This is not a travel agent

Pet Sitters:

This is not a travel agency.

If you want a cheap holiday then you are in the wrong place.

Think about it like you are applying for a job.

Sell yourself.

Tell pet and homeowners about your skills, your interests, and your experience.

Home and pet owners:

Don’t expect miracles.

Sell your home and pets in your advert.

Every home and pet has good qualities, just don’t expect an instant result.

Sitters travel for a number of reasons.

It is not about somewhere to stay for free.

Pet sitters can spend a lot of money to be in the right place.

This is not a travel agency.

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Well said, @Petermac, completely agree with everything you have expressed.

Anything in particular set you off?

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@petsitterbug I have been house and petsitting with THS for 5 years now, and a member of the Forum for almost 2 years.

I don’t read the Forum on a daily basis anymore, I tend to catch up once a week or so, but recently I have noticed more and more people complaining that they are struggling to get sitters, or struggling to get sits - some seem to think you pay your annual fee and that’s it.

A holiday whenever/wherever they want - and if it doesn’t happen they blame THS.

It was never like that, and never will be. If you are serious about this, some effort is required.

It is not a lot of money to get a great way to travel, but to me, it seems too many people are using this as a cheap way to travel or to avoid paying kennel fees.

It is an exchange.

I actually think it has got too big and THS needs to rethink the model before they lose too many of the more experienced members.

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@Petermac I was thinking about this the other day, equating THS to a quaint little, unassuming restaurant you discover, enjoy and support regularly. Then it gets hugely popular and becomes too big for its britches and is no longer enjoyable.

Don’t get me wrong, we are still enjoying THS, however, the same as you, reading the Forum, I do shake my head.

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Maybe it is not THS that got too big but the forum? :wink:
While forums can be the best source of information they can at the same time be the source of frustration and even bulling bringing out the worst in people.

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It is being treated as a cheap holiday site on both sides by some people.
I find the sitters who complain about what they are being asked/expected to do as offensive. We all have our limits but there is some tasks needed to look after a home/garden and animals for a period of time. It’s not all sunshine and sight seeing.

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We are sitters and agree with your point about garden needs.
Cutting the grass, watering plants and clearing leaves from the drive/yard etc are things we would do at our home and therefore we do them while we’re sitting.

We basically treat the pets and home and anything else exactly as we would if we were the owners.

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Good points in this thread. For us THS is more like a life enrichment program. We can certainly book some tropical resort for a vacation, but we don’t find that as enjoyable. Meeting new people, making friends and taking care of cute pets is a lot more enjoyable than sitting in some fancy hotel with a pool. With THS we get to visit locations which otherwise we wouldn’t even consider visiting. We get to live like locals and experience what life is in that part of the world. We don’t ask for much from the HOs, just treat us with mutual respect and we will respond by providing you with the best possible care for your pets.

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Thank you @Petermac. I too have begun to feel like when you find a well hidden gem of a location that is pristine, pure and natural and then the word gets out and suddenly it is now a major tourist site and the natural beauty that once existed is but a memory.

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I used to enjoy reading the forum and getting advice, now I limit my time here. Too many negative/complaining from humans! :smiley:

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We have the power to change that.
What’s good in your life?


I’m being watched in Spain.

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We joined THS to add another dimension to our already fulfilling retirement life. It truly feels like icing on the cake, to include these experiences into our journeys. We vacation when we vacation, and we sit when we sit. To get the full enjoyment from caring for pets, that’s all we do on a sit. Finding the right family, pet and location is just part of the fun…like working a big puzzle. I’m saddened at times by the complaints and drama, so I just do what I do IRL, I simply pass by those posts.

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What would be your top tips for an owner? Asking as I just joined. I’m not looking for a cheap holiday but have no choice with our pets but to have someone stay - dog has never been in kennels and would break my heart to put him in one, the cat has been once in a cattery and was upset for weeks after that and chicken are free-range and due to having foxes just beside our house someone needs to be here in the evening to make sure they all went in their secure house. We normally have a friend staying in our house but this time she is away. Happy to pay (in fact I thought you pay sitters who are from this site, not just the annual fee)
I only posted a few days ago and so far no luck so I’m not sure how it works or whether I need to add more to my listing… xx

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Hi @Monica78uk
You have a beautiful home and very nice listing. In your photos, you have several of the bright spacious living spaces and I love the coffee machine. Add one or two of where the sitter will actually sleep and maybe the bath area.
Be a little patient as you have a couple of months yet and just as there are last minute sits there are sitters who also book last minute. Payment is not allowed but you can of course be as gracious as you wish.
In the event that it gets nearer to your dates, the THS team here can assist you in “boosting” your listing if you wish on social media sites and such.
I think you will be fine.
Best wishes

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For me some pictures of the bedroom the sitter will use would be essential and of the bathroom as well.

What makes me wonder is why sitters need a car. I would scroll right by your ad because of this.
Can you specify if these distances are for walking or driving:

“…two parks just around the corner as well as Frensham Pond, Alice Holt and Bourne Woods. Perfect place for all ages with plenty to do. The town has nice shops, restaurants and bars. There is an antique market 1st Saturday of the month. Sculpture Park is a few minutes away from us…”

Is there public transport available? Bus Train? Where is the next supermarket or grocery store. Your ad is for Summer. Can you provide the use of bicycles if a car is not possible.

I do sits once a month for 1 week up to 10 days max when I go by myself and longer during holidays when my hubby comes along and I don’t need a car when public transport is good and I can ride a bicycle.

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Hello Monica78uk
Just had a peek at your listing and it looks lovely. I would change your first pic to either one of the nice interior ones or one of the cute pics of your pup. They would draw me to look further rather than the exterior one of your home.
Hope you find a sitter soon.

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Thank you! Great tips!
Being new to the site i didnt quite know how it works. I added sitter needs car as i thought that was me saying whether i can leave my car (which is a no a the moment as im trying to figure out whether insurance can be sorted for other users)
I love the forum as i received lots of good tips so will update the listing this weekend.

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@Amparo Got me thinking, next thing we know THS will be listed in a travel guide book.

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If they aren’t already. Or one of these blogs “how to holiday on a budget”

All I ask of a sitter is to treat my home like they would treat their home, and take great care of my little man (Jack Russell aged 13)
I am eternally grateful that they are looking after him so well.

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