Frugal Travel Tips: How to Use Trusted Housesitters

Like most people, we love to travel whenever we get the opportunity. But, traveling can get expensive, so we don’t do it as much as we really want to. Recently, I found a great travel hack that has helped us combine traveling with one of our other loves: pet sitting. Travel frugal with Trusted Housesitters, it makes the accommodations free when you travel. Yes, I said FREE!

What is Trusted Housesitters

Trusted Housesitters is an international travel housesitting website. There is an app for it also, which is what I normally use.

They are in virtually every country, which is awesome. So this works really well if you want to travel internationally and potentially have flexible dates.

The countries I have seen the most “sits” in recently are:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • England
  • France
  • Ireland
  • United States

You can sign up to be a housesitter, which is what we are, or you can put your house up to be housesat while you are away. The people who post their houses have at least one animal that needs to be cared for while they are away. More often than not it is a dog or a cat, but sometimes it can be other animals, such as:

  • birds
  • chickens
  • fish
  • horses
  • lizards
  • mice
  • rats
  • snakes

I haven’t run across any other animals yet, but there is always the possibility of something else not on this list.

Ultimately, if you have pets, you could sign up as both a host and a housesitter. Since we have no pets, I am only signed up as a housesitter.

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Set Up Your Profile

Once you decide if you want to be a host or a housesitter, or both, you then have to set up your profile. If you decide to be both, then you will have two different profiles. One will be for housesitting, which is what we have, and the other will have more information about your house and pets, so that one is more in depth.

To set up a housesitter profile, you will need the following information:

  • About you section – This is one of the most important parts, so take your time when filling this section out.
  • Ages of adults planning to travel
  • At least 2 references – This is a very important part of the profile and can take the longest to get accomplished.
  • Calendar of availability for the year – You can change this at any time, but as a housesitter, I am not sure it is as relevant as when you are a host.
  • Eye catching profile title – This is fairly easy if you are a writer, like me, because we do it all the time for articles!
  • Occupation – I am not sure why this is relevant, but it is a requirement
  • Past experience with housesitting, if any
  • Pet care experience – We link to our Rover profile so people can see our reviews and pictures of us caring for animals.
  • Pictures of you and anybody that might be housesitting with you – We have pictures of just my spouse and I, as well as some with our kids, because we travel both ways, with and without kids.
  • Preferred countries to housesit in – I chose all of them just to see what pops up, but you can change this any time.
  • Where you currently reside – Also not sure why this is relevant, but it is a requirement.
  • Why you want to housesit
  • Who you will be traveling with

While this may seem like a lot of work, once it is done you are ready to apply for housesits. However, if you plan to host, you will have to create another profile with the same information, but also add in a lot of pictures of your house and pets.

Verification

Once you get the profile(s) set up, the next step is verification. There are two different levels of verification that you can choose from:

  • Basic
  • Standard

The requirements for Basic verification are:

  • Email address verified
  • Phone number verified
  • External References verified

The Standard verification is a bit more in depth. But, in my opinion, it is an important one to get completed, because this is where they do:

  • ID document check

The Standard verification takes longer, but once it is completed, your profile will show both badges. This is to help potential hosts feel more confident about who you are. After all, they will be leaving their house, and their pets, in your care while they are away.

Fees

Of course, I would love for this to be a free service. But, it’s not. However, when I looked at how much the annual fee was, $85, I really couldn’t balk at it.

Ultimately, we are lucky if we can find a hotel room, per night, for that amount. So just imagine how much we will be saving on travel accommodations this year!

In fact, we did our first housesit, just outside Washington DC, during spring break and saved a ton of money. I didn’t have to pay anything for our lodging for the whole week we were there.

By my estimation, we would have been lucky to get a hotel room for $100 a night. We were there for 6 nights, which would have cost us at least $600 plus taxes and fees. And we paid nothing!

In fact, I only paid a total of $450 for the entire week to enjoy spring break in Washington DC. This included all of the:

  • food
  • gas to get up there and back
  • metro fees
  • souvenirs

I am pretty darn happy with only spending that amount of money on a week long vacation.

We have another “sit” scheduled this summer with our kids, so that will save us even more money. I love to save money on travel and Trusted Housesitters is how I do it!

Travel Frugal with Trusted Housesitters

Now that you know a bit more about this platform and how it works, I hope you give it a shot. This is a great way to travel frugally and still have a great time.

Plus, the hosts I have run across have been extremely helpful about their home, pets and surrounding areas. So this is a great way to learn more about where you are traveling from a local, which is one of my favorite things to do.

Although, keep in mind that this might not be for everybody. If you aren’t a fan of watching other people’s pets, then this isn’t the platform for you.

If you are though, then you should definitely check it out!

Have you tried Trusted Housesitters before? If not, what are you waiting for?