Traveling with a Friend

Hi all — this is my first question and I hope I’m posting it correctly…
I’m a TrustedHousesitters member with a good amount of experience and excellent reviews. I plan on doing an extended road trip in Europe (I’m from the US) with a close friend who is also a huge animal lover but not a THS member. I applied for a THS sit and was not chosen. I’m wondering if this might be because I said I’d be traveling with a friend.
Question to HOs — is this an immediate disqualification because that person is not vetted or might some of you like the “backup” of another person? Should I not even bother applying for sits if someone else is with me?
All input appreciated. Thank you.

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Hi Edith
The first thing I would say is you ultimately have no idea what the homeowner was looking for in their sitter and why they chose the person they did. It may have had nothing to do with ‘rejecting’ you in particular but rather the reality HO’s can only choose one person so I wouldn’t read too much into that or any ‘rejection’ that doesn’t explicitly come with a reason. Some people probably wouldn’t be comfortable with it but others wouldn’t care, much like people who sit with their children. The worst that happens is you don’t get picked so no reason not to try. You never know what people are looking for in a sitter or what they are comfortable with. You may come across a HO who has fond memories of traveling with a best friend and would love to give you the opportunity. We really never know who we will connect with and what opportunities will arise.

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Thanks for your response, KC. I didn’t really phrase my question well. I didn’t take it personally that I wasn’t chosen — I’ve gotten plenty of sits. I just question whether it’s a big NO-NO to ask if a non-vetted friend can accompany me. I appreciate your take. Thank you.

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Hi @Edith and how exciting to now be able to plan long road trips again! I think you’ll get some good member feedback on this question, but to help that I’ve just moved this question into the combined owner/sitter category so that hopefully you’ll also get that owner feedback you are asking for.

I do know sitters who travel sometimes with friends so it’s definitely feasible, it’s just finding those owners who are open to this. Just one suggestion from me… Have you included any extra information in your profile about your friend to reassure owners? Good luck and we look forward to seeing more about your trip!!

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Hi @Edith - I don’t think travelling with your friend will be a major obstacle in finding sits. If you already have good reviews then potential home hosts will be reassured by them. I would mention your friend in your profile, who they are? how long have you been friends? why you have decided to travel together etc then wait for your first acceptance as a duo. Once you have your first review mentioning you both then it should be plain sailing from there onwards. Good luck!

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Hello @Edith ,
to me as a HO it would not be a problem. I would only have to know beforehand about your and your friend’s sleeping preferences. I rather like to know right away if I would have to prepare one or two bedrooms.
To me, only the THS member is the one responsible for the cats and house. At the same time the THS member is also responsible for the friend staying in our house. I hope this makes sense.
Good luck with finding sits together.

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While it’s difficult to pinpoint why you were not chosen for the European sit, one of the reasons could be that the HO was reluctant to confirm a sitter from abroad. Recently, a HO in Switzerland, who had previously taken sitters from abroad, told me that she will only be taking local sitters for the near future. Her reason is that she had some issues at the beginning of the pandemic and had to cancel her travel plans. Of course, no one wants to confirm a sit with someone and then have to postpone or cancel it completely.

Although I live in Switzerland, which is a short flight to the UK, I received some instantaneous rejections from HOs in the UK who hadn’t even opened my application letters. My hunch is that they saw my location and didn’t want a sitter from abroad.

After those first rejections, I quickly learned to write that my daughter lives in London and that I could easily stay with her if a HO needed to cancel a sit because their travel was canceled due to a positive Covid test, etc. This seemed to provide the necessary comfort level for some HOs. They don’t want a sitter to be stuck without a place to stay if the HO can’t travel because of changing regulations.

Good luck and happy travels!

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Hi @Edith, I would definitely include details of your friend on your profile if you intend to sit together so that HOs are aware that there will be two of you sitting… I’m not sure how the THS insurance would be affected, if at all, with a non THS person staying in the house, maybe @Vanessa-Admin, or @Therese-MembershipService could advise…

As a HO we always prefer having two people sit for us rather than a single person, Because we have was big old house and 3 dogs…

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Thanks so much for moving me to the right category, Vanessa — I’m feeling a bit reassured. :blush:

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Thanks, Colin. I appreciate the feedback.

Thanks, Düsenzofe! That’s good to know.

I know an applicant from out of country would certainly give me pause, unfortunately. We will be “winging” out travels, so hopefully can pick up some last minute sits on the fly, once we’re in the area.

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I understand many people prefer a second person. I suppose it’s always the same — some see the second person as a bonus, some as an unknown. Thanks for your input.

I believe it is totally doable but perhaps you should update your profile for the time period that you are no longer a solo sitter. There is no need to say that this person is “new” or temporary. Just redo your profile to reflect that now you are two and update it as necessary when you go solo again. Of course I would not expect or demand that two rooms be made available but it is something that can certainly be discussed when you have your conversation.
Have fun and happy travels with your friend.
oh and don’t take anything personal or “wonder” too long. That right one will come.

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Thank you, Amparo (and everyone else!) — I will certainly update my profile before applying for any more sits. All excellent advice!

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Great first question by the way.
Updating the profile will show that you are being up front where the other way sounds like an add on “oh BTW…”
Cheers!

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Hi @Foldor13 The Forum members, as always, have given you some really good advice.
and As @Düsenzofe mentions correctly. The sitter member is the one responsible for the cats and house and is also responsible for their friend being there. Communication is always between the homeowner and the sitter I hope this helps. warm regards Therese

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I turned down a couple travelling with a friend of the wife, but it was more a case of not wanting three people staying.

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I travel mostly in SE Asia when possible, and am based in Singapore, staying with a friend, when not travelling.
On a few of my longer sits I have asked, in my initial application, if my friend could join me for a short time - maybe a week or so as I mostly do longer sits. I detail my friend’s experience and occupation.

I have had mixed reactions.

Some Homeowners have replied immediately saying no problem, your friend is very welcome.

Some have not even replied to my application, and one was ok with the idea until the day before I was due to travel, which was disappointing, but I did the sit anyway.
I did add my friend to my profile for a few weeks but found that this DID put people off for some reason, however, if I mention it in my application it seems to be more acceptable…

On one occasion it turned out that one HO knew the other when I arrived, one was in Thailand, the other in Indonesia - they were friends on FB, and the day I arrived I am sure that the HO messaged the other to confirm that my friend was reliable, and only then confirmed that it was ok for my friend to join me for a week.

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Thank you for your input, Marj.