Use of food or car

I was wondering what I should include for my first house sitter’s arrival. For instance, should I offer access to my food in the house while they are house sitting. And is a gratuity allowed. Should I allow them the use of my car? This is my first using Trusted House Sitters.


@BigBenny2019 Welcome to the community forum, it’s so nice to have you here and you will find many helpful and experienced members that can help you with your first housesit.

If you use the spyglass there are topics which discuss similar things there.

Here are some example posts to get you started:

For us as sitters, we appreciate the use of a car if the dogs need walking away from the home and we need to drive them there. We have a fairly small car so if the requirement is to walk the dogs away from the property this helps us immensely. Plus if we fly, hire cars often do not allow dogs in them. So offering a car can help extend the pool of sitters, especially if you are in a rural location.

I am sure other members will help answer your questions and give their feedback as well.

Did you know that you can add your home listing to your forum profile and other members can connect with you and offer helpful feedback and tips?

Here is how:

If you need me to do that for you just let me know :grin:

@BigBenny2019 As sitters we always appreciate access to food basics- i.e oil, s&p, herbs/spices, condiments, fridge perishables etc. Especially if we are flying in. If driving we will probably have everything we need on board. But its always a nice gesture to offer these things. Many hosts also offer larder & freezer goods too (which we would only use in moderation)Some might leave a bottle of wine or other goodies too. Its all entirely optional! We have experienced extremes of all or nothing! And there are no expectations.

Re use of car. That too is entirely optional and depends on your comfort level. If you live in a rural area where a car is needed it would be a great bonus to allow use of your car as it will increase your pool of potential sitters. Car hire is pretty expensive in most places these days so its a definite plus. Also if a car is require for taking dogs to a dog walking place. E.g when in UK or on the continent like now we have our own car but we never take dogs in it. Mainly because- when ‘on the road’ we live out of the car- so its always full -but also we don’t want it full of dog hairs! To avoid this we always choose sits where the dogs can be walked directly from the door unless the host offers a dog car!
If the sitters don’t have a car and a car is not essential for the sit then there is no need to offer one. Many sitters choose to go by public transport and might not even want the responsibility of the hosts car anyway!!


@BigBenny2019 -
@Lokstar offers sound advice.
Use of spices and basics is always nice and some HOs kindly ask about a few things to have in house for the first days of a sit - for me some crusty bread or bagels and cheese and coffee for the 1st day’s breakfast before I go shopping are nice (or if it is a short sit). Some folks offer more and that is always appreciated.
A few folks have left a gift card for a favorite local restaurant - very much appreciated - both the recommendation and for buying me a meal.
Use of a car depends on the local situation and public transport. I usually ask about it and also ask for a rough location before accepting a sit so I can check google maps for access to restaurants, grocery stores, and attractions.

@BigBenny2019 Welcome to THS and the forum.
You have already received good advice from @toml @Lokstar @Carla_C .

Just to add - :soap: please make sure to leave sufficient cleaning supplies for your sitter to clean your home for the duration of their stay . As they will be living there and looking after your pets .

Nothing is expected but leaving something that will make your sitter feel appreciated is a welcoming gesture-could be food but doesn’t have to be .
For example we’ve had flowers cut from the garden in the guest room , and on another occasion in U.K. a pass to visit a local castle and gardens which were dog friendly .
On another occasion when we were required to arrive in the evening but the HOs wouldn’t be there - they left a meal for the first evening in the fridge - entirely unexpected but very much appreciated after our long journey.


As HO we provided a vehicle for out of area sitters.
As sitters we have been provided a vehicle four times.
Each was different: one HO offered their vehicle but asked us to pay the insurance premium for an add’l driver. We thought that was a fair approach and happily did so: we had the use of a great a car for two weeks in a rural area of a foreign country for about 20% of the cost of renting one!
Two others simply offered the keys with a request that we return it tanked up.
The last provided a car with the caveat that the insurance allowed them to have a 3rd party only a dozen days a year - so we accepted with the expectation of only using it for emergencies (home an easy walk to amenities & tourism sites - we didn’t really need the car except for shopping.)
In general? We don’t expect a vehicle, it’s great when it’s offered and fair to have rules around its use.
About food: perishables such as veg, fruit, dairy that will go past-due during your absence are expected to be used up - and of course the use of condiments. It would be unreasonable to expect someone to buy all the things needed for cooking when they’ll only use a fraction of those things.
In our experience both as HO and as sitters a welcome meal (whether in a local eatery or in the home) is standard, as well as at least enough for breakfast.
As sitters we reciprocate: make sure the HO has enough fresh food on their return for a couple meals & dep on circumstances, leave a meal ready. That is esp important when HO or sitter is doing a long distance trip!

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