions are about the animals and their routine, that’s a lot more positive.
I hope you’ll find the perfect sitter!
When we travel long haul we are travellers. If we see a housesit that is convenient we take it for a bit of RnR so are more likely to be spending more time with the animals.
When we spend our summers in the UK house-sitting we wouldn’t consider a home with no pets. We are pleased to explore more remote bits of our country, while having a reason to be somewhere. If we just wanted a place to live we would be in our motorhome, but we want the furry fuss.
It’s very disappointing to read about incidents where occasional sitters are pitted against full-time sitters. There are excellent full-time sitters just as there are excellent occasional sitters. Likewise, there is a small percentage of sitters (both occasional and full-time) who are less than excellent.
As @SandC already mentioned, I think it speaks poorly of the sitter mentioned in the original post to cast aspersions on all full-time sitters.
I’m an occasional sitter who has been learning a lot from the full-time sitters on this forum. They have my respect.
I hope that HOs would select a sitter based on their profile and reviews, not on if they have their own residence.
It makes me angry that one sitter should speak of another like this ! My advice is to stop communicating with that sitter immediately. They sound really underhand and unprofessional. Obviously with no idea about the many different types of great sitters - definitely do not let them sit for your home and pets. The most unprofessional people in life are those that talk badly of their colleagues in order to try to make themselves look better.
There are thousands of great sitters to choose from - some sit very occasionally each year, some sit fairly regularly and others choose to sit full time. None are better or worse than the other because of the frequency they choose to sit.
We are full-time sitters, we love to travel and we love pets - equally.
Hello @bigag81 welcome to our community forum and to TrustedHousesitters. Congratulations on arranging your first sitters. You have adorable pets and a lovely home in a wonderful location, thank you for joining us from Florida and enjoy connecting with our members … they are very knowledgeable, helpful and supportive.
I am a full time sitter for six years without a home. We sold our lovely Vancouver home because we were never there, choosing to pet sit around the world enjoying a chosen lifestyle that fills our three passions, pets, people and places …
On my journey I have met many who could not comprehend living a life in perpetual motion without a home base and have had many conversations explaining that we choose not to have a home, that at times it’s not without its challenges but that has nothing to do with needing a roof over our heads, more to do with other practicalities.
There is a misconception that those who travel and pet sit permanently, incidentally they are in the minority of our sitter members, are “homeless” with the negative connotation which often accompanies that word, but that is completely untrue … we are petless of course, which does drive a need to connect and care for beloved pets.
Since COVID working lives have profoundly changed many pet lovers who now work remotely can enjoy pet companionship and work from anywhere in the world where they have a internet connection, this is influencing many pet sitter’s lifestyle choices.
Choosing your sitters is a process, communication is key and the important factor is that everyone feels 100% comfortable and secure before confirming the arrangement. In the end it is about choosing the right sitters for you, your beloved pets and lovely home based on all of the information available to you on the website and through those pre confirmation conversations. That could be a sitter with no home base, one who does sitting occasionally or perhaps a new sitter, just starting out, some might say no, go for an experienced sitter, but even experienced sitters started in exactly the same way … inexperienced, relative to reviews not pet care or caring for homes … as I say it’s about choosing the right sitter for you.
Pet and house sitting is an amazing way to connect with animals, have experiences traditional travel cannot provide, it allows us to be slow travelers who can immerse ourselves in local communities and develop relationships within our community, often lifelong friendships. As a footnote after 6 years of being “between homes” I have chosen to permanently unpack my suitcases and have a home again but we will continue to enjoy our pet sitting travel lifestyle.
Those of us who choose this lifestyle for the right reasons, always have a plan B and are completely self sufficient. For anyone thinking of becoming a full time traveler whether with TrustedHousesitters or outside of our community they need to plan, research, be self reliant and independent before choosing a base free life.
I hope this and the other comments from our members helps you better understand the motivations of our digital nomads lifestyles.
Thank you for sharing your adorable furry family with our community … have a wonderful trip in February, where are off to?
Angela and the Team
I think there are some great responses here and I agree with what people have said. Please ignore what the person you’re communicating has said about sitters without a home. Many sitters have either sold their home or rented out their home because they want to pursue this wonderful lifestyle. I rented my home from January 2019 to travel and housesit, visiting friends or staying in Airbnbs/hotels etc in between sits in the UK, then NZ and Oz, having to return in March 2020 because of the pandemic. I got back into my home in May 2020 but am about to rent my home again as I’m hardly there now that there are abundant housesitting opportunities again. As you’ll have worked out by now from reading these responses and others elsewhere on the forum, Housesitters’ priorities are the animals in their care and looking after the homes. They’re certainly my priorities. I’ll explore places with dogs but don’t look on the housesits as secondary to sightseeing. We are Trusted Housesitters and if we can’t be trusted to do a good job then we won’t get future housesits.
To those who provided well thought out replies without throwing arrows at the sitter I mentioned, thank you. To those who bashed her and/or urged me to drop her before knowing the whole story, let me give you some context.
First, I had already invited her privately and she had accepted - so she had no competition to worry about. I had told her we were a little nervous and cautious as we were so new to this. She talked about what a wonderful community we have, both sitters and homeowners, and meeting kind and interesting people was as fun as taking care of pets. She then said the only thing I may want to be cautious when screening “nomads” as she had two different owners she sat for mention they didn’t have a good experience and felt the sitters’ priority was finding a place to stay. I actually had three nomads apply for our sit in February (not the one with this sitter). One of them was actually my second choice for that sit.
I will not drop this sitter, and let me tell you why. A lengthy review she received related this: early the morning of the first day of the sit, this sitter’s mother passed away. She still arrived for the sit and didn’t mention it to the homeowners, who didn’t find out until later. The sitter said it would be a week before her mother’s service and she had siblings who could handle things, and that she didn’t feel right about leaving the homeowners in the lurch on such short notice. This is the kind of sitter I want to have care for my pets and home. So I will not drop her.
I would encourage those who had such a negative, knee jerk reaction to remember you may not always know the context or whole story. Best to reserve judgment until you have all the facts.
I appreciate your point about not judging people, but I don’t really quite understand why her showing up for her sit makes it ok for her to talk bad about a niche group of sitters? Many of us, nomads included, have sacrificed personal things for sits we’d committed to so we wouldn’t leave the owner in a bad position. Does that mean we get a free pass to talk badly about others?
Talking negatively about entire groups of people (which is what she did) based on 1-2 second hand experiences is a pretty big no-no for me.
I can’t speak for everyone but my husband and I are two such ‘homeless’ people by choice, and have been living this lifestyle since 2011. I don’t have a permanent residence because I don’t want one–at this point, it would be a big waste of money , whether it was in the form of rent or a mortgage,since we wouldn’t want to spend too much time there. What enables us to do so is running successful online ventures that allow us to earn income wherever we are.
Sure, being able to live somewhere for free is great, and it’s silly to pretend this isn’t a motivation for a lot of housesitters–I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I adore animals, and give them the highest quality care on our assignments. Having animals around while we travel adds a lot to our lives.
But am I housesitting because it is my dream to take care of people’s pets for free while they go on vacation? This is designed as a mutually beneficial exchange, not a service meant solely to benefit the homeowner, and I sometimes think this isn’t acknowledged enough.
It wasn’t until I saw a thread on here discussing this, that I realized some owners may see this in a negative light. It was surprising to me since we have only encountered people who find it interesting. I guess if anyone saw this negatively we would never know since they would pass over our application.
This is a good example of people having different preferences, opinions,etc… We have almost 30 reviews now and if our lifestyle choices cancelled that out for some people, can’t control that. If we didn’t get picked for such a reason, it means the sit isn’t meant to be and you just move on.
A lot of people see housesitting as really ‘competitive’ and worry so much about getting jobs. I think if some of them can even discourage one person from signing up to do this sort of thing or increase their chances of getting a sit by disparaging other potential applicants, they wouldn’t hesitate. Whether or not the owners take what they say to heart is another matter and again, can’t control that!
We all have our own stories to tell. The fact remains that her comments are not true and she should know better than to spread such drivel. She is either very foolish to believe such a thing or very unprofessional to try to undermine the integrity and professionalism of many sitters that choose to housesit full time.
“I would encourage those who had such a negative, knee jerk reaction to remember you may not always know the context or whole story. Best to reserve judgment until you have all the facts.”
I would encourage her to remember she does not always know the context or whole story of why some house sitters choose to sit full-time. Best for her to reserve judgment until she has all the facts.
I have had a number of digital nomads sit for me and some are excellent and others are competent and OK but that is also true of other sitters who come to spend time in my city, Barcelona. The best thing is to find someone who has good reviews and loves animals.
Hello: I know that this is possible, but so unlikely on this site. I have close friends, partners in fact, who travel and have no real home for half of the year. They are the most caring, compassionate people I know, who care deeply for the pets and the homes they take care of. There is in fact more of a responsibility when you’re house and pet sitting for longer periods, as this leaves more time for complications to arise that you have to be responsible for.
There are groups that cater to sitters who are looking for homes in their local area where they can continue to work at their jobs, stay in touch with their friends, continue their recreational interests etc. I think this is very different from those nomads travelling for an extended period of time.
The first type of sitter would not suit me, as I think I am ‘paying’ the sitter with accommodation and their focus for the period should be my home and pets.
This is why I mention on my profile that I’m a homeowner from Arizona and my home is currently being rented while I travel as a housesitter. I don’t want owners to think I’m a squatter.
Wow. I’ve never even thought of such a negative spin on being full-time house-sitters and have never encountered any such negativity from the 40 people we’ve house-sat for, or anyone we’ve talked to about it.
Just look at references. As full-time sitters we have the advantage of having a large number of 5-star reviews. They speak for themselves.