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5 Tips for Traveling the World as a Housesitter

Updated on November 3, 2010

Would you love to travel around the world but you simply can’t afford to do so? One great way that you can have this experience is to work as an international housesitter. This is someone who takes care of a home in a foreign destination. In most cases international housesitters will stay at a home for an extended period of time such as a month or longer although this isn’t always the case. This gives you the opportunity to try living in a new destination without paying for accommodations. You may even get paid for your services or at least have the time to do other work while you’re housesitting.

So how can you start working as a housesitter in great locations around the world? Here are five tips to get you started.

1. Gather some experience and references as a housesitter. Nobody is going to want to hire a housesitter who doesn’t have any experience. The first place to look for references is with your previous landlords. If you’ve been a good tenant then they will vouch that you know how to take care of someone else’s property. Next you should start getting housesitting experience. Put the word out there amongst friends and associates that you’re interested in housesitting for them while they are away. People are usually happy for the help and will gladly give you a reference for your work. This is also a great way to make sure that you really do enjoy the housesitting experience before you actually take off to do it in a foreign country.

2. Try to get additional related experience. There are many housesitting opportunities available that require little more than just spending time in the person’s home so that it isn’t left sitting empty and available for robbers to attack. However, there are also other household responsibilities that housesitters may be asked to do. Taking care of pets and plants, doing basic maintenance and yardwork and running some regular household errands are some of the things that you may do as a housesitter. Work to get experience in these areas as well. For example, volunteer in a local pet shelter to learn proper pet care and get a reference.

3. Get an education that will help you out. Of course there isn’t a school for people who want to be professional housesitters. However there are classes and certifications that you can get that may be helpful in getting employment. For example, you could take a class in green cleaning and offer that as a service to the people who employ you to care for their homes.

4. Put together a portfolio and resume. Housesitters aren’t required to have these things. However, they go a long way towards making it more likely that you’ll be able to secure employment in the field. A portfolio showing all of your certifications and letters of reference is very impressive to people. Create an online version so that you don’t have to ship it internationally to everyone who may be interested in hiring your.

5. Start looking for international housesitting work. Now you’re ready to start working internationally. First you should spread the word to the people that you know to see if anyone knows someone in another country who needs a housesitter. And second, you should sign up with a housesitting service. Search around online to find one that seems suitable to you based on the locations you desire to go and the experience that you’ve gathered. Enjoy the experience! You’re about to see the world!


Submit a Comment

  • lindacee profile image

    lindacee 7 years ago from Arizona

    Solid and realistic advice. I would love to do it, but with a small dog in tow it makes life too complicated. Great hub!

  • anam123 profile image

    anam123 7 years ago from Canada

    Great Hub...this is something I should have done when I was single. It would have been a great way to see the world.

  • MPG Narratives profile image

    Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    This is something I'd like to look at when I retire, I would love to travel the world living in other people's homes. I like the tip about having a 'resume' and also the one about offering a service like 'green' cleaning. I think this will help someone like me who won't have any experience.

  • profile image

    JohnJohnson 7 years ago

    Thanks for writing about rent-free living as a housesitter. I have tried all the housesitting websites and have found to be the best for housesitting assignments. I recently started using and have found two housesitting opportunities there so far.


  • Granny's House profile image

    Granny's House 7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

    You can also do house trade. Where the person swaps houses with you

  • Ingenira profile image

    Ingenira 7 years ago

    I have actually met a few young South American ladies in Germany who work as a babysitter and study German as a second language at the same time. They get free time to travel around the country too. It was awesome. For the Germans, since it is really expensive to hire a maid, a babysitter is a great helper.