House sitting has risen dramatically in popularity over the past few years and it’s not hard to see why.
Traditionally, when people think of house sitting, they think of it as heading over to a neighbor’s house while they’re on holiday, feeding their pets and making sure no one has broken in. And while that still is a thing, another version of housesitting has become huge in digital nomad and backpacking communities.
Most nomads are on the hunt for somewhere affordable to stay while travelling and many homeowners need someone to look after their house while they are on holiday… So it’s not hard to see why so many people hire travellers to look after their home while they’re away, with free accommodation being all the payment they need!
The benefits of house sitting
As house sitting jobs reduce the biggest outgoing cost for many digital nomads – accommodation – they can make travelling a whole lot more affordable. Many travelers hop from one housesitting job to another, some lasting a couple weeks, others lasting for several months. The benefits of becoming a house sitter are numerous and combined with another form of income (such as online teaching) can allow you to live out your dream of seeing the world!
Some of the key benefits of housesitting include:
- Reduced expenses: House sitting jobs can reduce other expenses in addition to accommodation. For example, you’ll probably have access to a kitchen, meaning that you can keep your food costs down by cooking at home.
- An authentic experience: It can be hard to authentically experience a country if you’re staying in hostels. By staying in a local’s house, you’ll get a true sense of what it’d be like to live in a certain location. If you’re thinking of moving to another country, house sitting there can be a fantastic way to get a true sense of the place.
- Creature comforts: Hostels aren’t exactly the height of luxury, let’s be honest. Staying in someone’s house will truly allow you to feel at home. Not only will you have privacy, but you are also likely to have access to creature comforts such as a television, a huge bed and, in some cases, even the owner’s car!
- Pets, pets, pets: Most housesitting jobs involve looking after the owner’s pet(s) – and we don’t have to explain why that’s awesome. Not only will you have a gorgeous house to live in, but you might have a cute dog to take for walks or a cat to cuddle up with in the evening. What more could you want?
As you can see, the benefits of housesitting are extensive. If you’re looking to travel on a budget, there’s no better way to do it!
How to become a house sitter
When securing house sitting jobs, it’s important to think about how you present yourself. As you’d expect, most people are reluctant to hand over the keys to their home to someone unless they trust them. How do they work out if someone is trustworthy? Well, it normally involves interviewing them – usually over Skype – and asking for references.
When starting out as a house sitter, there may be a lot of trial and error involved, but if you stick at it, you’re sure to get somewhere.
To secure your first housesitting job, we recommend looking through your existing connections. If you’ve travelled a little bit already, you’re likely to have met a few people. Get in touch with some of them and ask if they have any friends or family who need a house sitter. Even if they don’t know about any opportunities available, they’re likely to keep you in mind when they hear about something.
Just like any type of job, your first housesitting one is likely to be the hardest one to find – but then things get a lot easier! If you do a good job house sitting, then you’re likely to get recommended to others. A positive reference will also help prove your trustworthiness, which can be invaluable when looking for house sitting jobs through other avenues – such as dedicated house sitting websites.
Where to find house sitting jobs online
There are dozens of house sitting websites out there, each of them featuring hundreds of jobs in exciting locations. Ever wanted to live in a cabin in the Australian outback? How about an apartment in the heart of New York City? People from all over the world use these sites to find people to look after their homes and pets while they’re away, making them perfect for finding your next job.
It’s worth noting that most of these websites require an annual fee. While this may be off-putting to some, it helps keep out timewasters and ensures everyone who visits the site is serious about house sitting. You’ll also need strong references to secure jobs on these sites, which is why we recommend finding your first job through someone you know!
Among the websites we recommend include:
- trustedhousesitters.com: One of the most reliable house sitting websites on the web, Trusted Housesitters features jobs from all around the world.
- nomador.com: As its name suggests, Nomador is great for digital nomads! Perfect for finding your next stop-over location when travelling.
- mindmyhouse.com: Mind My House has the lowest annual fee of the major house sitting job sites, which makes it an appealing option.
These websites are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to house sitting and there are dozens of others available. Just make sure you research a website properly before you sign up and ensure it’s trusted!
Earning money while housesitting
While house sitting jobs can be a fantastic way to secure free accommodation while travelling, you’ll still need access to some money in order to support yourself.
Because of this, online teaching can be a fantastic way to support yourself as a house sitter, allowing you to easily gain a steady income for food and other expenses. And with house sitting providing you with a comfortable, quiet environment in which to work, you can teach online with ease.
DigiNo is home to a fantastic range of resources that can help you get into online teaching, including the best places to find teaching jobs, essential resources for digital nomads, the best webcam software to use and much more.
So, what are you waiting for? Kick off your adventure in online teaching and house-sitting by exploring our resources today!