Whether you like to house-sit close to home or use house-sitting as a way to experience life and new cultures in different countries most people would agree there is always at least one item or two that you treat as your essential luxury. Here are some house-sitting tips you might find useful. These are luxuries you simply could not do without on any journey away from home. Whenever I travel, I too have to have a few select items with me to ensure essential comfort and key tools to be used for emergency practical solutions. For example I would be hard pressed to leave behind either my Carmex or my Quillo pillow, but more about them soon. Ask any regular traveller and they too will probably have their own comfort essentials packed in a safe place or some where about their person as their insurance policy. So here are my guilty little secrets, my peche mignon (little weakness) as the French would have it!
Actually, regarding house-sitting tips there are five things I really like to have in my case, and a couple in my handbag just to ensure that we are really never parted:
1. Lipsalve – Carmex
After living in Minnesota, USA, for three years and having experienced the wild winds of the Amercian tundra and the heat of the Midwest Summer I found the only lipsalve that worked for me in those extremes was Carmex. Therefore, wherever I go and whatever the weather predicted Carmex comes too! Of all the house-sitting tips, this is one of my favourites. Wherever you travel it is useful to keep some with you.
2. Phone and Laptop
Somehow I can never feel comfortable unless I am connected or online in someway. I once read a journalist’s Twitter strap line and his words rang very true ” Never knowingly offline!” I fidget if I can’t see my emails or texts for a more than a couple of hours. I have a friend who is threatening to take me to the Australian outback for a two week trek to break me of this habit. She’ll have to catch me first! House-sitting tips – equip yourself for your level of comfort regarding a separate and easy to access phone and laptop bag.
3. Change of clothes
I once had the pleasure of wearing some of the British Airways giveaway paper clothes (it was underwear, I kid you not) when they lost my suitcase for a couple of days! I now carry my own spares in a capacious handbag… House-sitting tips – always carry spares to hand!
4. Bottle opener
No doubt one of the more popular of my house-siting tips is never go anywhere without a bottle opener. It is remarkable how many times I have found uses for a bottle opener of this kind, once when staying in a really old house in Italy, the bottle opener helped me open a locked door when the internal mechanism had slipped and dislodged the opening for the key. It also comes in handy for the occasional bottle of medicinal vino!
5. My Pillow
Now this is the latest addition, and probably the most important element of my essential travel kit. As I mature I find it harder to sleep without my own pillow, actually I find it harder to sleep full stop but bringing my own pillow does help. And when I am house-sitting or travelling away from home, it somehow seems more polite to take my own with me rather than rely on the homeowner’s provision. I have recently discovered a fabulously comfortable and somewhat luxurious Quillo pillow from Dormeo. Bear with this…
For incredible comfort whatever the season, this luxurious quality combination of cashmere and merino wool on one side (I know – almost unthinkable really but whoever thought of this really knew what they were doing), and microfibre on the other, is both lightweight and warm. What’s more, it’s a pillow, a cover, or a blanket – all rolled into one! A truly brilliant idea! And, guess what? they are currently on sale at 50% off when you buy from the Dormeo site!
I recently enjoyed a wonderful week house-sitting in Paris where the owners were kind enough to give us their bed while they were away on holiday. They had a memory foam mattress which I have to say was extraordinarily comfortable. Having returned home to my sprung mattress (not quite the same sadly) I have found that Dormeo have a mattress sale too at the moment (such remarkable timing!). Not sure I can manage to take the mattress with me when I travel next, but the pillow will definitely be coming with me! It’s good to be comfortable when you are house-sitting in someone else’s home.
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