So many christmas sits!

I am seeing soooo many needs for sits over the holidays. We booked ourselves many weeks ago!
I am starting to think we’d have been wise to wait for all these late posts.
I am a planner - I like to know where I am going, make my travel plans and be prepared weeks ahead - but I see dozens of very late posters needing sitters for Christmas and that is next week!!
I do wonder about people posting so last minute - is this the norm? Many of us sitters need to plan, flying or driving or stitching together sits in one region. I am amazed at how many people post so late.
I started looking for Christmas sits back in October and booked ours before the first week of November which did not seem early at all to me!
Do people really plan this late?
So interesting…

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I agree with you @carpediem16.
I feel sorry for all those people that will find no one to take care of their furry friends with such last minute requests.

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I feel sorry for them too and wish we were available to do some of the ones we are seeing only now!

@Angela-HeadOfCommunity : Is there something THS could create on the site, so HO could be invited to post way in advance their needs for the upcoming busy periods , specially for US Thanksgiving , Xmas and New Year ?

Even if the exact dates wouldl still be to come, sitters could start looking and get in contact with them.

Just an idea here.

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It’s probably a combination of easing of covid-restrictions and lack of planning. We are already house-sitting for a family for Dec-Jan that was booked in June. In some parts of the world, Christmas is very busy and an expensive time of year and there it wouldn’t be reasonable to book a house-sitting job last minute.

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Yes, I see so many Christmas sits. But also long sits that’s only posted now. Wow, going away for 6-8 weeks and only posting the listing 2 weeks in advance? That’s brave!

I would have done a sit at Christmas if they were posted earlier. I had looked for sits, but there weren’t any with the dates and region I was looking for. Now there are many posted that I would have been interested in. However, I already made other plans.

I like the idea of some way to encourage HO’s to post much earlier!
I am seeing so many that we’d have applied for over the one we actually are doing.

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Hi @Brigitte thank you for asking a great question.

We do send email reminders to post sits early at all peak holiday times. The team are always looking at ways to help members be successful in getting a sit or a sitter at these times and throughout the year.

There is information and advice on the blog about securing your sitter and sit at Christmas. Listing as early as possible is advisable after all Christmas is the busiest global, travel time of the year.

One thing to bear in mind also is travel behavoir has changed as there is still uncertainty which may be a factor in people delaying making their plans.

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That makes sense.
What about, sending a letter in September 2023 to everyone who didn’t find their Xmas sitter reminding them this is the time to post ?

I think that probably some people are just seeing if they could find cover for a last minute plan. While others are just not very organised.

Sometimes planned sits are cancelled for whatever reasons, so it’s nice to have the last minute options to fall back on for when that ever happens.

Personally, reliable HOs who plan ahead and stick to their plans are who I hope to work with in future, But for now I’m less keen on making plans too far ahead of the time, so I much prefer taking on last minute sit dates and particularly like helping out those HOs who had a sitter cancel on them quite last minute.

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Hi @Brigitte that’s a good idea and we’ve passed on to the team.

One other point to bear in mind, the listings coming to the forum are not necessarily ones posted late or last minute they could well have been up on the site for a while but with no sitter confirmed.

We have success in helping fill sit requests through our Last Minute Sit Category, members without a confirmed sitter for the holidays receive emails with helpful tips and advice, one sent recently included the option to post sits in the forum’s Christmas Sit category.

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Perhaps HO could put some incentives (split reasonable travel costs, or ride to / from airport, gift card ?) I also noticed some sits that list more than two dogs (lg) and wonder if the HO should have started a few weeks back.

I’m a sitter and some feedback I received from owners is that they’ve experienced sitters who were booked a long time in advance cancelling closer to the time. I don’t think it’s lack of concern for their pets, quite the reverse. I’ve been contacted by desperate owners (both new ones and those I’ve previously sat for) in a desperate panic because they’ve been let down.