Hi everyone, I have a sit booked in Bangkok which finishes on July 6 and have been invited to another which begins on the same day in Singapore. This is obviously pretty tight and we are not willing to commit to a flight out of the city until the owners are safely on their return flight in. The Singapore pet owners are okay with us arriving the next morning because the cats will be alright overnight on their own. Does anyone have any advice or views on such a tight handover schedule?
It would make me nervous about a tight handover that relies on a flight - but if the homeowner is aware of the potential for issues, and you won’t turn into a puddle of anxiety stressing about it, I think it would be a shame to miss out on a sit you both want to go ahead. I’m a sitter now but when I was the pet owner I always had backup plans, like a paid sitter or friend who could drop in if there were unexpected delays or issues. If your discussion about it wasn’t very robust it might be worth really talking it out with the homeowner, and maybe even the first homeowner too. I have given the ok for sitters to leave a bit early because I could use my backup plan. Like me, the first homeowner might think there’s no need to hold off on your other plans since they could manage in another way if they were delayed. Communication is always good as long as it’s clear they can say no.
I have cats and I usually tell sitters that if they can’t be here the day I leave, the next day is fine. Cats sleep about 18 hours a day, so leaving them alone for a day - with lots of dry food and water available - is fine, assuming they don’t have special feeding or medication needs. For long sits, I’ve given even more flexibility because I can ask a friend to check the cats before the sitter arrives.
If your Singapore HO has a backup plan in case your flight is delayed, I would be fine with this arrangement.
Thanks so much Lassie and DeeKay for your advice, it’s super helpful…
@Dee - We often do tight handovers but always ask the home host that in the unlikely event that we are delayed by any significant amount of time could they give us the contact details of someone that would be able to help out. ( We have never had to use them so far!)
Thanks Colin, I feel confident that this is doable now…
To be honest, I wouldn’t be comfortable with that. What if your flight into Singapore is massively delayed or canceled?
We would ‘split up’ in that case. One of us moves onto the next destination while the other one stays at the previous one. Like that, both sits are covered no matter what.
Of course if the owner has a back-up plan for the first few days, then I’d risk it.
We frequently do back to back sits with very tight schedules. Usually we communicate with both hosts to coordinate handovers- i e leaving one sit earlier to get to the next sit same day- and/or arriving after the hosts leave. So far its always worked out if everyone is able to be flexible! We’ve also done split sits where the sits completely overlap by a day or two- and as a couple its manageable- if not always ideal! But sometimes splitting up for a night or two gives the chance to take up a great opportunity or helps fill an otherwise costly gap!
If we were in your situation- because there are flights involved- we would talk with both hosts to check if they have back up plans if needed & it feels OK for them etc.
Then -if possible -we’d definitely go for it!
As long as you feel that you yourselves can manage it -timewise- without compromising anything- then its just a matter of logistics!
I am doing something similar next month for a cat sit in South Korea. We will be coming from Vietnam on a late night flight the day the owners leave, arriving there very early in the morning the next day. In the event of any serious delays, the HO said she has someone who can look in on the cat so we aren’t worried about it.
Like others have said, unless it is going to cause you a lot of stress, just go for it. In a situation like this, the most important thing to me would be the HO being okay with the arrangement and it seems like they are.
Having flown all around the world for 12 years-- housesitting for 9 of them-- we never had a cancelled flight until a few months ago, and we were notified a day before and were able to easily rebook. We have never had a flight that was delayed by more than a few hours.
In the dozens of sits we have done where the HO had flown to their destination, there was only one whose flight was cancelled and they couldn’t arrive back the day they were supposed to.
Of course anything can happen, but I think statistics are on your side that the flight will leave as planned, or if delayed, not to the extent it would seriously impact your schedule.
We have had 2 flights in the last couple of years that were delayed 24 hours with no other options plus home owners whose flight was delayed 3 days due to winter weather. Due to this we plan to arrive the day before the sit when there are dogs and if it is a cat to check the owners have a back up plan in case of delays.
I’d be asking for a back-up plan, just in case, for such a tight schedule. Flying these days is so unpredictable.
Thank you so much everyone for your advice,
Many thanks for your opinion and advice KC. To follow up, we spoke with the Singapore HO last night, she was completely at ease with the arrangement and said she sometimes left the kitties alone for two or three days with their auto feeder and a friend checking in on them daily. So with this solid backup plan in place we happily went ahead and booked the sit in. We also kept the Bangkok HO in the loop. This forum is really great - the sitter and HO community are what make this THS website so good.