Travel Tips and Ideastravel tips

House Sit and Travel, Rent Free

Have you ever considered house sitting so that you can travel across the country or abroad without paying for hotels?

It works! At first, I was skeptical and with good reason. With rising internet fraud you have to approach every decision with caution. Always go through a reputable source and pay attention to signs that trigger the possibility of a scam.


  1. If someone offers to send you a check to pick up supplies and return the balance. That is a red flag. Banks will often release the money, however, when it doesn’t clear you will be responsible.
  2. If someone is using the same photos you notice in another ad, proceed with caution.

My initial experience met with just this scenario. After I paid $50.00 to join a site, the first contact I made turned out to be a scam. Luckily, the above scenarios were present and an alarm went off before any damage was done. I almost canceled my membership, however, I spoke to the owner of the website and I felt comfortable giving it another try. I’m glad I did! I found three house sitting gigs within a three month period, covering a total of 8 weeks!  I was able to travel and save a lot of money in vacation rentals. You will most likely be asked to care for animals. If you are not a huge animal lover, you should opt for homes that only have cats. They need a lot less attention.

Here is a site I have used with good luck: 


Another reputable site:

Trusted Housesitters:

House sitting vacation for less
House sitting is a great way to travel for less!

Tips to make your experience the most enjoyable:

  1. Create a great profile so owners feel confident using your services.
  2. Add a background check if you are able.
  3. Be prepared to care for animals, water plants and/or garden.
  4. Ask questions! You want to make sure that you understand the terms before you agree to housesit.  Most often, pet sitting is included, so you need to somewhat enjoy animals to give them care and attention. If you want to explore the area and plan to be out of the house long periods of time,  you should consider caring for cats instead of dogs who require more attention.
  5. Only accept house sitting gigs that you feel comfortable with – for both, your sake and the homeowner. I was once asked to care for 7 cats, two of who required shots and hand feeding twice a day. Choose wisely!

If you need a vacation and want someone to watch your place and care for your animals WITHOUT spending any money, you should join a housesitting site too.

Housesitting Pros:

  1. Reduce vacation expenses by not having to pay for a hotel.
  2. If you work from home, you could give up having a home base and housesit for awhile to save money.
  3.  Experience new locations.
  4. Travel abroad for less.

Housesitting Cons:

  1. You have to love animals and be willing to take on small tasks if requested.
  2. You have to pay for your travel expenses.
  3. There is usually no pay involved.

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Illustrated Cottage Editor Traci Lea

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