21 House Sits & The Travelling House Sitters
Don’t Plan on Stopping!
By Brittnay Sharman
Picture this, you are sitting on a balcony overlooking a cute little harbour in Dublin, Ireland. You have an Irish coffee in hand and a gorgeous Labrador begging for your attention and you have Bono has a neighbour. Sounds pretty good right?
Well, for 4 weeks at the end of 2017 that was our life. How did we end up here?
My name is Brittnay, I am a professional house sitter and one half of The Travelling Housesitters. Together with my partner Jay and I travel the world looking after homes and pets while homeowners go away.
We have been house sitting for just over three years now, and with 21 sits under our belts.
How Can You House Sit Your Way Around the World?
The best way to get yourself into house sitting is to set up a profile on one of the many houses sitting websites out there. Over the past couple of years we have narrowed down to some of our best.
It's getting competitive out there these days so standing out in your profile and applications is essential. Check out our guide on how to get started house sitting for some hot tips that we have picked up over the years!
So, Where Have You House Sat?
Those 21 homes we have looked after have taken us from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia & currently France! So far we have looked after 18 cats, 23 dogs, 6 chickens and 1 tortoise.
After heading back home to Australia & NZ in 2018, we did a whole year of house sitting and saving in Melbourne. Next, we headed to India in February 2019 for a month then to Manchester, UK. Here we picked up a campervan and named her Mary Berry (those foodies out there will get that one). From Manchester we headed to our latest house sit, south west France!
What Are You Up to Next?
Currently, we are looking after a cute little cockapoo in village 30 minutes west of Bordeaux. This home is perched on a hill overlooking rolling hills full of vineyards! We are here for 4 weeks before we head south to Spain and Portugal, then onto Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey!
However, we do not plan to just drive, we will be spending 2 – 3 weeks at a time caring for homes between driving. We really love living, driving and travelling in a van, however, we also love pets and the comfort of home so house sitting along the way will be a fantastic way to get the best of both worlds.
We have looked after some pretty cool homes and animals over our three years, however, our top two would have to be:
When living in the UK we applied for a house sit in Dublin. We met the couple over several Skype conversations and locked in our sit. It was looking after a home in the suburb of Dalkey. At this stage We didn't know anything about Dublin or even Ireland.
Arriving at this house sit we were very surprised, this was no regular home. It was situated in one of Dublin's most affluent suburbs and was in the same neighbourhood as Enya and right next door to Bono!
This home was gorgeous and even overlooked a cute little harbour. The Labrador we were caring for was 14 years old, he was on a strict exercise routine of up and down the driveway once a day – if he felt like it.
The home was fantastic, we spent many afternoons playing with the dog and cooking up a storm in the beautiful kitchen. The homeowner also had a stand up paddle board and encouraged us to get out there and use it while the Irish summer was in full swing.
Papamoa, East Coast, New Zealand
We were lucky enough to look after a home in the town of Papamoa on the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island.
This home was in a new suburb to the south of the main town and had access to a beach right in front of it! Jay is from New Zealand so was lucky enough to have brought his surfboard along for this trip and had the pleasure of surfing outside our house everyday for 3 weeks!
We were looking after a Newfoundland named Rocco. For those of you who are not too sure what a Newfoundland is, it’s a dog that is better described as a bear. They generally grow to around 80kg and can reach 175cm tall. Rocco was no exception.
When we first met Rocco he was a very excitable dog who loved to jump and slobber all over you, however, within about 5 minutes he was back to laying on the floor enjoying his cold tiles and air conditioning.
One of our favourite things about Rocco was something that the homeowners didn't tell us. This little something came as a great surprise to us our first night.
We had tucked Rocco into his couch, set his air conditioning on and left him water and a midnight snack out. We were in bed reading when all of a sudden, Rocco came bounding in and proceeded to jump up on the bed with us and make room for himself. This was no graceful task as he was actually bigger than both of us! This was a nightly occurrence from then on in and something that we grew to really enjoy!