I started housesitting way back in 2010 when the idea was still a novel one. These days I’m often asked how to find housesits as more and more people want to travel for free.
First things first. What is housesitting? It’s an exchange of services, usually at no cost to the home owner. I have free rent and utilities and the chance to live like a local. In return I’ll care for the owner’s home as if it were my own.
Usually there will be animals to take care of. This is an added bonus for me as I love animals and miss having them nearby when I travel.
Now onto how to find housesits!
There are four ways that I use:
1. Housesitting Websites
The most common way is to sign up to a housesitting platform. This will be a usually a fee to be paid to register but this is quickly offset by a free place to live once you secure your first housesit.
Some websites are for housesits around the globe, some are country specific.
PRO TIP – most of these websites allow you to receive an email of the latest housesits so you can delay paying the fee until you see a housesit that you want to apply for.
Global Housesitting Websites
There are four main websites that I recommend . . .
This is probably the most well-known site with many sits all around the world. They have a large amount of sits in Europe, Australia and the USA.
Price: US$119 for a year
PRO TIP – be quick with your application. This site can receive 30 to 40 applications for a housesit and if you’re not in the first 5 you’re probably not going to be considered.
This is Pumpkin. I cared for her in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She took care of my paperwork…
If you look at the footer on their website you’ll see a FAQ section. This is one of the better sections that I’ve seen as they answer a wide range of questions.
Price: US$20 for a year
This is the first housesitting website I signed up for when I started housesitting.
Price:US$50 for a year.
I like that this site has a Discovery option which means that your first 3 applications are free. It allows you to get some practice applying before you need to pay the fee.
The site has a unique Stopover option. Home owners can register to offer free accommodation to members who are in-between house sits.
Price: US$35 per quarter or US$89 for a year.
Housesitting gives you spare cash for the essentials in life . . .
This site has my favourite dashboard (it’s the same one used by House Sitters Canada & Kiwi Housesitters) as it’s designed to allow you to search by a variety of factors – location, house type, sit length – which makes find the right sit for you so much easier.
Price: US$30 for a year
This site is new to the housesitting scene. To encourage people to sign up they’re currently offering free 2 year memberships so sign up now to take advantage of this offer.
They have the same easy to use dashboard as House Sitters USA.
Price: 2 year membership is free (for a limited time).
I recently joined this site and secured a pet sit in Ajijic, Mexico. The site has recently had a change of owners and they are building up the number of owners listed.
What I like about this site is that there are not 100’s of people applying for the same sits so your chances of securing a sit are higher. I also like that you can pick the states that you want to visit so your emails are limited to the places you’re interested in (and not all of Mexico).
Price: US$39 for 3 months or US$79 for a year.
I haven’t housesat in Australia (yet!). These two sites come highly recommended by fellow housesitters.
Price: AUD$30 for a year.
Here is my favourite dashboard again!
Price: AUD$65 for a year.
My home country! I first began housesitting back in 2010. My favourite site to use is Kiwi House Sitters.
They have the same easy to use dashboard as House Sitters USA and Canada and their customer service is great.
Price: NZ$65 per year.
This is Frog and Alphie. I looked after them in Wellington, New Zealand.
PRO TIP – nearly all housesitting websites will have a special offer so be sure to ask around for a discount code before you sign up.
Prices are correct as at June 2017.
2. Facebook Groups
When I know the area I want to travel to I’ll look for FB groups about that area and for FB groups that the ex-pat community in that area have set up.
If the rules of the group allow I’ll write a post about what I’m looking for. This is how I secured my latest housesit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (looking after 1 dog, 20 cats and 5 foster kittens!).
I was looking at Workaway one day to see if there were any interesting opportunities and came across a housesit in Guatemala. Although that housesit didn’t work out with timings I did secure a separate housesit through a friend of hers – 6 weeks caring for three cats on the shores of Lake Aitilan, Guatemala.
They don’t have that many house sits on this site but it does go to show that you need to keep an eye out for opportunities no matter where you are.
Price: US$50 for a year.
4. Friends and Family
When I first started housesitting I took care of my friend’s homes and pets. This can be a great way to start. You’ll get to see if housesitting is for you (looking after someone’s pet is different to looking after your own!) and you can start to collect references.
If you have any questions about how to find housesits (or housesitting in general), do post them in the comments below. I’m more than happy to answer them.