When to book travel

Do you book all of your travel once the sit is confirmed? If the HO cancels after you’ve booked flights and whatnot, are you just on your own regarding your stay in that city or flight cancelation fees? Thanks!

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Many if not most of us, especially if traveling internationally will plan and book the destination first then look for sits in that area. Now that being said, if you have a particular destination in mind, look and see what the history is of that location as it relates to sits.
are there lots of sits now, in the past?
If it’s a place that rarely has listings then don’t book a flight unless you are prepared to just go and self cater and make other arrangements for where you will stay.
You can certainly apply first but some HOs are hesitant.
Personally I plan my sits after booking travel. You always have to be able to back yourself up if things don’t go as expected.


I am an international sitter from Malaysia. Since I planned to do house sitting for a few months in the UK, I made applications first. Once I had a few confirmed, I made my flight reservations outward. I only booked my home flight last minute before my trip. My first sit was to Sydney. Very straight forward. Flight out. House sit. Flight home. This UK trip I made plans from June until October. Thank goodness for homeowners who advertise early.

Would I do it differently now that I know how things work? Yes. I would not have many confirmed as I miss out on many more good sits who advertise nearer to the date. So far no ho has cancelled. (Touch wood I hope not).


We mostly travel train distance and usually pay the full price since there have been cancellations in the past and we have had to pay both for our early bird tickets + our tickets to our alternative destination. For us this year has been a bit better than the previous two, only 2 people cancelled their trip completely (one covid-related, the other flight-related). We might go back to booking our connection early and are even considering flying in December (if we’re allowed). I think THS has some insurance for cancellations if you are a premium member, but you would still have to travel to the area of the sit and THS would try to find you an alternative sit (read the fine print). We don’t expect any compensation from the HO and have never received any.

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Everyone is different. We choose an area and have a rough idea of what transportation costs will be. Then we apply for sits in the area, and then once we have our endpoints settled, we book our flights.

We do have cancellation insurance with our credit card as well as the THS insurance if we need that as well. But for the most part, we are quite happy to find a new sit or book an Airbnb if a sit is cancelled at the last minute.


When this happened, we just looked for an applied for alternate sits on our own, and we let THS what we had managed to find.

I tend to book fairly early. Most of my recent air travel I’ve booked using FF miles and these have been fully refundable if cancelled/changed.
But I’m sitting on some cash credits that I’ll be using soon. Delta, for tickets booked in the US except super economy, will issue a credit for cancellations.
I just put together a 6 week string of 3 sits in Australia and was able to snag business class SFO-SYD returning to DC for 670,000 miles. And I have a week sit in SF ending the day before I fly to Australia. I got lucky on the dates, other dates would have been 900,000 miles.
I also looked for innovative routings, for example, London or Paris to Australia on Vietnam Airlines can be had for about US$ 6000, but I’d still have had to get to LHR or CDG. If I’d had to spend 900,000 miles, the maybe routing through Vietnam would have been worth it.
Highly recommend google flights and it’s underlying software matrix.itasoftware.COM. Matrix let’s you insert lots of specific codes in your search - connecting cities, specific airlines, etc.


Sometimes, ok most times :smiley: I don’t even buy a return ticket because like you said lots of things pop up and if one has the freedom to do so, carpe diem.

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haha I am going to fly cross country, Columbia to Seattle for less than a direct flight to Orlando just for the miles to up my medallion status. Then I will fly to Orlando with miles and my new status upgrade. My upcoming trip to South America will be upgraded as well.
I had a couple of cruises scheduled (also accruing skymiles) and I was able to use the credit to go on a viking cruise, 5 nights, Denmark to Norway (Northern lights!) and another on a 7 night Mediterranean cruise in 2024. :smiley: I will book sits to “mind the gaps” when the time comes.

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I wanted to do that but I was afraid the immigration would not let me enter Scotland. The immigration at Edinburgh did not ask but funny enough Qatar Airways counter service requested to see proof of a return ticket. Weird. I was only transiting at Doha.

That is something that sometimes happens in some countries and is also dependent on where you are coming from. When and if that happens, you have the option of stepping to the side and booking a cheap flight to anywhere out of the country which is very, very easy to do. Usually it is not immigration but the airline itself that will ask and again it is dependent on mood of who is in front of you.
Do some homework. Talk to your airline. Research cheap flights out of wherever you are going. Use Google flights. And familiarize yourself with your country’s visa, travel requirements and such for each place you are visiting.

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As soon as my sit is confirmed I say I’ll book my flights etc. I then forward confirmation of my flight details to the HO. It may go wrong I guess but I think it shows I’m committed to the sit.
I always try and check visa requirements and flight costs prior to applying for a sit. So I don’t waste anyone’s time.
My first international sit I had the option to change my flight and I offered to do so due to HO flight getting cancelled by strike action. However said that’s not fair on you and they managed to get rebooked a few days later.
I work on the basis if you’re honest and open with HO then most will be the same with you.


@Petermac I do same Peter as you.

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