When leaving a sit do you leave a gift or do something special and if TrustedHousesitters had an e shop with merchandise, for pets and humans (branded or not) would you find it useful?
Sometimes I have left a card but generally my ‘gift’ may have been cooking a meal. Do you ask this same question of owners? A bottle of wine or chocolates would always be welcome! I was brought back gifts by two of the NZ owners which was lovely and also given a gift by one of my Airbnb hosts.
We always try and cook a homecoming meal or bake a cake depending on handover times. Wouldn’t necessarily buy a gift but always offer to get shopping for their return if they need it.
I often bring some gifts from Provence (I thought it would be a nice idea when I went to Costwolds to bring lavender, and discovered there was lavender all around the owners’ s home ! I felt ashamed !) some bottles of wine if I drive (difficult by plane, I travel light with only hand luggage and they do accept only duty free shops bottles…) or a liquor we make at home. Sometimes I give them on my departure as I don’t meet the owners on my arrival
My “gift” can be a meal prepared (my husband is a good cook) for the return of the owners. I would never try to cook myself, when I’m alone ! French cuisine fame would be ruined !
But since I found a site which transforms photos, I often send photos of the pets to the owners. I make special “montages” to make them laugh.
My partner is a great cook, so we’ll often leave a welcome home snack that can keep for a while (usually homemade hummus or banana bread). Often, travel times means that we might not see the owners when they return, or some prefer that to get settled back into their home after a long journey. With everyone having different dietary preferences (ourselves included), we prefer not to do a meal, unless we’ve already talked about this beforehand (which has happened a few times).
I think a merchandise shop would be AWESOME because I can imagine so many sitters and owners would love to represent THS. But this isn’t something we would buy as a gift for owners. As nomads, it would be hard to time up delivery, get the right sizing for clothes, and we don’t know if someone wants to accumulate more items. Hence why we prefer to give food! =)
At the beginning we always left a gift, like an orchid or something that fit the owners. I don’t like to cook for others, but I did make a spaghetti dinner one time and it was a big hit. I do try to have basics in the fridge when we leave. Not sure why but we don’t leave gifts as often, hmmm, may need to think about this. I do like leaving a thank you card that also includes any pet info that happened from the last time we had been in contact.
I probably would not leave TH merchandise, BUT I have thought for some time that it would be an excellant idea for TH to have branded and non-branded items for sale. Yes please.
Of course we try to leave the house sparkling clean when we leave, who wants to come home to a dirty house.
We have left gifts for owners. The gifts vary based on the situation; everything from zucchini bread where the zucchini was harvested from the owners garden, to a small framed photo montage of “pet poses” while the owner was away, to a simple thank you card. As stated by @worldtraveler , we leave the home sparkling clean and that tends to generate the biggest response.
Inexpensive THS branded picture frames would be awesome because who doesn’t love cute pictures of their beloved pet(s).
Welcome to the Forum @JDitto it’s great that you could join the conversation and I’m so envious of your next housesitting stay … Bainbridge Island, WA you are in for a wonderful treat, it’s a stunning place with lovely people and some great food … try Heyday Farms they have a small restaurant/take away in Lynwood Centre but the “Centre Table” is at their farm restaurant, if you can get a reservation as they are only open two days a week. It’s worth the try though.
Welcome again …
Oh yes, I forgot to say that! I’d always ask if they need any groceries on their return.
I once left HO a coloured sketch of their pet which went down hugely well. But mostly we cook a meal for owners return or bake some flapjacks, leave an assortment of nice fruits in a bowl and basics in their fridge, their house sparking and pets happy. We always ask us if they need any specific items.
Of course it is often based on a sit by sit occasion. We’ve been left a £50 meal voucher, a completely food full fridge, a huge Christmas ham, of course we left flowers, chocs and a cake for those owners. Just recently the owners couldn’t fly to Spain, instead holidayed in Greece, so I made them a Paella for them on their return (always have some saffron with us haha).
The one thing we like about the THS house sitting concept is that no money changes hand, could it get a bit commercial if there was a gift shop and then sitters and owners feel pressure to buy a gift.
Least you can do isn’t it?
We sound so alike as we always leave a meal or a cake if possible. The lack of money changing hands gives the whole experience a depth of trust and friendship. We’ve made so many friends.
Yes us too , that must mean such a lot to the owners, for a grateful Sit.
As an owner, we do not ever expect to get a gift. In fact it makes us feel guilty if we don’t get something for the sitters! The best gift is when the sitters have the place clean and do their laundry before leaving, but even that we do not expect.
We always take a little something as a thank you and usually leave a card too (I always try to buy a card at home as some countries just don’t seem to ‘do’ cards! ) If we end up staying the night the day the owners are due back I always cook a meal and ensure that there’s stuff in the fridge for their first day home. Wherever possible I do the laundry and always make sure the house is clean and the animals clean and waggy tailed!
We usually like to cook something tradicional from our home countries
We occasionally leave a gift … flowers or something edible on a long sit or where there’s been a particularly awesome exchange or we’ve been left something unexpected. On a short sit we tend to just leave a welcome home pack of supplies after determining from their fridge what they usually buy. On a long sit or where they are traveling long distance we might leave food and before Covid we’d often cook a return meal especially if staying over until following day. I guess we have no fixed format for this… each sit can be different. Personally we wouldn’t leave branded product as it feels like it turns the value exchange into a sales exercise - but … we do love wearing our branded T-shirts, caps, etc. So, more for having gear to represent THS than to give as gifts.
If you are suggesting h/owners have same option to gift sitters: We often get lovely food and drink left by owners as treats and we’d always prefer this over product, as we travel very light. We’ve spent years getting rid of our stuff
Hi Fran, welcome to the Forum testing team and that’s such a lovely idea, sharing traditions and authentic tastes … perhaps share a “secret” recipe with our testing community.
I have a lentil soup recipe which I adjust to the owner’s taste … staying in their home and using their kitchen we learn their preferences. If there are chillies and lots of pungent spices, curry powder, harissa etc I know I can “heat” up the soup, likewise milder and more subtle condiments, I adjust to taste … I’m often asked for the recipe.
The other thing I do is mail a “Welcome Home, We Missed You” photo upload card from the pets, via Moonpig.com
@Angela-CommunityManager Love the welcome home card, what a lovely idea.
Love it too !