If you love travel but fear the cost, read on. In this article we offer you a housesitter’s tips on how to travel on a budget, even in these straightened times.
Here’s how to travel on a budget – Yes, still possible
With the cost of living crisis and an economy in turmoil you might be hesitant to travel anytime soon. But, despite the momentary turbulence, it is still very possible to squeeze in that last trip this year, while sticking to a budget.
Housesitting and petsitting is one of the most cost effective ways to travel. If you are a trusted house sitter on a reputable platform it removes accommodation costs entirely from the equation. This means your budget can stretch further into other elements of your trip. Alternatively, you can put the saved money to one side for another time!
Typically, the housesitting arrangement is where a homeowner allows a housesitter to come and stay in their home for free. The arrangement lasts while the homeowners are absent. This is usually because the homeowner will want someone there to ensure the property is secure, or more likely that the homeowner has pets that need taking care of while they’re away.
Housesitting is mutually beneficial
Such an arrangement is mutually beneficial. The homeowner will feel confident that their home is being looked after. And if they have pets they will save money with the housesitting exchange arrangement instead of using a pet care company or kennel service.
Some homeowners prefer for sitters to care for their pets in their own home. In kennels the treatment of the animals is done in groups and your pets will have a less personal experience.
Cutting costs of travel with housesitting
Equally, the housesitter will get to travel to a new and exciting location with no accommodation expenses. Plus the sitters will have the joy of taking care of a little furry friend or two as part of the arrangement. And with the price of fuel sky rocketing at home, while living in someone else’s home you will save money on fuel costs this Winter.
When it comes to keeping costs down, petsitting is definitely the way to go. A recent US study by Value Penguin found that holidaymakers will typically spend around 26% of their total travel expenditure on accommodation when travelling domestically. And that cost is 21% of total travel expenditure on accommodation when travelling internationally. While this study was on US citizens, it is a clear indicator that accommodation costs are a huge expense when it comes to travelling.
Becoming a trusted house sitter
Housesitting and petsitting, especially with trusted networks such as U.K.-based HouseSitMatch, removes this cost entirely. It makes travel an affordable activity despite the uncertainty that 2022 has brought to many of us.
I joined and it only cost £ 69 per year for a membership, and it gave me a vast opportunity to travel with no accommodation costs. In exchange I could offer my time and service to the pet and homeowner while they were away. I felt it was fair and was happy with the exchange.
Last minute holiday housesitting
Planning a last minute holiday housesitting means that it is possible to squeeze in a trip before this year comes to a close. With many housesitting opportunities in France, Spain, the U.K. and further afield there are various options to suit travellers.
There are many other additional ways to stick to a budget when travelling, or keeping costs as low as possible. Another recommendation would be to take advantage of free walking tours on your city breaks.
Free walking tours in a new city
Walking is one way to save money when you are considering how to travel on a budget. And in a new city walking is a great way to get about for free and to learn about the culture and how people live. Plus there are free walking tours in almost every city and are usually free to book online. The walking tours operate on a tip-based system. So each individual is asked to tip the qualified tour guide at the end of the tour. This is based on how much the tourist can afford or are willing to pay.
Without a doubt it is definitely a lower cost option to booking a private tour. Standard personal tours can sometimes cost over £100!
With the free walking tours, you are in control over how much you spend, and it’s a great way to see the city you’re visiting with a professional and qualified guide.
The tours usually last a couple of hours. Depending on the tour you choose, you can learn about the history, culture, food or language of the place you are visiting. One of my favourite walking tour providers is freewalkingtour.com. I chose them for tours of Kraków and Vienna.
An alternative but equally fantastic provider is GuruWalk, which offer tours in a variety of cities including Rome, Barcelona, and Florence.
Public transport for cheap transportation
A final tip to keeping your travels low-cost is to make use of all the public transport options. Public transport is vastly cheaper than private taxis or hiring a vehicle. And sometimes it is even free, depending on where you are visiting!
While it may seem daunting navigating public transport in a country with a different culture and language, don’t give up. It is a great way to immerse yourself. You’ll end your trip feeling like you’ve really gotten to know the area you’ve visited, while sticking to a budget. For example, if you’re visiting London in the UK, the buses are currently only £1.65 each trip, and the tube is £2.50 per trip with an Oyster card. This is so much cheaper than getting a cab.
It is worth knowing there are also daily price caps for London transport. That way you don’t spend more than you have to. You can find out more about the London transport price caps here: https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/find-fares/tube-and-rail-fares/pay-as-you-go-caps
How to travel on a budget in summary
I would definitely recommend housesitting to anyone who is trying to travel on a budget. I recently had my first housesitting experience abroad where my partner and I spend 10 days in Budapest, Hungary. We were petsitting a lovely little Dachshund in a stunning 5-bedroom home with a private swimming pool.
Although I was a little nervous to take the plunge with housesitting, I’m so glad I did. My partner and I had the most amazing time in Hungary, seeing the sites and exploring the culture. All the while we were saying in a safe and comfortable home that didn’t cost us a penny. Housesitting opens the doors to affordable travel. This means that you don’t have to sacrifice experiences and holidays despite the current uncertainties that this year has brought.
Further reading about housesitting and housesitters
At Housesitmatch.com we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters and house sitting in London useful.