I am also a hardcore introvert! But I’d rather stay with the HO than pay for a hotel night myself. From my experience, usually the HO gets very busy before they leave so they won’t have much time to socialize with you. if you have your own guest room there isn’t much to worry about.
Hi! I’m a total introvert too. But, having said that, I have done this several times and found it to be incredibly fun and rewarding. It may have helped that in each case I had my own space (guest house, apartment over the garage, etc), which was really nice. But having dinner with owners, getting to know them, honestly I left each of these experiences feeling like I had made new friends. It really helped pull me out of my shell. Its incredibly helpful on a practical level as you get to to see the routine (this was especially important for a couple of sits I did that had a large number of farm animals).
I’d definitely do it again, in similar circumstances. Would I be as comfortable being in someones spare bedroom in a small house, maybe not… but in the right circumstances I think it can be great. (and believe me, I am NOT an outgoing person)
I’m also a total introvert so I know how awkward it can be. I’m on my 6th sit right now and of the sits I’ve done so far, three have had me arrive the night before. Mostly because they had to leave really early in the morning. It’s worked out fine. I had dinner with them and got to meet the pets. But typically, they are still packing and getting ready for their trip.
I’m another super-introverted sitter. My husband and I have been invited to stay the night before several times and it always ramps up my anxiety levels but in each case, it’s turned out well. As others have said, the HO is inevitably very busy so we take the dog for a walk, which allows us some “alone” time, in addition to giving the HO a break. As with video calls, it’s not my favourite thing in the world but it’s definitely not a deal breaker.
In my experience, homeowners like to have their sitters stay the night before so that they leaving day isn’t crowded with orientation, particularly if they’re leaving early.
Also, a few times homeowners will share or take you to dinner, often as an early “thank you.” Depending upon the location of the sit, you can simply say that your travel plans work best to arrive morning of and ask is that would be sufficient time. That way you can understand if it’s vital to them that you arrive night before or they’re simply trying to be accommodating to you.
Homeowners have lots of reason to ask or offer this, so it makes sense to do a follow up question. Some may be relieved if you offer arrival day of!
Personally I absolutely loathe staying the night before but I do understand why the homeowners want it. I have been in many situations though where I have accepted a sit but not been advised that I am required to stay the night before, the dates they advertise includes that first stay night. I probably should ask that question during the initial stages but when I go to such effort to acquire the sit, I just have to accept it, though I do so reluctantly. I would like to see homeowners clearly state on every ad that the dates include a night before stay whilst they are still there. In the “old days” lol I was never asked, sometimes I never even met the owners and other times it was just before they left but oh how times have changed.
As it would be a deal breaker for you then ask some more questions before you decide not to accept.
We have arrived on the same day on some sittings and stayed overnight on others. We have found the evenings to be pleasant as others have described above. It is the mornings though that can drag if they are not leaving early. Find out what time they are leaving the next day to find out if you have time to arrive in the morning. A quick handover is all that is usually needed unless there are many animals.
Do what you are comfortable with
As a house owner I insist on the house sitter staying the night before and it is a deal breaker.
I always plan to leave early the next day and if I have to catch a train or plane I do not want to be waiting around for someone in the early hours before I can be on my way. It would be too easy for someone to be late making me late for my train/plane. I also don’t want to hurry around the house explaining how everything works (I leave instructions anyway but it’s not the same as an actual walk-around demonstration). Also my front door is tricky to open if you don’t know how it works and if I had to leave the key somewhere without seeing the sitter at all I’d be sure to get a phone call after 10 minutes asking how to get in. (The back door has a trick to it as well now I think about it.)
I don’t want any stress on the day I leave which is why I like the sitters in the house the night before.
And if I didn’t think you looked like someone I could talk to over a meal then I wouldn’t have picked you in the first place so relax. Chances are any house owner is going to be spending the evening packing anyway so you shouldn’t have to provide entertainment for the whole night.
Of the 10 sits I’ve done so far, 6 have involved me arriving the day before HO’s went away. While I prefer my own space I prefer arriving the day before and getting a feel for how things work in person plus especially the pets normal behaviour.
I’m an introvert home-owner so having someone to stay isnt my ideal. But sometimes it’s the most convenient way to achieve a face-to-face handover (which I really do appreciate), especially if you’ve not been able to physically meet beforehand.
I would find it extremely uncomfortable staying in the HO’s house while they are still it.
I recently had to turn down a lovely sit due to HO’s wanting us to stay over the night before they left & also the night they arrived home.
I wish they had mentioned this in their advert as I would not of applied!
I absolutely agree with you! The home owners should specify an overnight stay is needed in their advert.
I’ve visited HO’s that don’t live too far away a week or so before a sit & don’t mind doing that especially if they are new to THS
As the home owner, being able to show the housesitter round the house, and introducing to pets, is a really helpful step in the process. It brings me more confidence to leave home and pets, and hoping it gives sitter more confidence in knowing where everything is, and what they need to look at.
I understand your point about staying with strangers… but I guess that’s half the point, becoming less like strangers following the visit
I feel exactly the same as you as I too am more on the introverted side. I’m more than happy to do say an hour’s handover prior to the sit starting, which I feel is quite sufficient usually, but a whole day or evening is something that I personally find a bit much. You’re definitely not alone. I thought I was the only one who felt like this so thanks for making me feel like not such an oddity!
I’m an asocial home owner even so I would never leave my boy with someone I (& he) had never met. My overseas/long distance sitters usually arrive late afternoon or early evening, I go through the nuts and bolts, take them to the pub for dinner then leave them with Max while I finish packing. I always leave early in the morning and sometimes don’t even see the sitters that day. Local sitters often visit in advance and then might arrive after I have left. It would be a deal breaker for me if neither option was agreeable to sitters.
I have done it several times. It can range from getting the tour of the house + cats and then leaving each other alone for the rest of the evening (ie eating separately), or having dinner together and chatting or watching TV together. In two cases, the host invited one or more friends over that evening and we all ate together - one was a Friday curry night, the other was a TV dinner while watching Strictly Come Dancing. In another case, I had cooked a lamb stew at my previous cat sit and took it with me for the next host & me to eat - she really appreciated that.
As I am a full-time nomadic cat sitter, in all cases where I have stayed th night before the sit officially starts it was helpful to me in that apart from meeting the host face to face and getting a guided tour of the house, it also meant that I did not have to book a hotel/airbnb for one night.
I like arriving the night before and staying while the owners are still there!
It gives the pets time to get used to me and it gives me time to get used to the space and ask questions. Plus, I don’t need to worry about delays. It is a lot more relaxing for me to do it that way.
It’s nice to get to know the owners too. I guess I am not a total introvert
I’m an introvert, too, but “introvert” doesn’t mean “antisocial.” It just means we gain energy from being alone, and it can be draining for us to be social, even though most of us do enjoy it for some period of time.
I like having a sitter(s) come the night before we leave because we typically have to leave early in the morning and don’t want any delays in the sitter’s arrival to delay our departure. It also gives us a good chance to show the sitter(s) around, let them see how our dogs normally behave, and thank them in advance with a nice meal.
I would be very nervous about leaving my house with someone I hadn’t met face to face, or someone who arrived an hour before I left. I don’t expect a sitter to become my new best friend, but it seems like communication and collaboration on any issues that might arise will be better on both ends if we’ve had a chance to chat and get to know each other a bit.