Housesitting: Travel the World in Beautiful Homes for Free

Interest in housesitting has started to explode again in late 2021. Yes, there are still some limits on how and when you can travel in the world right now. However, housesitting is ready to take off like a rocket in early 2022 once much of the world has their vaccine shots. You might want to learn more about this fantastic travel opportunity before the tidal wave of interest comes our way.

You’ve probably heard or read about people housesitting during their travels over the past few years. A growing number of travelers have learned its a great way to experience real life in a community or region while enjoying FREE accommodation

If you've not had a chance to try housesitting, you're probably wondering if it’s something you might like to do. We know the odds are pretty good you feel this way because we are asked about housesitting ALL THE TIME. My partner and I have been actively housesitting for nearly a decade now.

I am writing this article from a very nice home on a tree-lined street in Northeast Portland, Oregon where I am in the middle of a housesitting stay. My main responsibilities are watching and feeding a cuddly cat and watering the garden from time to time. I was recommended to them by a friend of the owners, who just happened to own the home where I house sat for 10 days earlier in the month.

Most of the time my housesits come through online websites, but these opportunities came my way through word-of-mouth opportunities and recommendations. 

Early next month I have a housesitting gig I got through a website called Trusted Housesitters. It is for a couple with a modern 3,500 square foot home along the beautiful Columbia River. My primary responsibility will be to feed and walk a sweet lab/husky mix dog. I like hiking, so no problem there.

These three housesits total about 25 days and they have saved me at least $3,500. It is hard to come up with a direct comparison, but most good three-star hotels would be a minimum of $140 - $160 per day. 

Unlike many countries in the world, it is difficult and incredibly expensive to rent a furnished weekly or monthly apartment in the US. You used to be able to count on Airbnb as a backup a few short years ago, but their costs have nearly doubled on average in 2021. 

A basic Airbnb room with a shared bath (not a good idea during a pandemic) can easily cost $75-100 per night and getting a tiny studio apartment in a city will usually run $150-250 per night. This is especially true with “cleaning fees” almost as high as the daily rental amount and rapidly expanding city taxes. 

While it is bad in the U.S., these costs have gone up dramatically in many EU countries as well. This bodes well for housesitting once travel gets moving again. Prior to the pandemic, house sitting was already growing in popularity and becoming one of the best ways to travel long-term on a budget.

I've discovered so many well-informed people who don’t really know what housesitting is and how to go about it. Their desire to know more always perks up when I tell them it can be easy to save $100, $200 and even $500 per day once you know the system. 

Look, wouldn’t you love to save this money during your travels and use it for experiences instead of lodging? Most housesits come with multiple bedrooms with comfortable beds, a fully furnished kitchen, complete living and dining rooms offering lots of elbow room, a real neighborhood with real people and a close-up, true-to-life local culture experience.

Travel in style for free with housesitting 

Most of us want to travel more than we do, but life’s responsibilities so often get in the way. If you have a family, there is a constant need to take care of them and make them first in your life. 

For most of us, the amount of money left over after taking care of the mortgage, car payment and all the rest only allows for a week or two for vacation.  

However, if you are retired or even close to retiring – or the kids are old enough to stay home alone (scary thought!) or leaving the nest – you should learn how housesitting can help you travel for less cost than you ever imagined

Most people have heard about housesitting on some level, but what is it really?

Housesitting is when a homeowner exchanges free accommodation in return for having a reliable, responsible person or people take care of their home (and pets, usually) while they're away. 

That is all there is at the heart of it. You stay for FREE.

There are some variations of this simple system, but the internet has made this - hands down - the most popular way to housesit. Learning how to capture these housesits can provide you with long-term traveling opportunities without paying for accommodation.

A real House sitting example

Let's say you use an online housesitting site and find a woman who owns a luxury property high up on a hill overlooking the Caribbean in the Dominican Republic. 

This woman is traveling for two months and doesn’t want to leave her house vacant, and her pets cared for by neighbors for just a few minutes per day. She advertises to find someone reliable and trustworthy take care of it all and help her maintain peace of mind while traveling. 

This is where your opportunity starts. If you understand how, when and where to connect with her, you could be the one that gets to:

  • Enjoy spectacular azure blue and green views of the Caribbean from your dining room window when you wake up each day…
  • Meet interesting people, walk the beach and take convenient day trips to other parts of the island.
  • Sample local cuisine and visit local markets 

The homeowner gets to travel with peace of mind—you get to enjoy a home away from home for free.

Not in a crowded hotel room without a kitchen or a view, but a multi-bedroom home with great views. 

Traveling for 11 Months & No Lodging Expense

The Dominican Republic example outlined above was an actual housesit we recently enjoyed. 

It was part of a year where my partner traveled for 11 months – in 7 destinations – for $0 accommodation cost.


She enjoyed six weeks in a beautiful townhome in New York, another six weeks in a stunning three-bedroom home in the heart of London, along with a three-month housesit in Spain with a car at her disposal just 45 minutes from the Mediterranean. 

Together we spent nearly three fantastic months just 50 meters from the Pacific Ocean in Ecuador, and additional housesits in the U.S., Panama, and the previously mentioned housesit in the Dominican Republic. This was all during just one year. 

A conservative estimate of similar lodging comes in at $38,000. 

Since that remarkable year, we’ve enjoyed multiple housesits in locations like London and Preston in England, Rome, Thailand, and Portugal. This list was ready to double in size in before the world changed in 2020 with confirmed long-term housesits in Brussels, Gibraltar, the United States and Barbados. 

Just imagine how many more places you could travel while knowing you are saving thousands of dollars more than others at a hotel or resort in the area. You will have the luxury of more time at less cost in beautiful locations all over the world. 

We are location independent entrepreneurs, so our story might be different from yours. You will discover most housesits run from 3-4 days to 2-3 weeks and they are growing in numbers and length of time again this year. 

Traveling is great when accommodation is free

There are many different opinions about what a housesit looks and feels like on a daily basis. I can tell you from experience how you spend your days is pretty much up to you. Let’s assume your housesit includes care for one dog and cat in a foreign country and give you a likely picture of a potential day in your life. 

A Day in the Life of a Housesitter

You wake up whenever you like and put the coffee on as you look out the window at the wonderful view of the ocean, mountain, park or plaza. You take the dog out to the yard or park for a few minutes and come back to sit on the balcony or verandah with coffee, juice and fresh fruit. If traveling as a couple, you’ll probably talk about what to do during the day. 

You’ll then feed the dog and cat and give them a little attention before heading out for a walk on the beach or up on a trail. The dog you are watching may go with you some of the time and the cat will be just fine while you are gone. 

After a shower you may head off to a lunch in town and to shop at local open-air market. The vegetables and fruit are nothing like you’ve ever seen at the grocery store back home – larger with more vivid color and taste. 

You might return home mid-afternoon to read or catch up on the news. Those who are still working online part-time might put in a couple of hours at this point instead. If you like a beverage before starting dinner, then this is the time you will probably relax and enjoy the view again.

Then dinner time approaches and what you eat is up to you. Your home comes with a kitchen with everything you need to cook a feast or just create some light hors d oeuvres. 

As the sun starts to set, it might be time to take care of the dog and cat again and then take in a movie or play cards. If you’ve gotten to know a neighbor or two during your visit, you could invite them over for a game of hearts or rummy. 

It’s all up to you how the day goes. As you start to yawn a bit, it is time to head to the bedroom for a deep sleep so you can enjoy a brand new and wonderful day during your housesit.       

It is important to clarify that not every day will be as rewarding and stress-free as outlined here. Housesitters do have responsibilities and some surprises can occur. In the whole, though, an ideal day will have a flow similar to the one you just read. 


Traveling gives you the opportunity to disconnect from your regular life. You get to forget your usual problems for a few weeks and figure things out you would not have understood without a fresh perspective.

Going on vacation lets you recharge your “batteries” by disconnecting from your regular life. When you come back home, you’ll feel invigorated and happy to be back with a new outlook. 

Traveling also increases your knowledge of yourself and the world. To view new customs and different ways of living is fantastic for the mind. It offers new viewpoints about life and can change some of our habits for the better.

Your capabilities grow by handling situations you would never experience at home and traveling creates memories for a lifetime. Housesitting can help you have more of these cherished experiences without breaking the bank.

Housesitting is here to stay. Join us and enjoy great getaways.
We hope this housesitting article has enhanced your desire to travel more times to more places than ever before. 
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