Yesterday I shared about the downsides of housesitting, so today I figured I should elaborate on the upsides!
There's a reason we've been traveling the world this way for over a year now and it's because the many upsides outweigh the downsides in the end. Even if you aren't looking at housesitting as a way of life for a period of time it could still be an option for shorter-term travel.
Here are some reasons you should consider housesitting as a way of travel!
Housesitting is an inexpensive way to travel. The biggest pro of this method of travel is the cost - it is very inexpensive. In exchange for caring for someone's house/pets, we get to live there and use the utilities (internet, water, electricity, etc.) for free. This means our only expenses are travel in between housesits, food, cell phones, and any fun activities we do in the area. Compared to most styles of travel where you have to pay for a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb, this saves you quite a bit of money!
Housesitting gives you a start with someone who knows the area. Building a relationship with homeowners we've worked with has been a huge benefit to this way of travel as well. They are all travelers themselves (thus needing housesitters) so it's fun to exchange stories and travel tips. Everyone has been very generous with their time and energy, always giving us a tour of the area, advice on what's worth a visit and what's not, and usually introducing us to other local family and friends.
Housesitting is a slow way to travel and gives you good immersion. One of the main reasons we have come to love traveling this way is that we really get to immerse ourselves in a local community. In most places, we have found a church to attend regularly, discovered favorite places to shop and eat, and made new, lifelong friends. We get to see and experience things you wouldn't normally if you just popped into the area for a day or two. It really is more like actually living somewhere than just being a tourist!
Housesitting means getting some of the comforts of home. While there are some downsides to staying in someone's home (which I discussed yesterday) getting some of the comforts of home is an upside as well. We get to unpack our suitcases and really settle in for a while. We aren't constantly having to stay on the move and this allows us to bring a few extra comforts with us (like a favorite mug, for example.) Having a place that feels like home even while in a new and foreign place is a real plus.
Housesitting (usually) means making new animal friends! While not all housesits have pets to take care of, most, including every single one we have done, do. If you are an animal lover this is a huge perk! Having a cat to cuddle with at night or a dog to walk during the day certainly makes a place feel more like home. We've even taken care of some more unusual animals like chickens and a lizard, which were adventures in and of themselves. The only downside of this might be when you fall in love with a pet and then have to leave...it can be hard to say goodbye!
So there you have it, some of the many upsides of housesitting. Do you think you would ever give it a shot? Even once we settle down in the UK we plan to keep an eye out for housesits in certain countries we want to visit - it's a good way to do a holiday on a budget!