24 Jan 10 Reasons House Sitting Is Not As Scary As You Think
You might be intimidated at the thought of looking after another person’s property and pets, especially if you’ve never done it before or if it’s in a foreign country. Actually, it’s a far smoother experience than you’d think and I’m here to tell you why. Here are ten reasons to get out there and start doing it.
1. It’s not about experience; it’s about care.
I did not have much house or pet sitting experience when I started landing sits on Trusted House Sitters. So experience was not where my confidence came from at the time. In the beginning, my confidence came from knowing that I’m the type of person who gives a lot of care and attention to things. I engage with pets because I like them, and I keep homes in order because I take pride in doing so. If you give a shit, it will show.
2. Even if you’ve never done it before, the home owners probably have.
You’ll be in good hands when you arrive. The home owners will treat you like a special guest, making sure you’re as comfortable as possible and proudly going out of their way to show you around the area. They’ll walk you through everything you need to know about home and pet care before they leave. Many will provide you with a written instructional manual complete with a guide for all appliances and a list of contacts in case you need assistance.
3. The pets are easy to take care of.
Pet owners would not have a stranger come and look after their pet if that pet wasn’t good with strangers. Ninety-nine percent of the pets I’ve cared for have been easy to sit, and have made the job a pleasure rather than an inconvenience.
4. There are always helping hands around.
I’ve done plenty of solo house sits, but I’ve never been alone. Home owners always have friends, relatives, or neighbors around to answer questions and provide support if you need help during the sit. You’ll also get a list of contacts for any repair or maintenance issues you might have with the house—plumber, electrician, etc. But it’s unlikely you’ll need them.
5. You’re actually more secure than in an Airbnb.
No one will be in the house except you. In an Airbnb or hostel, you might worry about your personal belongings when you go out, but in a house you are the one with the key. Many homes even have security systems built in.
6. It won’t be awkward.
Maybe the idea of meeting and spending time with home owners makes you anxious. There’s no need for that. This is a formal exchange of services but also a very casual way of connecting at the same time. Home owners are always interested in getting to know you but respectful of your space, and I’ve never had an experience that felt less than cordial. You may even make a few great friends in various corners of the world to visit on future trips.
7. You don’t have to be at the house 24/7.
It always takes me one time locking up, going out for groceries, and returning home to confirm that everything will indeed be as I left it. But that’s just me being me. I can tell you ahead of time that there’s no reason for you to be glued to the house during the whole sit. In fact, homeowners discourage it. You’ll have more than enough time to explore the area, and as long as you adhere to the feeding/walking schedule, the pets will be fine while you’re gone.
8. It’s no different from looking after your own property and pets.
House sitting really is like being in a home away from home. As long as you give the house and pets the same care and respect you’d give your own, you’ll be fine. There aren’t as many rules as you’d think. Some pets do require special medical attention or respond to certain commands or having strict feeding routines, and you may have to check the mail and water some plants, but overall the demands of the job are minimal.
9. If you expect the best, you often get exactly that.
It may sound woo-woo to the skeptics among us, but even their mistrustful hearts would be melted by the parable of my own house sitting saga if I could ever do it justice. Positivity and trust breed more positivity and trust, and I’ve experienced this personally nearly forty times over. Cultivate an open heart going into it and you’ll have it made.
10. It’s not too good to be true.
You may be suspicious of it all because it sounds so amazing, but in my experience house sitting really is as good as it sounds. It’s a chance to live for free in an exotic part of the world while hanging out with a furry companion or two. I can’t count the number of interesting people I’ve met while house sitting, so if you want to meet people abroad, this is a great way to do so as well. That said, I’ve had my blissful solitude when I’ve wanted it. It’s truly the best of both worlds.