If you love to travel, but can't quite save enough for expensive hotel rooms and meals, there is an option that you should seriously consider: House Sitting!
Using house sitting as a way to cut your costs is a legitimate travel method. There are easy-to-use services that match house sitters to houses. You'll find that you get stay comfortably in someone's home, and explore the region at your leisure, with no need to worry about running up expensive hotel bills.
How do you become a house sitter?
Before anyone will hand you the keys to their home, they will be sure to ask you if you have any experience sitting homes for people. If you have no experience whatsoever, they will usually be reluctant to trust you. For this reason, your first move should be to gain some experience house sitting for someone who's a friend or family member. When you do well, they'll let you have a great testimonial that gets you started.
Signing up to a reputable house sitter matching service should be your next step. Most services require that you pay an annual fee to sign up. It is usually anywhere between $20 and about $100. Services such as PetCloud are popular, and cover plenty of destinations across Australia.
You need to create a profile
Once you find a house sitting service that has the kind of opportunities that you would like to have, your next step should be to make yourself an attractive candidate for those looking for the services that you provide. Typically, your profile and listing should include a picture, and detailed information about your experience working as a house sitter.
If you love pets, you should add a lot of detail about your experience with animals, considering that pet sitting is a big part of many house sitting jobs. If you can prove that you're great with animals, it should work in your favour. It can also help to talk about skills you have that might come in handy when house sitting -- gardening experience, and experience with tools, for example.
You should make sure to include references and testimonials in your profile. If you have no experience, you could put down your experience as a rent paying tenant. You will only need to get a testimonial from your landlord, vouching for how you are a responsible renter.
National Police check verifications can usually be done pretty quickly online. You will also get a Disclosable Outcome Report. This will also help to build trust with Pet Owners who haven't met you yet.
Accredited Training as a House Sitter and Pet Carer can be done conveniently online. It is highly recommended as it will help give you confidence as to what to do in an emergency.
National Pet & House Sit Opportunities across Australia
The best house sitting opportunities in popular cities such as Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne go very quickly.
For this reason, it's important to keep checking for openings, and to apply as quickly as you can. You should start with a brief introductory message. You should look over the details of the job, and mention relevant experience with pets or gardens as may be necessary. Introductory messages can work well for you when they are written with plenty of enthusiasm.
Prepare for the interview
Most homeowners do ask to interview you over Skype before they accept your application. Even if they don't, it would be a good idea for you to insist on such an interview. You should ask them questions about their pets diet and exercise routine and fencing around the property, ensuring it is escape-proof and hazard free. Are guests allowed? Is there a car that you can use? Will there be a dedicated Guest Room mad up for you to stay in? Where is the nearest Vet located? Is there wifi so that you can keep in touch with the Owner to send them daily photo updates? Will anyone else be staying in the house or calling in while you are there? It's also important to use the interview as an opportunity to see if the people you work for are the friendly type.
Going in prepared to do your best
Taking great care of a home and its pets is usually a demanding assignment. Things can go wrong sometimes, however, and you do need to be prepared for the occasional runaway pet or leaky roof. It's always a good idea to have an emergency contact number on hand.
House sitting is usually easy, unchallenging work done in return for a wonderful time visiting a new country or town. Even if you don't plan to make a career of house sitting, it's an experience you should try at least once.
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