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The cheapest (and most fun) way to holiday around the world

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Families are saving thousands on accommodation costs by signing up to pet-sitting websites.

Pet-sitting websites allow families to stay in a someone’s home to care for their pets for an annual fee.

It’s not just dogs. Cats, birds, rabbits and even lizards need someone to look after them. The level of pet-maintenance varies. For families who are animal lovers, it makes for a really cheap holiday.

A girl plays on grass with her dog

Make new friends when you pet sit Picture: ESB Professional/Shutterstock

The largest pet-sitting website is called Trusted Housesitters. Families who register are charged an annual fee of $129. From there – all accommodation is free.

Peter Richardson used the service with his wife Megan, daughter, Elena, 4, and son Kilian, 1, while travelling through Europe. The family has stayed in 10 different houses ranging from a weekend to more than a month.

Peter estimates it saved him more than $15000 in accomodation costs.  

“It’s such a wonderful way to travel – you get to enjoy the comfort of a spacious home whilst spending time exploring often untapped areas of places you would never expect to go all the while looking after fun and friendly pets – and all for free,” Peter says.

The family’s house sits have taken them to all parts of England as well as France and in the Swiss Alps. They have stayed in mountain cottages,  farms, historic buildings and regular suburban homes.

You can stay in amazing cottages like this one in Exeter Picture: Trusted House Sitters

“We’ve looked after just about every animal you could think of from dogs and cats to chickens and birds to horses, cows and sheep,” Peter says.  

Trusted Housesitters was founded by Andy Peck and Rachel Martin. Andy came up with the idea while he was pet-sitting a friend’s dog.  

“Andy realised pet owners want to travel, and pet-lovers were willing to give up their time to care for someone’s animals in exchange for somewhere to stay,” says Trusted Housesitters Marketing executive Liam Beauchamp-Jones says.

The website now boasts more than two million nights of house and pet sitting all over the world.

“By signing up, members are prompted to complete a sitter profile where they demonstrate their experience and passion for caring for animals,” Liam says.

Once that profile is complete, families can start searching and applying for sits. To help sitter families find suitable accommodation, there is a ‘family-friendly’ filter on the site.

House and pet sitters may need to complete up to three levels of ID checks and verifications including  phone, email and external reference checks. At the very least an ID, document and address check will be made. Some pet-owners also require a criminal record check. Sitters can include third party references and member reviews on their profiles.

You can mind some pretty unusual animals! Picture: Trusted Housesitters

So how does it work?

TrustedHousesitters works by pairing up home and pet owners with caring, verified sitters who move into their homes to care for their animals while they are away. The owner gets the reassurance of knowing that their house and pet family are being well cared for, while the sitter gets an unforgettable and authentic travel experience. For many families, house sitting provides an affordable way to see the world with the companionship of pets.

Unlike a home rental, no money changes hands. Unlike a house swap, there is no need to have someone stay in your home if you simply want to travel as a sitter. All arrangements are made through trust, with members building their trust profiles through references, recommendations and police background checks. The site has more five-star reviews than any other travel or pet company on TrustPilot.

The more pet sits your family does, the higher a rating you can achieve. Pet owners can leave reviews for sitters, and sitters can leave reviews for homes and owners. These reviews are displayed on member’s profiles so homeowners can read honest reviews about sitters from other owners. By completing sits and delivering a 5-star service, sitters are able to build up their rating, increasing their chances of securing that dream sit.

Jess Stephens, Chief Marketing Officer at TrustedHousesitters says: “We love how families use house sitting to discover new cultures and communities, taking care of every kind of animal along the way. We love hearing member stories from families that clearly demonstrate how house sitting suits children, families and adults of every age so well, all it takes is a love of animals and adventures.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_basic_grid post_type=”videos” max_items=”10″ style=”load-more” grid_id=”vc_gid:1530140506158-7ccff057-168f-10″ taxonomies=”344″ el_class=”newest-video”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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