Welcome Guide, Please Provide One!

16 posts were split to a new topic: Your help needed to improve the Welcome Guide

These posts made me wonder if my welcome guide is getting to the sitters. (I’m away right now so I texted the sitters to see whether they got it). She just sent me a reply that she doesn’t see one posted. So…how do I get one to her?

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Just got updated text and she did find it! Hooray.


Our first sitter gave us a list of questions (her “requirements”!) and we dutifully completed that and have built on it since. I prefer to do it on word as I can print it out and leave it for people. I think having to log onto the THS when you are figuring out dustbins, passwords etc a bit fiddly (having done housesits). Our housesitters have liked our doc and the additional info on restaurants, supermarkets etc. It’s not perfect, no doubt, but comprehensive. I update it each time. I now no longer email it, and have excluded some of the very detailed info that the initial sitter required as I’m on what’s app if necessary. (e.g. name of electricity company!). No doubt that had been useful to her in other sits.


The name of the electric company is useful if you have to report a power outage.


Many of you will have seen that @ArjunaTHS is working on the very topic of Welcome Guides to see how this can be improved for members. If you haven’t already seen and completed the survey, here’s a link to the thread and document:

Your feedback is very much appreciated :slight_smile:
Thanks all!


Fair enough - I guess we have a very active What’s app group on the road so most things like that would be reported by neighbours in my absence :slight_smile: But our guide is pretty comprehensive for emergencies like this, hopefully!

:rofl::rofl::rofl: I can’t remember any power outage in Germany. There are regions where this occurs often, I am aware, and there knowing the name of the company is important, but for here it made me laugh.

@nikki , I had an air conditioner go out in August one year. It didn’t affect any other house. I had to call the power company who sent someone out to troubleshoot. Imagine if this happened to your sitter and you were unreachable, say, on a flight, on a cruise or in an area with poor Internet reception. I also had a high tension wire come down near the house and start a fire. Time was of the essence. There was no time to hope a neighbor would take care of it. I realize all these details are a pain to include in your Welcome Guide or home info packet, but they could be needed in an emergency.

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There was a very long period of time that I experienced power outages on my sits, both in the US and the UK. I have had power lines down, trees fall, AC units blow out…
So if one lives in an area where this “never” happens fantastic however there are places that are prone to this due to the geographical location and/or the seasonal weather.
For example, some areas have hurricane season, earthquakes, typhoons…

The HO knows the potential and probable situations and should provide any pertinent information including where emergency equipment if needed can be found.


In this case the power company would not be able to do anything. Here you would need to call customer service of the company that installed it.
Same thing with the central heating. We pay for a 24 hrs trouble shooting in case it doesn’t work.
So yes, you‘re certainly right that this belongs in the welcome guide.

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Yes, you’re right. We called the HVAC company first, they trouble shot over the phone. When there was no obvious issue with the equipment, they told us to contact the power company.

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Welcome guides are so important! I’ve had hosts tell me that everything is in a binder that I will see when I arrive. But if they expect something that we haven’t discussed and that I don’t do (lawn mowing, clipping cat nails etc), then we could have a problem. Everything needs to be clear before the sit starts.


Hi @Rebecca_R
If a HO says that they have a binder at home, I ask them to email it to me as soon as the sitting is confirmed. I even held back confirmation until I received the details once.

Since I currently don’t have any trips/sitters I don’t see any way to access the welcome guide. set up. I would love to be able to print it out so that I could work on improving it before I edit it on line. Is there any way to do that?

I copy and paste everything in my welcome guide from THS to a personal file on my iPad. There I add or delete topics which apply or don’t to the next sitter. I send this file approximately 2 weeks before the sit begins to the sitter to go through it and if they have any questions there’s still time to answer them. I then go over the file for another time and print it to leave in our house.
If I have the time I also update the THS welcome guide but the important one is actually my own.

Thank you. That looks like a good workable plan

I have a Welcome Guide as offered by the THS site, but I also made my own Guide. This is a Word file that I update as needed. It is about as comprehensive as I could make it, thinking not just of the pet care expectations, but of the sitters’ enjoyment. I live in a fairly tourist-friendly city, so I include a little bit of everything:

  • a google map of the area with trams, shops, vet, and home highlighted
  • food shopping suggestions
  • restaurant suggestions
  • public transit options
  • recycling, garbage, etc rules

One page of the guide is dedicated to the three cats: A photo of each cat with their name and then followed by specific feeding / medication rules.

I email this document to the sitter at least a week before if possible, and then leave a printed copy on the kitchen table for them to easily reference. I also have a “Tourist Box” that is full of local guides, maps, pamphlets, etc, for them to better know what is in the area.


Thank you @DantesDame , very thoughtful

As a sitter who just received the first guide to read, it’s truly appreciated when a HO makes the effort to proved so much helpful info. I applaud you for your hints for others to follow. Although I’ve read it several times, is possible for me as a sitter to print mine out?