When you travel the world, one of the biggest expenses – if not the biggest – is accommodation. No matter if you’re using hostels, cheap hotels or AirBnb rentals, they still add up at the end of the month ready to give you headaches. If you remember my costs breakdown for our full month of traveling in Europe, our AirBnb rates added up for 44% of the total costs and a whooping 1467 Euros, even though we stayed in the cheapest places we could find.
There is, however, a way to get rid of these costs if you are a patient traveler and you don’t have your dates and places completely set in stone! House sitting is what many people are using with great success, allowing them to cut the accommodation fees to almost 0 per month and giving them the chance to live in houses or apartments that would’ve otherwise been too expensive. And in order to make things a lot easier for you, I have listed the best websites for house sitting opportunities below to keep you always on the road and help you keep the costs low.
In case you’re not yet familiar with house sitting, here’s how the concept works: a home owner wants to leave on vacation or for whatever reasons, but decides to offer his house for somebody else to house sit – live there and take care of it. Usually, house sitting involves taking care of animals so you must love them in order to get through with this type of lifestyle. Housesitting is great because you not only get free accommodation and sometimes even a free car, but you also get to live like a local in a great house. And now let’s check out the best websites for house sitting:
This is the most popular website for house sitting, meaning that you will get a ton of possible house sitting options (they usually have over 1,000 ads available at any given point). However, since it’s the most popular, it means that you will big competition to grab your house, but this shouldn’t discourage you. The truth is that housesitting requires patience and the power to get over one or ten rejections. Apply for those homes you really love and eventually you will be chosen. It has some nice features, like e-mail alerts of new assignments posted during the previous day and it’s extremely easy to navigate the website looking for your next house.
Just like all house sitting websites out there, it has an annual membership fee, which in this case is $99 – but it’s well worth the cost if you are active and can write a killer application letter to raise above the big competition. You can check out Trusted Housesitters here.
This website is relatively new on the market. It originally started as a house sitting website aimed at UK and Australia, but it has slowly grown to cover the whole world. Even though not as popular as Trusted Housesitters, it’s also lesser known so competition is not that great. They have daily assignments added to the website, from short term to long term and they’re pretty neatly organized. It’s best suited for those looking for accommodations in the UK, Spain and France as these are the countries that have most assignments, although you can find some in different countries as well.
The membership starts at £35 / year (about $50) and for the money you get access to all the listings, as well as daily e-mail notifications of new assignments. You can check out HouseSit Match here.
This is another great house sitting website that I love to use to find new areas that I’d like to visit: you can simply use the map search on their website, pick a spot and hope for the best. This website is growing in popularity and seems to have options on a more global scale (as opposed to Europe-only as most of the others have), so it’s great if you’re looking for something more exotic too. The membership fee is just $50 per year, which makes it relatively cheap and chances are that you will quickly find something you will love, so check out the website here.
I believe that this started as a French language website and grew to cover the entire globe. However, most of its housesitting assignments are still within France (for example, out of 2,300 ads listed at the moment of writing this article, 1650 are in France). So if you’re looking for a house to sit in France, your best chances to find the right one are on Nomador, even though 700 ads to cover other countries on the globe is not little at all!
The annual membership fee is $89, but the website offers a free membership as well which has its limitations (the most important being that you can only apply to 5 house sitting jobs per month), but it’s a nice addition. So click here to check it out.
Probably the cheapest option for house sitters over the globe (at just $20 per year), Mind My House is a smaller, but quickly growing community for people offering their house and house sitters. It is truly global, with many offers available in the US, Canada and Australia (although most are in Europe) and even though the website itself is not the prettiest to the eye, it gets the job done and it’s impossible not to find at least a dozen assignments if you start searching.
Click here to check out MindMyHouse right away!
Housesitting is becoming more and more popular and I am sure that in the future it will be the norm when it comes to travel. However, with its increasing popularity, managing to raise above the competition and scoring the housesitting job becomes a real challenge, so make sure that you are ready for it. And remember: the most popular website is not necessarily the best option for you, as newer ones will have less competition. However, always put safety first and go for those that have been tested, tried and approved by the community. And my top picks above will surely do the trick!