When listing vacation dates

When putting up our vacation dates should we add a day or so for the handover and handback at the start and end or just state our departure and arrival days from our home?

Hi @LilyBenbecula.

It is best if you include those extra dates in your listing. That way, if a sitter has to travel far, or is coming from another sit, they know exactly when you want them to arrive, but make it clear in your listing or in later conversations that this includes a handover and return period, especially if overnights are included - some sitters are a bit nervous about spending an overnight with strangers and it is best to be clear.


Edit : @LilyBenbecula I posted about your user name before I spotted your other post…


Too busy travelling the world right now, one day I’ll spend a bit more time and see more of Scotland!!

I think including extra shoulder days depend on several factors. Two examples:

  1. An extra day was included on each side of our 10-day sit not only to allow for handovers, but also in case our flights were delayed (“Time to spare? Go by air!” :airplane: ). The listing mentioned that overnight shoulder days could be modified according to the sitters needs. Also discussed: the sitter would have the master bedroom even if we were home as it is more private and comfortable, and that our sole bathroom would need to be shared during the overlap.

  2. For a short 3 day sit, with sitters only a 3-hour drive away and us traveling via car, the listing did not include shouIder days as the stay is more predictible – but we did discuss any possible eventualities with the sitters incl. that if we were somewhat delayed, they could simply depart prior to our return. Backing that plan up is an agreement with neighbors who have house keys and can drop in for our furry children in case of a lengthy unforeseen return delay.

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To avoid any confusion It is really important that the dates you list start the day you want your sitter to arrive, and end the day you want your sitter to leave. ( which may be different than your actual holiday dates )


Benbecula is in the Outer Hebrides, Western Isles of Scotland situated between North & South Uist. A good round trip starting Oban or Mallaig over snd work your way up via causeways and ferries to Isle of Lewis where you can cross to Ullapool.


Thank you for asking! We always ask, during our video chat, if the listed dates are the days the sitter is to be there or the HOs travel dates. Sometimes they coincide but often they don’t. This becomes part of the handover discussion, details to be worked out between sitter and HO.


Thank you for the reply. Communication is key.

Depending on your animals and the amount of stuff you have to tell the sitter an hour to a day is good. But it’s just not about passing on information a shared meal and a glass of wine is a good way of getting to know each other and it gives confidence to each party. On a recent sit we spent the evening with the owners before they left in the morning. It was an off grid sit and we did have to be shown lots. But the lady of the house remarked after dinner how calm and confident we were about the whole sit. She left the next morning with a spring in her step.
You live in a beautiful and wild area we have sailed around most of the west coast. The best sailing region in the world but I may be biased as I am from Scotland although NE. A summer sit in that area would be wonderful. Not sure about In the winter though.


Both ways are acceptable depending on circumstances. Sometimes home owners have included extra change over days in their listings and others haven’t. I have frequently ended up adding another day to start and finish dates. This can sometimes be as HO is happy for you to arrive the morning of departure if able to arrive on time, or night before if travelling a distance. The same goes for your departure. Many HO are more than happy for you to stay an extra night, rather than leave late in the day they arrive back but you would be free to go if you wished. If possible I always like to arrive the day before as it gives the home owner peace of mind that there will not be any last minute panic, of you not arriving on time due to traffic etc . It is also a chance for you to get to know the pets and the routines and workings of the house before the owners set off. But extra days are always discussed prior to accepting the sit, so can list as you prefer.