If you are serious about becoming a housesitter or using the services of a housesitter while you travel, we have several excellent resources on this site.
Other Housesitting resources include the A to Z, step by step, paint by numbers guide we wrote with the folks at International Living:
There’s a powerful secret that a few savvy travellers know about. A way you can stay in exotic locales all over the world… for free. It’s a secret “back door” into luxurious stays in places that normally cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars a week… but which, when you apply this secret, can be yours at zero expense. Find out more…
The Housesitting Websites:
We have been housesitting full time since April of 2012, this has allowed us to save an average of $24, 000 a year in accommodation costs, while staying in amazing homes and exotic locations.
The two websites we have used to secure the majority of our assignments are:
The other site we have obtained assignments from is:
Pet First Aid Training:
Put yourself ahead of your housesitting competitors and gain confidence in your pet care ability. Many organizations offer courses in Pet First Aid including PetTech, Dogsafe Canine First Aid, Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid, St. John Ambulance in Canada and American Red Cross
If classes are not available near you may consider either distance learning certification with Walks ‘N’ Wags Pet First Aid or online Pet First Aid Training Certification Programs such as The Pet Professional Guild or E-Training for Dogs.
House Swapping Sites
Free or $20 for non academics per year. Also lists Home Rentals, Home Exchanges, & House Sharing
70 Euro per year
$89 USD per year or $39 for limited membership. Can list a second home for $25 USD
$119 USD per year
Love Home Swap
$240, $276 or $408 USD er year depends on level of membership
$29 USD to join plus $495 for one trip or $79/month
115 GBP per year
Aussie House Swap
$65 AUD per year
General Travel Resources
Travel Advisories, Travel Warnings and Country Information:
Before heading off to new countries – do your homework first. The following government websites give general information that may affect your personal safety and security in the country you are thinking of exploring.
- US Department of State
- Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
- British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Australian Governments Department of Foreign Affairs
Several sites provide information about country visa requirements.
Visa HQ lists visa requirements based on your citizenship
Project Visa – has visa and embassy information for all countries with links to foreign government websites
To ensure you are not going to run into any potential health issues overseas you may consider consulting the U.S. Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) websites for health advice.
Climate-zone.com provides climate advice including average maximum and minimum temperatures, average rain days and average snow days for all regions of the world.
Costs of Living Abroad:
Before heading off to that wonderful sounding housesit in Switzerland you need to understand the cost of living there- will you be able to live within your budget? Here are a few sites to help you get an idea of what you need to budget.
Numbeo.com provides crowd sourced cost of living information right down to the cost of a bottle of beer. The site also allows you to easily compare the cost of living between two places.
BudgetYourTrip.com this is an other crowd sourced data base which is compiled by travellers who use the site. These average costs are based on multiple categories and give the user a starting point to determine their own budgets. Especially useful for calculating travelling costs getting to and from housesitting assignments.
XE Currency Converter – Live Rates is a currency converter to assist with exchange rates.
Saving Money on Travel:
Cruising for less: Getting from A to B on a relocation cruise (or even jumping ship on a regular cruise) can be a very economical, not to mention, enjoyable way of travelling. Popular resources for finding deals on cruise ships include Repositioningcruise.com and Vacationstogo.com.
We have used positioning cruises to get to Panama. We have also taken a cruise and then jumped ship during the cruise (this was cheaper than flying from A to B). For more information see The Travel Secret Cruise lines Don’t Want you to Know!
Freighter travel is an alternative way to get across an ocean or even circumnavigate the globe. They are not super cheap, typical costs run about $100/ day per person. United States booking sites include: Freightercruises.com and Travltips.com
Saving on Airfare: A good starting place is Flyertalk.com, a forum dedicated to sharing tips, tricks and insider advice on reducing air travel costs. Use Yapta.com to see if you are entitled to a refund if the price drops after you purchase a ticket.
European Short Term Automobile Lease If you are a North American resident you can participate in a lease buy-back program provided by Europebycar.com . This is a good way to get a set of wheels for less than it costs to rent (and without all the restrictions imposed on European car rentals). Read more…
Finding Low Cost Accommodations:
It can be challenging to set up back to back housesits and there may be times when you need to get your own digs. You may also want to spend more time in a place after completing a housesitting assignment to get to know it even better. We are huge fans of locating accommodations once on the ground. The internet is a good place to get a feel for what is available.
The main apartment rental websites include:
Airbnb – which has a good US selection
Homeaway – large inventory of global rentals including Central America
Other useful websites include:
Sabbatical Homes a directory of academic housesits, home rentals and house swaps. You can use the site if you are not an academic. Most of the rentals are in Europe, North America, and Australia. Not as many in Central or South America. You can find relatively affordable short term rentals with flexible terms ( minimum terms typically range from 2 weeks to 6 months).
Viviun.com is also a good place to look for condos and homes for rent. Viviun is useful because they have many listings for Central America. Also a good starting place if you are looking at purchasing property overseas.
For a detailed strategy for finding low cost accommodations please see The Savvy Travellers Guide to Affordable Accommodations.
Skype is an extremely useful communication tool for housesitting. It enables you conduct video interviews, send text messages, photos and files to other Skype users. Skype can also be used for low cost international phone calls. Skype can be downloaded for free from the internet.
If you are new to Skype or would like to learn some new tricks here is a free online Skype Tutorial
The World Clock – Time Zones is a useful site to make sure you are on time for your Skype interview (helpful when dealing with multiple time zones).
Another useful tool we use is Google Voice. This is a telephone call routing and voicemail service available if you have if you have a US Telephone number.
Private Internet Access I first started looking at virtual private networks (VPN) to get around Skype being blocked in Belize. There are many other important reasons to use a VPN when travelling, including internet security, data protection and browsing privacy. I chose Private Internet Access because they were well ranked, had good reviews, and the price point was also appealing. I purchased the one year plan which works out to just over $3 per month. I can now Skype anywhere in the world.
Website & Cloud Storage:
HostGator We use Hostgator and have never had any issues. When the Russian Mafia hijacked this website redirecting it to a porn site (we jest not!) the folks at Hostgator had us sorted out within hours. However the last time we got hacked they just left us hanging.
Go Daddy We use Go Daddy primarily for securing domain names. They also offer the ability to set up your own online store. They have an awesome name in the business and our experience with them has been excellent.
Drop Box Dropbox is a worthwhile program for anyone and especially valuable when you are travelling for extended periods. Dropbox is a file hosting service that allows users to share and store data—mostly programs and folders—over the web. Drop box is convenient, easy to share and is now a mobile app.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links. We will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase (at no additional cost to you). We use all the products and services listed and we recommend them because they offer excellent service and/or we are totally enthralled with the products.