Gwen and Duke_House Sitting in Tiburon California

How I Saved Thousands of Dollars on Travel House Sitting for Free

Unlock the ultimate travel hack like I did: house sitting for free travel. Discover how these extraordinary house sitting jobs not only granted this American house sitter free accommodations in top California destinations but also how I saved thousands of dollars on expensive California hotels allowing me to extend my west coast USA solo travel.

Better yet, discover how you can get house sitting jobs for major money saving travel opportunities. I’ve got what you need to get started and save on travel expenses.

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What is House Sitting and Why Do It?

Basically, house sitting is watching over someone’s home (house, apartment, condo or whatever) while they are away and/or watching over their pets within their home. Typical house duties include keeping it clean, watering plants, bringing in mail, or any other simple household item that may be asked of you.

Typical pet sitting could be for any type of pet, from cat, dog, bird or even farm animals. Duties include normal animal care such as feeding, exercise, clean animal spaces, administering medications, and giving love and attention.

It is much more common that a house sitting job includes pet sitting. It is also more common that these sits are unpaid.

There are multiple reasons to house sit and pet sit, such as: having the opportunity to help others out, network and meet new people, spend time with new animals, enjoy new scenery and communities, and have the opportunity to stay in a domicile rent free.

It is also the opportunity to build a reputation as a trusted source within your local community or house and pet sitting communities, which could lead to paid sits and a new profession, or build references for future rental opportunities in a competitive market.

White cat from Santa Monica pet sit
California pet sit

Who is house sitting and pet sitting good for?

If you are a responsible person who likes helping people out and spending time with, and taking care of, animals, then you are more than likely a good fit.

If you are looking to utilize those skills while traveling or save some money in between home hunting, for example, then you also can be a good fit.

Succesful pet sitters / house sitters can be anyone: an individual or couple – whether they travel or not, a digital nomad, expats scoping out places to live, or people who are retired.

Three Deer on hill from Novato pet sit
California wildlife in the backyard

House Sitting Websites

There are multiple ways to find home sitting and pet sitting opportunities.

If you don’t want to travel, explore your local networks like community groups, social media platforms, and personal and business connections.

If you want to travel and save money doing it, however, online house sitting sites are the way to go. Popular housesitting websites that connect house sitters with homeowners seeking assistance are: Nomador, House Carers, HouseSitMatch, and TrustedHousesitters, to name a few.

Better yet, these house sitting apps and websites also let you sit locally, which is a great way to get started if you are new to pet and house sitting opportunities.

Santa Monica Pier sign
Bonus when house sitting: top activities

When you research, you’ll find some are free house sitting websites, paid house sitting sites, and some are sites where you’ll get paid to house sit, however these are harder to find.

Why I Started House Sitting

Well, I love animals. Period. I also love to travel, of course.

Since my most beloved fur baby passed in 2020 during Covid, I have traveled more and have researched moving abroad. It seemed like a no-brainer to put the two loves together to not only help a home and pet owner out, but capitalize on one of the top ways to save money while traveling.

So, I chose to become a house sitter for free on Trusted Housesitters.

Why I Chose TrustedHousesitters

As you know, I am a travel coach, blogger and vlogger, so I wanted an online pet setting and house sitting service platform that was global for more opportunities.

I also wanted a well-established and highly rated organization that provided flexibility in its membership, provided a vetted system, and was easy to use.

TrustedHousesitters is very well known. It has been around since 2010 and has a growing membership of both home and pet owners and home and pet sitters.

Unfortunately, there is no Trusted House Sitters free trial, but they do let you create a free profile so you can view all the house sitting opportunities around the world, which I found optimal to not only get an idea if house and petsitting was right for me and my goals, but how easy it was to use their website.

View from Elephante Roof Top Bar Santa Monica
Nothing like outdoor dining in December

How I’ve Benefited from House Sitting BIG Time

I have received many benefits from pet and house sitting with Trusted Housesitters so far.

  • I was able to travel from northern to southern California and save thousands of dollars from expensive hotel rooms for many weeks.
  • Instead of being in a cramped hotel room, I had huge houses and awesome bungalows all to myself within walking distance to great restaurants and shops while feeling more ‘at home’.
  • I enjoyed the warm weather, sunshine and outdoor activities in house sitting southern California during the Christmas holidays and New Years Eve.
  • I was able to take amazing day trips for wine tasting, like in lovely Santa Barbara.
  • The money I saved while house sitting Bay Area enabled me to extend my travel in rent free accommodations.
  • I was able to meet new people and spend time with their lovely pets so I never felt lonely house sitting alone.

I can’t wait to start house sitting abroad and capture the same benefits.

How to Join TrustedHousesitters

Ready to become a house sitter?

It’s as simple as going to the Trusted Housesitters website, choosing one of their three membership types, setting up your profile, and start looking for your first pet and home sitter opportunity.

Sailboat on SF Bay in front of San Fran from Tiburon
House sitting in the San Francisco Bay area.

How to get the most out of your Trusted Housesitters membership? First, start with the following 10 simple tips.

10 TrustedHousesitters Tips to Know

If you’re ready become a house sitter through Trusted Housesitters, here are basic tips to know beforehand.

1 – Pick the Right Membership

Obvious, but only sign up for the account that makes sense for you. In other words, don’t pay for more than you need.

2 – Be Informed

Read the terms and conditions carefully before paying for your home sitter membership to ensure Trusted Housesitters is right for you.

3 – You MUST love animals

But who doesn’t?  Seriously, if you don’t like animals (no judgement here), pet sitting is not the gig for you.

If you have never taken care of animals, don’t worry. You can start on your own taking care of friends or family member pets first to see if you like it. This leads me to #4…

Tessie cat in back yard Santa Monica pet sit
Another California house sit

4 – Your Profile is KEY

Your profile should show future prospects you’ve watched over not only your own animals but others’ as well. So, if you don’t have this experience, I would recommend getting some first, like I mentioned above.

5 – Start Small

Start applying for short, local stays where you already are is a great way to start. After you have 2 or 3 completed house sits and then you may wish to try for sits a little further away. Rise and repeat.

6 – Choose What You Like

Only take on home sitter gigs you are truly comfortable and confident with. If you’re not a dog person, don’t sign up for dog sitting. If you like dogs but don’t like to go for walks regularly, maybe keep your dog sitting applications to those where a dog has its own yard and doesn’t require walking multiple times a day.

7 – Be Courteous

Don’t use demanding language in your house sit application (e.g., “I need to know by [date] or else I can’t accept it”).  That makes the homeowner feel rushed and you come off pushy. Just apply courteously and wait for a reply.

8 – Be Patient

You may not get a response right away (or at all). Don’t get discouraged if you don’t land a gig with your first application. Keep at it.

9 – Don’t feel obligated

If the house sit does not feel comfortable or is not convenient for you, respectfully decline. If it was just bad timing, reply stating as such adding a note that says you’d like to be considered for a future sit. Don’t burn bridges.

Tiburon house and view of bay and Golden Gate Bridge
House sitting with a Golden Gate Bridge view!

10 – You got your first housesit! Now what?

It may go without saying, but treat their home and pet(s) like gold.

Keep in constant contact with the homeowner before and during the housesit. The more you put the homeowner at ease, the better chance of getting that glowing review and get asked to sit again!

Trusted Housesitters Review from Tiburon
Another 5 Star House Sitting Review


Are you ready to join Trusted Housesitters and start saving money on travel now? Want to know how I saved thousands of dollars on travel by house sitting through Trusted Housesitters?

Use my House Sitting Pro Kit and get all of my tried-and-true, JUICY INSIDER tips on how to use Trusted Housesitters like a pro. In it you’ll find how to:

  • Set yourself up for success in Trusted Housesitters,
  • Know what to ask and know before accepting a house sit,
  • Craft the perfect application to WIN house sits in TOP locations, and
  • MORE!

Plus, you’ll get access to 25% off Trusted Housesitters membership in the House Sitting Pro Kit. Bonus!

Get your House Sitting Pro Kit and start working your way to landing those house sitting opportunities in the popular areas, build your winning profile with glowing recommendations, and watch your house sitting network grow so you can save big money on travel like I did.

Let Me Hear From You

I would love to hear if these my tips on house sitting for free were helpful. Post me your thoughts or questions in the Comments section below. Thank you!

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