When I first heard about housesitting, it sounded too good to be true. You mean, somebody will let you live at their house for FREE?
Now that I have some housesitting experience under my belt, here are some thoughts about what I see as the positives of housesitting.
- Save money
This is the obvious one. Living somewhere rent-free definitely qualifies as a good thing. This is especially true in places where rental and hotel prices are higher.
- Access to a kitchen
This is one of biggest pluses for me since I like to cook my own meals or at least have the option to.
- Live like a local
Housesitting helps you get off the tourist path and live in a more “settled” way. Living in someone’s house is a great way to enjoy the comforts of home while traveling. The homeowners also usually like to show you around and tell you about the local area.
- Meet nice people
The homeowners are from different walks of life, but in my experience have all been welcoming and genuine.
Living with pets is a plus for me. I prefer cats because they are less work, but dogs are cool too.
- Makes you more organized
Usually at the beginning of a housesit the homeowner will show you around and tell you what you need to know about. Details about their pets, watering the plants, Internet passwords, garbage collection times, local contacts, etc. There can be a lot of details to remember so I make sure to take notes to avoid forgetting anything. Then I review these notes and make them into some kind of checklist. This ensures that nothing will slip through the cracks, like forgetting to water a plant for over three weeks (it happened). I also like to get supplies such as toilet paper, soap, paper towels, etc. Taking care of all this planning upfront saves a lot of time and energy down the road.