Why Longer Sits Are Easier?

I’m a digital nomad and longtime traveler who has finally hit a groove with TH, and one thing I’m realizing is how much easier the longer sits are in many ways.

I treat sits mostly as little breaks or holidays, and as I was still new to the platform I was taking short sits to test things out, but I’ve realized the rush of short sits can cause issues with miscommunication or stacked schedules.

Obviously when HOs are traveling I don’t want to bombard them with messages or calls, and if I do have to contact them, it may take a day or so for them to answer. If your sit is only 4 days then you may only have 1 or 2 chances to ask things.

It can also be more difficult to settle in and find things in the house (especially big houses) or neighborhood.

But with multi-week sits there is plenty of time to settle in with the space, the pet, and sort any questions with the HO at a leisurely pace. You truly get to know the ins and outs of the house and feel more confident “running” it like a sitter.

Plus of course if you’re traveling for a sit, it’s nicer to unpack and have some time to really enjoy it before you have to pack up and make travel arrangements again.

Anyone else find that they prefer longer sits? Or do you like shorter ones? What are the factors in your decision?

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We’re a retired couple and just starting out so only doing shorter local sits (within 2 hours drive) this summer/autumn. The aim is to build a string of 5* reviews… however I think I may have caught the pet sitting bug :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: so next year this might change to longer sits but not during April-Aug as I love my home/roof garden/City. When we visit our family in Perth Australia we’re looking for longer sits to test out various suburbs as we might move there some time in the future…so I think it’s a mix for us depending on our priorities.

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1-2 weeks are what we consider ideal, no real intention of going much past that.
We aren’t nomadic though, we have a house, i suppose that makes a big difference.

If it works for you, keep on doing it and enjoying it :grinning:

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We prefer longer ones, 3 weeks or more, or return visits, but we do shorter ones too. Both the longer stays and return visits mean we can really relax more and we already know our favourite eating places/shops for the extra weeks or return visits, and while we don’t see it as a holiday, we see it as just a different and fun way of life.

The shorter stays if it’s a return visit are great, because they give the same relaxed feeling, with shorter stays we feel we miss a whole day just organising the cleaning side of things & washing sheets etc, and yes arranging the schedule is easier when there is less.

But the shorter ones are great for filling in gaps now and again.

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Yes the longest sit I’ve done so far was 2.5 weeks, and the only reason it was hard was the dog was soo sad its owner had left! Lots of doggy moping and crying, which of course had me cuddling him non stop and trying to distract him with play and treats. Maybe this was also a convenient way to get more attention :joy: as I got along with the dog really well and he wanted interaction always. But this made it much more difficult to work from home, so I guess this is a drawback to a longer time commitment. This is a rare occurrence, though, as most animals I sit are pretty well-adjusted. (I don’t fault the dog for this either, it’s normal to miss your humans!)

All true, however, house sits can sometimes be a bit of a gamble. Longer house sits, no matter how convenient, can feel very long if the location, accommodation, pets, neighbor, or whatever is not quite to your liking. It doesn’t need to be a major thing but with time … you might find yourself wishing the sit would end so that you can travel and explore other places

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We are full-time sitters and 2-4 weeks is our sweet spot.

Any shorter we find all the moving too exhausting, any longer and we are itching to move on.

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Luckily we are retired so have no work distractions.
We really spoil the pets though, in the sense we rarely go out without them :grinning:

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I can see that. Perhaps there is a typical flow to using the platform: you start out with short sits, figuring out what works for you, and you graduate into longer sits and more ambitious locations. If sitting works for you and you “catch the bug”, I imagine you may also have repeat HO matches as well—assuming you did a shorter sit with them to start and are ready to go again for a longer duration.

For those of us bouncing around locations the contexts and types of sits we want may still change from month to month, but I would love to have a repeat HO listing I could count on in a place I frequent.

I have noticed that more HO listings seem to include terms like “ideally looking for a local and/or repeat sitter”.

For me 1-3 weeks depending location. There’s plenty of places where I could enjoy myself very well for say 2 weeks, but would start to get bored if I had to be there for 1+ month. Which may also be the result of for instance…not having a car, thus you run out of public transportation options; obviously not being from there, thus you don’t have a social life (in some places easy to create one via Meetup; others not); and so on.

Re asking questions to HOs: the video call before the sit and the handover (which I always try to do in person) are the main opportunities for me to ask questions. I normally don’t ask many questions -or none- to the HO once the sit is on. Just keep them updated on how things are going

To add: I think as a sitter you’re also expected to be quite independent. No need to go and ask the HO lots of questions about what is where in the neighbourhood, where do I find the hoover in the house etc. First, I will try and find whatever I need in the house myself. And for local Qs, I go on Google. I would not want to ask the HO a constant string of questions once the sit is on.

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Yes I think I’ve realized that, too—the first day or two and the last day or two are already consumed with cleaning and prep, in addition to petcare, selfcare and (for me) working from my laptop. Plus, in the first days you are still establishing rapport with the furry ones, and they build trust on a slow schedule usually. For a short sit, it can be too stacked! Unless it’s an easy location close to your home or a place you know really well.

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I recently made a post on the abundance of short (2-5) days on TH. I joined TH because I want to travel and experience the area. I prefer 2 week+ sits. The longest sit so far was 1 month. Living in Nova Scotia means a longer flight and I’m not going to do that for a 4 day stay. Longer stays allow me to live like a local.

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I would happily take the pets everywhere with me too! Though some are not built for this or used to it :joy:

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Yes, this is the way to go, I think. I personally prefer longer sits, ideally 1 month or longer. Unfortunately, most of the longer sits are either in remote areas or off-grid, meaning there’s nothing interesting for a city rat like myself.

My longest city sit was about 2 months, and I absolutely loved it even though the location (from the tourist’s point of view) wasn’t all that great.

My second longest city sit was 1 month, and I was counting the seconds until my departure. The location was very central, but unfortunately in a somewhat isolated pocket with nothing around, and the apartment itself was a prime example of what not to do when furnishing with yard sale goods (not visible in pics). In addition, it was winter, and the weather was horrible; freezing both outdoors and indoors.

So the score is 50/50. I am planning for another long sit in the fall. Will it be win or will it be fail? :slight_smile:

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There is a flow and a rhythm that develops over time that will sync with your own preferences, likes and dislikes. It’s all a journey of learning and self discovery.
When I started, I never imagined that I would have done the things I’ve done in the last 6 years.
I started locally, some short some longer, and a few became repeats. Two in particular have become exclusive multiple times per year across three continents.
I am fully nomadic, and I feel like I am just at the edge of my greatest life experiences.
Trust and be bold and adventurous
It’s so much fun.

My shortest 2 nights
Longest 3 months

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Re: independence, sure, you can figure out a lot on your own regarding the neighborhood, but things can come up about the house and pet! There are always a few malfunctions or miscommunications that need clearing. Some HOs also expect communication every day or every other day, it just depends. I try to handle everything myself and only send happy pet pics but there are always a few questions that arise, especially with HOs new to the platform who may not have a detailed Welcome Guide yet.

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I communicate every single day with the HO to give them an update about their pet, but it sounded like you had many things to ask the HO after the sit had begun (“don’t want to bombard them with messages or calls”)

I sit for variety while telecommuting and prefer one or two weeks. I love going home too much to sit much longer.

I usually get comfortable with the pets and drill within a day or two and require little from my hosts, though I update them daily.

I almost always decline repeat sits for variety’s sake. Exception: I’m about to do a repeat that’s perfect — my favorite pet so far, in a lovely home in an idyllic, historic location abroad, with hosts who are easygoing.

The dog is highly social and exceptionally lovable, and I was happily able to take him everywhere. He never met a stranger. He also loved to sleep and cuddle. If I could clone him, I’d take him home.

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As a full-time sitter who is kind of a homebody, I definitely prefer the bulk of my sits to be at least a couple of weeks where I can settle in and relax. Though I am open to shorter ones if it works well for our schedule. I also don’t mind stringing together a bunch of shorter sits if we want to remain in one particular area for a bit since there isn’t too much travel in between.

While I enjoy being in a touristic area that I can explore at a slower pace, my husband and I aren’t big sightseers so spending a prolonged period in a ‘regular’ area isn’t a problem for us. When we are in the US, the bulk of our sits are actually in places that aren’t particularly touristic–the types of sits we are most drawn to are more upscale houses situated in rural or really quiet suburban locations.

Having been sitting for a decade, I have a pretty good idea of what works for me and what doesn’t, and while this is important for every sitter to figure out, it is particularly important for sitters who sit full-time and/or looking to focus on longer term sits.

While I am willing to be a bit flexible on some of my preferences for a shorter-term sits, I don’t compromise on any of my absolute ‘deal breakers’ for longer sits. For me, how a sit would affect my day to day routine, and my day to day comfort, is my primary focus in evaluating the opportunity. So no matter how appealing a location may be, if the home isn’t somewhere I would be comfortable for the longer-term or the responsibilities are beyond what I want to contend with, I have no qualms about passing. I trust the right opportunities will come along and they always seem to.

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That was one of our mottos and we too gravitated towards the longer sits. We did 3 months in Vieques, PR and loved it! We developed real friendships along the way, especially during this sit, and have been back (as well as had visitors from the island) since our sit.

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