Is house sitting what your travelling family needs?
Why would you want to use house sitting services? Answer this: do you love to travel but worry about leaving your house empty or having to kennel your beloved pets? As someone who loves to travel as does my family, we’ve struggled with this recently as we don’t want to board our pets but we can’t always take them with us.
Our recent trip to Cancun
Disclaimer: We received compensation for this article but as always all opinions are 100% our own.
For years we were very lucky in that we always had a family member who lived close enough and had the ability and inclination to stay in our home with our dogs and cat. Unfortunately over the last few years we no longer have this option, making it more challenging to travel as a family. Of course, we love to take our dogs with us whenever we can but that’s not always an option, especially when we have to fly to our destination.This is why we love the idea of getting a house sitter to take care of our home and our pets who are our family. It is a must for every travelling family who doesn’t have friends or family who can stay at their home. That’s why we’re sharing some tips on why utilizing a house sitting service is an affordable investment (and sometimes free) for your peace of mind when on vacation.
In January, my husband and I had the opportunity to escape the cold weather here at home and go to the warmer climate of Cancun, Mexico. When we received this opportunity, we weren’t sure if we could go at first because why? We had no one to take care of our two dogs Cleo and the recently adopted Nyx and our cat Ollie.
My hubby and I on our recent Cancun trip
We have never had to board our pets over the years and didn’t really want to go that route, especially for Nyx who was a puppy (and still is) and had only joined our family in December. As it turned out our daughter who is 18 decided she was good to stay home and was willing to take care of the new puppy and all of the other animals.
If she hadn’t I either would have gone with my daughter or by myself. Luckily for is it worked out and we got a much-needed couple’s getaway and as it turned out great timing as we missed a snowfall and even cold weather while we were gone. We were lucky that we were able to go but it made us think again about what we wanted to do in the future if all of us were travelling together and/or if our daughter was not available.
As we still strongly prefer not to board our dogs we’ve realized that we need to look again into house sitting. We had briefly looked before but it was more getting references from friends and family who might know someone who could house sit and take care of our pets. That didn’t work out obviously so we didn’t pursue it, however, it hadn’t occurred to us to check out actual house sitting sites and services.
I’ve recently found out about Nomador which is a trust-based community platform putting house-sitters and homeowners into contact with each other! Their website promotes house sitting globally by offer an affordable solution based on the values of sharing and fostering richer relationships between families across borders and continents. Say what?! This sounds like an idea solution for us and many other people and families who love to travel like we do.
Even better house-sitting is a service almost always provided free of charge. “I lend you my home when I’m away, and you look after it like it was your own.” House-sitting is for people who love traveling! You can look for a house-sitter or a house and pet sitters for those who may want to travel to your area. You as well can become a house-sitter and look for homes in areas you may want to travel to with your family.
Reasons pet owners utilize house-sitting services:
- They feel free to travel when confident that their pets are in good hands
- Pets left at home have an uninterrupted daily routine and have the same person there keeping them company
- You can avoid feeling like your burdening neighbours, friends or family
- Holidays are more relaxing when the family is kept informed of what’s happening at home
- Holidays cost less when pet boarding expenses are avoided
- People make friends with their house-sitters—whether they live close by or come from the other side of the world!
How it works with the Nomador house sitting community:
Getting your home and pets looked after is free: at Nomador, they encourage house-sitting as an exchange of services, where there’s a benefit and enjoyment for both sides: house-sitters like exploring new regions and even new countries. It helps them to travel for longer by saving money on accommodation. In exchange, they provide a service by looking after the house, taking care of and exercising pets and sometimes a little gardening.
Having the peace of mind to have someone stay in your home, take care of it and your pets and at no cost to you sounds ideal.
You can use the free listings on Nomador which allows you to publish a listing, receive applications, communicate with your applicants, confirm an agreement and leave feedback at the end of the experience.
You can also sign up for their confidence option which is $35 USD for 3 months or $89 for 12 months and it allows you to access more advanced features and options:
- Publish several listings,
- Contact house-sitters yourself if you prefer not to publish a listing, or search for house-sitters without waiting for applications.
- Restrict your listing to other Subscriber members only
- Display recommendations that you’ve received from house-sitters who’ve stayed in your home on your Profile.
Those who become house-sitters listed with Nomador they request that new members upload at least one proof of domicile or identity, before they contact home-owners. All documents you send are examined by a website moderator.
Of course when selecting a house sitter we would recommend doing your due diligence and would suggest the following:
- Require references from those they have house sitted for and following up on those references
- I personally would ask for at least one family reference as well
- Speaking to them over the phone or if possible in person
- If one is not available from Nomador create a house/pet sitting agreement. While it’s not a legal document this will help form the basis of understanding of what is needed for the house sit.
Ask questions of your potential house sitter until you feel comfortable if they are a good choice or not. I love knowing that we have options now for when we can’t take our dogs with us on our next travel adventure which could happen at any time. We will check out Nomador for our house-sitting and pet-sitting needs! If you try them let us know how it goes, we’d love to hear from you.