Why I House Sit for Free — 8 Sitters Tell Their Stories

26 Oct, 2023

Why I House Sit for Free — 8 Sitters Tell Their Stories

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HouseSit Match’s philosophy is based on mutual collaboration between sitters and pet owners. It is one of the house sitting websites that offers a variety of house and pet sitting assignments for housesitters and petsitters who exchange their services for free accommodation.

In this article, 8 HouseSit Match members describe why they house sit for free.

Why I House Sit for Free — 8 Sitters Tell Their Stories

Edited by Kelly Hayes-Raitt

I’m often asked why anyone would pay to travel halfway across the world in order to take care of a stranger’s pets, to house sit — for free. It is an awesome responsibility to assume care for a stranger’s pets, home and garden — especially as a stranger in a strange land!

So I asked some of HouseSit Match’s members why they wanted to become a housesitter and to house sit for free.

Jill Shelton & Gavin Merritt

house sit for free
“Finally found our house sitter doppelgängers!” Photo courtesy of Jill Shelton

House sitting for us is a lifestyle not a job, and that is the reason we house sit for free. This allows us the freedom to choose the locations we want to experience, the pets we want to care for and the homeowners we want to connect with, rather than being determined by (and limited to) paid house sitting positions.

Our life philosophy is based on trust and contribution, and when we house sit for free it is all about building trusting relationships. 
We enjoy being treated as friends rather than employees, and choose to be of service rather than provide a service. For us the important “currency” of house sitting is trust and appreciation. Read more about us at www.jillgavhousesitters.com.

Tiera St. Claire

Right after meeting Juno, she crawled onto my lap for a hug! Photo courtesy of Tiera St. Claire

For me it’s all about the love. I have been house sitting full time for 18 years now and spend most of my time alone.

When I am with pets, I have someone to love and talk to, cuddle with and care for. Beyond that, I love seeing new places and discovering new cultures. I especially love cities with art and beautiful architecture.
I have loads of fun doing photo ops with the pets and sharing the pics with their people. My intention is always to provide a safe and nourishing atmosphere when I house sit for free so the pets are happy and the people are at ease when they are away from home.
Follow my adventures in this YouTube channel.

Silvina Lipari

Silvina talking with Pipo in Paros, Greece. Photo courtesy of Silvina Lipari

I house sit for free because I love animals! Sometimes, I feel more comfortable with them than with some people.

I also love traveling. House sitting is not only about saving money while traveling. You can enjoy a place for yourself, rest, know the city or town, work, eat well and, at the same time, you are in contact with the pets.

Also, you have the independence of movement because you will be alone and enjoying your time or do what you want to do.

Follow my blog at viajeconpoco.blogspot.com.

Warren R. Johnson

Midnight and I have become close friends, writes Warren. Photo by Warren R. Johnson

I house sit for free because it is an opportunity to travel, discover new places, meet new people, and experience other cultures. Sitting for free is an equal opportunity for the sitter and the host: I get free accommodations and the hosts get their home secured and their pets taken care of.

However, free is a misnomer, as house sitting comes with obligations. I must accept responsibility for adequately maintaining the home and the pets as if they were mine.

Although I charge nothing for these duties, I think of the opportunity as being paid the equivalent of the rent I would otherwise have had to pay. It is a form of bartering, and I credit myself monthly with the amount I did not pay.

House sitting is a wonderful, free way to see the world!

I write a weekly post about my travels at www.TravelSketches.info.

Jacqueline Meziani

An American with Italian coffee and Russian bread from a Norwegian restaurant in London. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Meziani

Let’s be clear, I do not house sit for “free” – I house sit without an exchange of currency.

There is a value exchange nonetheless. I provide peace of mind to the homeowner that all is well. I treat their precious home as if it were my precious home. In exchange, I get access to a new part of the world, but with all the comforts of home.

The experience of a new environment is exhilarating, but it can sometimes be exhausting, too. Having the comfort of a home allows for rest and the flexibility to set my own schedule.

I certainly enjoyed being a tourist in London!


David Twigg

The best things in life are free! Photo of Wizard and Dylan courtesy of David Twigg

I see trust as a universal human value. House sitting is also about what unites us as human beings. Trust is the common denominator; the relationships I am building through house sitting are unique.

I also absolutely love spending the time with pets in the amazing properties they live in.

And I love exploring and developing new links with people and the communities in which they live.

Jacqueline & Glenn Lamb

house sitting worldwide
Glenn and Jacqueline with a new furry friend. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Lamb

We’re passionate about house sitting.

Not only does it help us save on travel expenses, enabling us to travel around the world full-time, but we also choose to house sit for free. Why? Simply because it’s straightforward and hassle-free.

What we truly cherish is giving pet owners the peace of mind to take their holidays, knowing their beloved animals are in the good hands of caring people like us. This not only ensures their pets are well-looked after, but also saves them a pretty penny as an alternative to kennel fees.

Plus, house sitting lets us travel at a leisurely pace, just the way we prefer. And the cherry on top? Being greeted by the joyful faces of pets – it’s simply “purr-fect!”

Why I House Sit for Free

house sit for free
OK, Jill & Gavin, I found my doppelgänger! Photo courtesy of Kelly Hayes-Raitt & Sophie

Although these house sitters hail from all parts of the globe — from the U.S. to the UK, from Europe to Down Under, they all focus on their love of pets and their desire to provide pet owners with loving service when they house sit for free. I think that’s what makes house sitting such a unique experience for all involved.

Years ago, a colleague and I were talking about traveling. He revealed that he and his wife didn’t travel because they had 2 large rescue dogs.

I thought that was so sad: Here they’d made this generous decision to share their home and their love with these dogs, but it meant they couldn’t leave Los Angeles.

Fast forward a decade when I discovered the joys of house sitting and giving pet owners the opportunity to travel worry-free. What a joyous service! (And the fact that I get to explore a new community with all the comforts and cost-savings of living in a home doesn’t hurt, either!)

When I House Sit for Free, I’m a Tourist, Not an Employee

One point that no one mentioned: When we house sit for free, it means (usually) we can enter a country on a tourist visa, rather than on a work visa.

I also feel I am “rewarded” for my volunteer work by homeowners’ appreciation, and, sometimes, with extraordinary gestures of hospitality — a full fridge, loaded transportation cards, free museum passes.

And many times, those relationships have blossomed into lovely friendships!

Thank you, HouseSit Match members, for sharing why you house sit for free — and for being such caring, responsible, joyous house sitting travellers.

Kelly Hayes-Raitt house sits for free. She is HouseSit Match’s happy blog editor! She’s written How to Become a Housesitter:  Insider Tips from the Housesit Diva.

Want to try housesitting?

Are you feeling inspired? Are you considering becoming a housesitter to travel, an exchange for house sitting and free accommodation, enjoying new pets and new locations around the world?

Read on to learn how you can get started.

How to become a house sitter

Being a house sitter presents you the chance to explore new places and live in fabulous homes. And sometimes you may even end up getting paid for it. You’ll need to have a genuine passion for caring for pets and housekeeping.

Sign up on a home sitting website to get started. You can have resume writing sites prepare your profile and message to land an interview for your next home sitting job.

Why join a housesitting website?

If you are new to housesitting but want to become a housesitter and petsitter who has the opportunity to travel and see new locations, it is advisable to join a housesitting website. HouseSit Match is one of the best housesitting websites that offers safety and support for all members.

Choosing a house sitting website

Your selection of one or two housesitting websites is important both as homeowner and house sitter. Whether you like a free house sitting website or a paid for site, it is worth taking a moment to consider the benefits and challenges of both.

  • Paid for house sitting websites – Some people are happy with the house sitter as a free non paying guest in their home. However, they want the security of knowing the sitter has been checked for their safety. You can always find checked sitters on the paid for house sitting websites.
  • ID and Background checks – The best housesitting websites like HouseSit Match.com will check the ID of the sitter before they are allowed to apply for housesits. In addition most sitters have a background check and the criminal record checks have been shared with the site management. This keeps the website, the network and all involved as safe as can be.



Further reading about housesitting and trusted house sitters

At Housesitmatch.com as one of the international house sitting websites 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.

Budget travel guide Budapest – Housesitting

London calling – London house sitting

Cat sitting tourist sees London for free

What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities

Top 10 tips for cat sitting

Top dogsitting tips for beginners

Housesitters keep pets safe at home and save money

What a housesitter does – Top 10 responsibilities

Preparing a home for a house or pet sitter


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Kelly Hayes-Raitt

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