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in Life & Leisure, Travel Australia

Affordable Travel: Housesitting

  • September 22, 2015
  • By 50 Shades
  • 14 Comments
Affordable Travel: Housesitting

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Need a break? If you are looking for an affordable holiday without the high expense of hotel accommodation or holidays units, have you ever thought about housesitting?

So what is housesitting you ask? It is the method of watching other people’s houses while they’re away in exchange for free accommodation. That simple!

You pay no rent, no utilities, and in some cases have a vehicle at your disposal. In a lot of cases there maybe a pet or two to care for and maybe a swimming pool or garden to maintain. But nothing too labour-intensive.

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This way of travel isn’t just for long-term nomads; opportunities are available for all types of travellers. Housesits can range from just a weekend to weeks, months or years in length.

During our travels around Australia we met two couples that do this type of ‘work’ fulltime. One couple seek out housesits in areas in Australia that they would like to see, i.e: in a beautiful location in another state of territory. The housesitters live in their caravans or motorhomes in between housesitting assignments and once they snag a ‘job’ they are off to live in a house completely rent free!

We are currently planning a two week holiday and have decided to use the services of housesitters. Normally our son would move into our home and take care of things and our beautiful dog, but this time around he is not available. We started asking a few friends and neighbours if they knew of anyone that could housesit and then eventually I resorted to posting a message on Facebook. The response was immediate!

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The sister of a friend of mine and her husband are selling up their house in Sydney, retiring from their jobs and trying out housesitting for a while to get some idea of where they would like to live permanently. At this stage they are trying to decide between the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Perfect!

They will have the convenience of staying in a lovely house that has a swimming pool, close proximity to the beach, shops and cafes and also within walking distance to her family. They will also take care of our dog, water our garden and keep the house secure while we are away on our holiday. It is a win-win arrangement!

There are many websites within Australia that you can register with to become a housesitter or look for one. Aussie House Sitters is one such site. They assist in facilitating hundreds of housesits within Australia and it is free to list your house on their site. To register as a housesitter it costs $65 per year.

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There are just three simple steps involved:

  1. Register on the website as a housesitter providing your profile and references.
  2. Search through the houses available online and contact the owners. Often, house owners will actually contact you directly, having found your profile on the site. When a house owner gets back to you, decide if you want to proceed and start organising the sit.
  3. Sign a sitting agreement with the house owner and sort out the finer details like emergency phone numbers and pet routines etc. The rest is living rent free!!!

The whole process is pretty easy because people are highly motivated – House owners really want a responsible sitter to care for their pets and/or garden/house, and sitters really want the chance to live rent-free in lovely houses around the country. It definitely gives you something to think about for future holidays.

 

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By 50 Shades, September 22, 2015 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 14

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

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14 Comments
  • Little Wandering Wren
    September 22, 2015

    Ha Ha you’re right Cathy, I will travel to the cows come home as long as our Crazy Poodle has someone at home to look after him! House sitting is a great idea :)
    Wren x

    • Kathy
      September 22, 2015

      There are always options and getting a house and dogsitter is a great way to ensure your house and dog are looked after while you are off having a great time. Our dog loves having company and I would hate to put her in a boarding kennel. :)

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    September 22, 2015

    It’s a great idea Kathy. Unfortunately our dogs preclude us from this activity. Unless we house sat at boarding kennels of course!

    • Kathy
      September 22, 2015

      I think there would be housesits where you could maybe take your own doggies with you. It could be worth looking into? :)

  • Johanna
    September 22, 2015

    Thanks for the info, Kathy. This is something I definitely want to look into. I wish we could have been available in November – but great that the response was so good and you’ve found someone who sounds ideal :)

    • Kathy
      September 22, 2015

      Now that would have been nice and a great opportunity to meet you and for you to see a little of the East Coast. Maybe another time? We have a few more holidays planned next year. :)

  • Jenny P
    September 22, 2015

    Since we returned to Sydney we’ve been house sitting for friends while we wait to move back into our home. As you described, it has been a win-win for both parties. Enjoy your trip.

    • Kathy
      September 22, 2015

      Thank you Jenny. It is definitely a win-win for both parties. I hate the thought of leaving my house unattended and also the thought of putting my beautiful dog into boarding kennels. :)

  • budgettraveltalk
    September 22, 2015

    I totally agree and love house-sitting. I hope to find a great one for our next holiday!

    • Kathy
      September 22, 2015

      I’m thinking ahead to a trip to Italy in 2017 and may contemplate a housesit. I will just see what happens. Loved your Gold Coast Coffee Shop post! :)

  • Life Images by Jill
    September 24, 2015

    well amazing! I have just today had a friend talking to me about house sitting. It is certainly worth considering if you are going to be away for long periods of time.

    • Kathy
      September 24, 2015

      I think it is a very viable option particularly if you have a pet, garden or swimming pool that needs taking care of. I’m willing to give it a try. :)

  • Ashley
    July 14, 2016

    Thanks for the tips! I am new in traveling and this post is really helpful, I was thinking about this also and I am glad that I read your blog.

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