What exactly does “Sitters Need A Car” mean?

re: my first ever TH Sit:
You all are so helpful. I feel so much better from all the replies, and guidance. Thank you all. I am determined to serve my best in this sit, and so, having heard back from Host, she said:

· it is a 45-mins walk to bus, which is fine and easy for me,


· a taxi from the train, which I do not know how far that is, but better than $1,200. for rental car, I am hoping!

I suggested maybe my most affordable option is to walk to bus, when I can, and take a few taxis for the luxury sometimes of ease. I only need 3 to 6 bus trips in 12- day-sit for fun, exploring, and food.

I love to walk many times a day locally. I will happily walk our 3 dogs, snuggle with the dogs, clean and tidy, make healthy foods, and enjoy the local area. I have been to Edinburgh many times, so no strong need or urgency to get out for this sit. I am moving to Scotland, and will have years ahead to explore further out from the sit area.

I would love your suggestions, as I am brand new to living in The UK.

We will be in London, 11 May, maybe taking a train to Edinburgh, by 20 May, and need to make my way about 47 mins north to the Sit by 25 May.
Have you taken a train from London to Edinburgh? Or a bus?
I may do one of those. I love trains and buses.

(I would rather not say the location, for privacy of host.)
Any insights and ideas are welcome.

Thanks, Claire + Tarkina, the service dog by my side.

Hi @anon84784007,
Great you’re getting your plans in place for your return to Scotland.
Have you discussed with your HO how you will get the pets (or your own dog) to the vet if there is an emergency? Most important to have this is in place.

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this is wild! I know exactly where this photo was taken as I am from Santa Fe and also know Taos well. When my husband and I were traveling through europe we found the rates to be a lot cheaper than in the US for rental cars and it was pretty easy and straightforward. We mostly used Europecar because they typically had the best rates…but maybe a lot has changed since then. I hope you find a good safe transportation option for your sit but you do still have a fair amount of time for it all to come together.

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Use Trainline.com to book the trains in advance it makes a huge difference to the cost, especially on trips like Edinburgh to London. Flix Bus is super cheap around Europe now including a few UK routes but Edinburgh to London would not be for me…too long in a small space! Trains :tram: all the way

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Here in the UK, sitter needs a car could well mean that it is out in the middle of nowhere. I have done a couple of sits now, where having to drive from a minor ‘B’ road down some very winding narrow single track lanes for 4 - 6 miles, where there may just be a passing place if lucky. Frequently having to reverse up a long way, if meeting another vehicle. Had to reverse into a field gateway once, to let a tractor pass. May not be a bus service on the ‘B’ road or limited to two a day. If sitting for two weeks or more would be very difficult to get out and buy shopping. I did do a house sit in Australia once that said sitter needed a car but they let me use theirs even though not stated in their listing.


Thanks so much for the specifics, as I had no idea, and now I do. I appreciate your insights, so I can plan my trainline.com travel ahead of time, unless I find a car to buy from The US, online, which seems ridiculous, to me.

At Taos News.

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[quote=“temba, post:22, topic:30539”]
how you will get the pets (or your own dog) to the vet if there is an emergency
[/quote] Temba ~ I am aware that is a serious consideration, and we have yet to cross that bridge. I know we will. Thanks, Claire

@anon84784007 I suggest you have another conversation with the home owner asap about the lack of car and getting the pets to the vet in an emergency as @temba mentioned. It’s best practice to bed this down before confirming the sit to avoid ending up in a tricky situation.

We are currently 3 months in to our 4.5 month grand adventure doing 11 sits in regional UK and totally reliant on public transport. In our planning and before accepting sits we went to great lengths to check out transport & shops access on Google maps. Taxis and Ubers don’t operate 24/7 in a lot of regional areas and buses often don’t operate on Sundays and public holidays. There are currently rolling UK train strikes and trains are often disrupted due to weather or cancelled due to staff shortages. Trainline.com has been our best tool for the trains and Traveline.com for buses. A 45 minute walk to/from the bus is ok if it is not raining and you are not carrying bags of groceries.


Thank you, for every helpful hint here. I have saved it all, for future use, and do indeed plan on following up with all necessary details, and emergency planning.

My host said she did not get my message in a timely manner last time, so I do not hear back from her for a day or two, odd.
She is a great communicator, so it is the messaging delaying her, I think. We will see. I hope she replies soon.
See you in the UK.

Your photos are wonderful. I saw them.

As an HO - I checked both options in my ad. I live on an isolated farm with no public transportation or taxi service available, so a car is absolutely needed. AND I’m willing to let the sitter use my car or truck, so a car is available to them. So I guess there should be a third option: a car is needed and the HO is willing to let the sitter use their car, assuming the sitter has a driver’s license.


There is an option for you to tick ‘use of car included’. It’s particularly nice to offer use of your car if you have dogs to be transported or if, like yours, the home is remote so the sitter can at least get to a supermarket. Rental cars generally don’t allow dogs

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So nice, and with the Sitter being insured is key.

Thank you, Manette for this truly helpful question.

I have learned so much from this. With long thoughtful prayer and consideration, I decided to ask how it would be for the Host to cancel my Sit, due to my having A very strong need to be reliable, and to give the Host a proper relaxing time in our exchange.

It is way too complicated for me to buy a car within 2 weeks of landing in my new home country (UK from USA), or to rent a car for the price ($1,200.) of a fancy hotel for the same 12-day sit.

I am grateful for this learning experience. It was intense, and I lost sleep, which I rarely do, because I care deeply about being dependable and doing a great job.

In this case, canceling was the best option, after the lovely Host assured me twice that she had other applications and not to worry. She was VERY kind, and understanding, and I assured her I meant well, but had no way of knowing what I learned on this first ever confirmed Sit. Now I know.

May we all have such Grace in this process: kindness, mutual respect, and understanding. I am very humbled by the experience, and it gave me clarity about what I need, and when I can be of service to others;
after I have a car, and
when I am stable and settled in my brand new country.
(Moving from Maui, USA to Scotland, UK, at 59 years old is a big deal, and I see now, I need to be more patient and gentle with myself in this transition, and not jump into serving others, who need me to have a car sooner than I need one for myself, and before my needs are met for simplicity and orientation,
and so it is.)


It seems that no one answered you :frowning:

There is no state called New England, but there is Nebraska and you were spot on for New Hampshire…

Plenty of American screw up the ones that are close, like MA ME MS MO

(Massachusetts, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri… I think!)

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Yes - some owners actually specify they’d like the sitter to have car in case of emergencies

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I have to disagree. I think car rental in the UK is v expensive atm (over 20GBP a day and that doesn’t include insurance) and often little availability. A lot of rental companies sold off cars during COVID and/or put their prices up for ‘enhanced cleaning’ and have never put them down. Another issue - a lot of rental companies have it in their terms and conditions that you can’t have animals in their cars, so if it’s necessary to travel with a pet you could be in violation.

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@BJane I’ve just rented (& returned) a car for 9 days for £130 to & from Birmingham airport which I thought was a total steal. I used EASIRENT through travelsupermarket :+1:


My hero, Cuttlefish, Thank you for this real life, amazing story! I have a sense I could find better deals in person, but do not feel comfy making confirmed sits based on my guesses, again! I am so glad to hear of your success, and the sources, EASIRENT, thru Travelsupermarket. (SAVED for future enjoyment.)

As of today, I have a sit, with a (generous, kind, + thoughtful) Host’s car,
and can now embark on this epic journey of being a Trusted Housesitter, hallelujah!

What a privilege.

Thank you!

Claire + my Sidekick, girl dog: Lady Tarkina Snowfire

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Agreed, Jane, I found only $100. /day at the least, and decided to stay the course of waiting until I buy a car, but now a host has said I can use their car. I am so grateful for this!