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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Taylor

House-sitting: The Ultimate Hack for Digital Nomads on a Budget

Back in 2016, I read an article in a magazine about ways to change your work/ life balance. One of the suggestions was to house-sit. I had never heard of this before, it intrigued me, and I decided to do some more research. I found information on house-swapping or gap-year placements then I finally came across what I was looking for. There were a few companies doing a similar thing: Nomador, Trusted Housesitters and Mindmyhouse. Homeowners would advertise their property along with details of their pets or tasks like gardening that they wanted you to do in exchange for staying at their home whilst they went away. These are not paid positions but a trade of services for accommodation. I loved the idea of this exchange and with a healthy dose of trust on both sides, it really can work. It's like internet dating but for house and pet sitting. We made our profile and did the necessary checks and verifications and have now been a member of Trusted Housesitters for 8 years.

Two dogs, one brown and one white sitting on grey slabs
Ziggy and Dexter waiting for their walk

The homeowner gets peace of mind that their property and pets are being well looked after. They can leave their pets safe at home with a sitter and be welcomed back by healthy and happy pets. The pet sitters are bona-fide as they have been verified beforehand; and have references left by other pet owners who have used them before. It’s a win-win situation.

As house sitters, you find you want to send pictures of the adventures you are having with your new pat-pals to their owners. This helps them to feel secure in the knowledge that everyone is happy, including the dog. It shows that you are there because you love animals and want to make memories, not money. Besides, who needs paying when you can be pretty much anywhere you want in the world and stay in the comfort of someone else's home? Yes, you still have to do the washing up, but it’s worth it!

black and white photo of a cat we looked after
Beautiful Minnie

House-sitting is an excellent idea for anyone who loves to travel and wants to do it on a shoestring. It's a fantastic opportunity to explore new places and live like a local, all while staying in a beautiful home and taking care of some adorable pets. There are several reasons why house-sitting is such a great idea, and I'll explain a few of them here.

House-sitting is a cost-effective way to travel. Accommodation costs can add up quickly, especially if you're staying in hotels or Airbnb rentals. With house-sitting, however, you get free accommodation in exchange for your services. This means you can travel for longer periods without breaking the bank. As long as you can cover your travel costs, you are sorted.

A hammock under a tree

It allows you to live like a local. When you stay in someone's home, you get to experience what it's really like to live in that city or town. You can explore the local area, discover hidden gems, and get insider tips from your host. It's a much more authentic travel experience than staying in a touristy hotel. You can stay in a city centre or in the countryside. The only thing limiting you is how you get there in the first place. Some house-sitting opportunities will list that they are only accessible if you have your own transportation. While others you can use public transport. Be sure to check the details of the listings carefully before applying.

House-sitting provides an opportunity to care for some adorable pets. If you're an animal lover, this is a dream come true. You get to spend time with dogs, cats, and other pets without having to commit to owning one yourself. You can enjoy all the benefits of having a furry friend without any of the long-term responsibilities. Trusted Housesitters, whom we have a membership with, have vets available 24/7, this means, if the worst were to happen, there is someone there to help you.

two old english sheepdogs on a walk
It was a magical walk with these two along to the Tarr steps

House-sitting is a great option for digital nomads looking to travel and work remotely. It offers free accommodation and the opportunity to experience beautiful new places. With a stable internet connection, digital nomads can work from anywhere and enjoy the benefits of being a house-sitter. As a proofreader, I can profit greatly from this. As long as I manage my time effectively, I can get my client's work done on time and still take advantage of walking my new furry friend. Taking breaks so you don't get brain fog has never been better!

A glass of wine placed on top of a cookery book
It can be hard work, it's good to take a break!

Lastly, it can be a great way to build your resume and gain valuable experience. Taking care of someone's home and pets requires responsibility, attention to detail, and excellent communication skills. These are all valuable traits that potential employers look for, and you can use your house-sitting experience to demonstrate your capabilities.

So, there you have it, house-sitting is an excellent way to travel, live like a local, care for some adorable pets, and gain valuable experience. It's a great idea for everyone involved and a wonderful way to explore the world on a budget.

A man stood in the snow taking a dog for a walk
We take our duties seriously and don't let the weather get in the way!

Here are some of the places that we have been lucky to stay at over the past 8 years:

  • Steventon, Hampshire, UK

  • Bourgougnague, Lot-et-Garonne, France

  • Périgueux, Dordogne, France

  • South Moulton, Devon, UK

  • Denston, West Suffolk, UK

  • Mons, Provence, France

  • Gabian, Occitanie, France

  • Lavenham, Suffolk, UK

And it doesn’t end there. We are spending J’s birthday near Ludlow in Shropshire and we will be driving our way across Europe to holiday in Umbria, Italy in July. I’ll let you know how we get on!

If you would like to become a member of Trusted Housesitters I have a 25% discount code that you can use. Just click on this link you get 25% off and I get 2 free months of membership as a thank you.

For more information about my proofreading services take a look at my website or read this blog post.


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