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Beginner’s Guide to Housesitting: Why housesit?

Over the past few weeks we’ve talked a lot about housesitting. We’ve defined what housesitting’s all about, delved into making a great profile and applying for assignments, and discussed best practices for a successful assignment.

What we haven’t talked about in much depth is why housesit in the first place? The benefits of housesitting are numerous and lend themselves to many more.

In no particular order, here are our top #7 reasons to housesit.

1. Save on accommodation

From a financial perspective, housesitting can save you a considerable amount of money on accommodation expenses. Hotels usually make up a significant portion of a travel budget. Imagine not having to worry about that expense and funneling all of that cash into things you want to spend your money on?

2. Save on food

The financial benefits are not limited to rent or hotel bills. Staying in someone’s home, you have use of a fully equipped kitchen. This means you can save a lot on eating out and you can prepare what you like, when you like, without needing to worry about sharing the space and facilities with others. And if you love cooking and buying fresh produce from local markets, this is a great chance to sample all of those interesting and delicious-looking things you’ve spotted at street stalls.

3. Save on incidentals

There are lots of little costs we incur while travelling just because we don’t have access to the things we do back home. Doing laundry, for example, can be quite the expense at a hotel and coin laundries aren’t always a cheap option either; not to mention, the inconvenience of having to spend a couple of hours at the laundromat. Having access to things like a washing machine saves money and hassle.

4. Stay longer and better

With all the savings, you can afford to stay in your destination longer, which means a longer break for you! Plus you get to stay in a much nicer, homely environment with everything you need, preferable to a hotel, in our opinion, even if you can afford it.

5. Live like a local

Taking care of a property in places where locals themselves live is a great way to experience a destination in a whole new way and see and learn about things you probably would have missed if sticking to the tourist trail. Even learning about the different recycling systems around the world is interesting to us. On a housesit in Germany we learned that the round domes we had been seeing on the street were for glass recycling and the reason there are always three is because the glass is separated by colour: brown, green and clear!

6. Make great friends

Taking over someone’s house and looking after their pets while they are away is a big deal. You’ll likely have quite a bit of contact with the homeowner both before and during your stay. It’s a great chance to get to know people. Do a great job and you’ll make friends for life all around the world.

7. Make friends of the furry and feathered variety

One of our favourite and most rewarding reasons for housesitting has to be the awesome pets you get to look after. It’s a lovely position to be in to be the person or people who can give comfort and company to them while their owners are away. You become great mates too as you get to know each other.

Check out some of the gorgeous friends we’ve looked after recently.

Housesitting pets

Jack says we should go this way.

Housesitting pets

Jasmine: Can I have some of your dinner?

Housesitting pets

It’s snowy in Berlin! Bennie performs a site inspection on the igloo (AKA snow trullo) we are making for her and her brother on the balcony.

Housesitting pets

Bungle guards the trullo and waits to pounce on Bennie.

Housesitting pets

Cuddle time.

Housesitting pets

Tucker loves being brushed on the head.

Housesitting pets

Come on! Let’s go play!

Have we convinced you yet?

What kind of housesit would you most like to get?

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Workers of the World Weekly: July 15, 2015

Wednesday 15th of July 2015

[…] Beginner’s Guide to Housesitting: Why Housesit? The benefits of housesitting are numerous and lend themselves to many more. Jessica Korteman provides her top seven. […]

Our First Time Housesitting (Plus, Blogger Guides) - Indefinite Adventure

Tuesday 26th of August 2014

[…] Notes of Nomads’ guide, parts 1, 2, 3 & 4 […]

Kathryn Burrington

Friday 18th of April 2014

Love the ice trullo! Such characters. I used to hate leaving my previous cat when I travelled. Sadly I lost her last year and I tried not to get another but can't live without a feline friend. Luckily my new cat Bonnie is much more independent and while she's always pleased to see me she doesn't seem to mind to much when I'm away. Although I'm sure she'd prefer a house sitter to someone just popping round a couple of times a day to feed her.

Keari Shawn

Wednesday 9th of April 2014

Housesittings seems popular in Europe, how about Australia? might be wrong question was just thinking, are you paid and how much? great to have wonderful neighbors and yes pets that are adorable ...

is housesitting only for travellers? sorry but its like a new thing to me...

Jessica Korteman

Tuesday 15th of April 2014

Hi Keari,

Housesitting is huge in Australia. We see so many assignments located there that it's almost annoying because we aren't! haha

Housesitters aren't generally paid. It's basically a cashless exchange of mutually beneficial services. And, no, housesitting isn't only for travellers, anyone can do it.

You might find our previous posts on housesitting useful. They talk about exactly what housesitting is, how to make a profile and apply for assignments, and what to do once you actually get one. You can find them here:

Good luck and let us know if you have any further questions.


Monday 31st of March 2014

I only came across housesitting last year on a different travel blog and instantly has been amazed by the concept! It's a great opportunity to slow down as well for a wee bit, a great way to extend your travels and certainly adds something to the experience. I even would consider it the perfect option before and/or after a longer trip in order to adapt slowly but surely to staying in one and the same place for a little while again, get some writing done, explore future plans and so on. So looking forward to try it myself when hitting the road again... Some adorable pictures btw! :)

Jessica Korteman

Friday 4th of April 2014

Hi Oliver,

We love the housesitting concept too. And, you’re right, it’s perfect for slowing down and getting some work done, as well as onward planning, which can all be difficult when you are constantly moving.

I have no doubt you’ll really enjoy it! Thank you and glad you like the pics. We have loved all the pets we have sat for. :)

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