Finally a sabbatical – A TIME-OUT! – and you can afford it

You have enough of your nine-to-five-Job, every day the same. You need a break – a TIME-OUT! – to recharge your batteries and to sort out yourself. You dream of traveling, exploring the world, without a time-limit of a couple of weeks. But you don’t know, if you can afford it.

YOU CAN DO IT! Read this article to learn how.

You need a sabbatical, a time-out and you don't know if you can afford it? Yes, YOU CAN!

How are we able to travel the world for five years continuously? We must be very rich!

That’s what we hear from many people who long for a time out of their daily routine and want to explore the world like we do. But it’s not that we swim in money and can spend indefinite luxury vacations. We found a way to live and travel with very little money. That’s the whole trick basically.

How we can live and travel with very little money

In this newsletter I focus on how we skip the costs for accommodation. After a year traveling in Southern Africa, South America and the United States in 2013 and 2014 we were tired of living on campgrounds and laying in cheap beds of hostels.

In the United States we met friends who asked us to care for their dog during their holidays. Soon after my uncle asked us to care for dog and country home in the Netherlands, as he planned to travel to Iran. A great excuse to stay some time in one of our favorite countries of Europe.

Well, this is great! How can we get more house sits like this?

I set up a website but that didn’t do the trick. Who is going to find our website when looking for a house sitter anyway? And jeez! it’s a lot of work to write articles of a certain quality every week to get some readers all over the world. That wasn’t going to work!

I started to read blogs of world travelers

Most of the authors of these blogs were backpackers – young women and men – in between or after studying and before starting a career. Staying in bunk beds with bedbug-ridden mattresses in dorms with another seven buddies – no problem at that age!

Other bloggers were young women or men doing short trips in their holidays or families managing to travel with a bunch of lively kids like a bag of fleas without going nuts. Both categories weren’t quite in my stage of life. Only later I learned about world travelers which started their new life as world nomads after their careers.

Combining the love for animals and traveling

As I started to google for blogs of world nomads in a later period of life after family, kids and careers or early retired travelers, I learned that they often travel luxury by house sitting around the world.

That’s when I stumbled over a few websites dedicated to connect house owners mostly with animals to care for during their holidays with travelers like us. Most successful as for its most professional website, search, profile setup, helpline with live chat and reference system we found TrustedHousesitters.

How to start out as TrustedHousesitter without references?

We had a problem to get house sits when we put our profile on TrustedHousesitters initially. Why should a homeowner trust us with their precious animals and house if we didn’t have any references?!

There wasn’t a way around it as to do some house sits for friends and family which gave us their first note on our profile of TrustedHousesitters. But that wasn’t enough.

We couldn’t be too choosy about our first house sits

We went to the birthplace of the house sitting-concept, where it seems that everybody is totally comfortable and used to having house sitters in their homes every year over and over again – Great Britain. It was easy enough to find house sits from a few days to several weeks all over the British island, sometimes somewhat challenging with unruly animals or in not so nice suburbs and other times it was a treat.

All in all we spent six months in the United Kingdom having to pay only for five nights in hotels with the pleasant side effect of plenty references as TrustedHousesitters, handy for future house sit – hunts with large numbers of applicants from all over the world.

Now we can choose and pick our house sits

Thanks to the house owners which took the time to write us great references, we get new assignments more easily. We were able to meet up with the expectations and spent a wonderful time making two and four-legged friends in many parts of the world.

After having lived in so many houses, slept in many beds and used all kind of kitchens, we are probably home experts of best living space, most comfortable mattresses and where to find anything in someone else’s kitchen.

Try it for two weeks, a month or longer – live as a local in somebody else’s home

You see, it’s not too hard to start off as a house sitter. Choose the continent, country or region where you’d like to stay for some time and you’ll most probably see some open house sitting announcements.

You can even signup for emails to get new house sits real time into your inbox. If you want to apply for a house sit, do it immediately. The longer you wait the bigger the chance to lose out as many apply in the first days that the new house sit pops up.

Get in touch with us if you want to know more about house sitting, our experiences and the tasks which come with it.

Good luck and have a good time house sitting around the world!


Sign Up TrustedHousesitters

PS. Sign up by click on the image of TrustedHousesitters or this link. you’ll get 20% off of your subscription to TrustedHousesitters and we’ll get two months for free. Great for you and us!


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Author: Marcelle Simone Heller

I’m searching for natural beauty and wilderness, while I’m travelling relentlessly to find delightful places and encounters with wildlife. I try to capture the thrill of the moments in photography and words, hoping to inspire others with the love for animals and nature.

37 thoughts on “Finally a sabbatical – A TIME-OUT! – and you can afford it”

  1. What an awesome way to travel and really get to experience new places. Do all of the housesits that you do have animals or do some people just want the home looked after?
    I’ve saved this as a way for us to extend our travels when we finally decide to leave the UK and travel on the way back to NZ!

    1. Hi Michael, at all of the house sits we cared for animals. Easiest were the one’s with just a cat (like in the Seychelles). Very seldom that you get a house sit without animals. I saw it mainly in countries, where it’s not safe to leave the house alone or for example in France with big gardens, which need a lot of gardening.

  2. Interesting! I’ve never done any housesitting before but I know people who do this as well. And they swear by it! They told me that it really helps with the costs.

  3. Awesome! This is a fantastic option if you want to travel long term. Thanks for sharing it and will definitely check it out. P.S. I live in the UK, I’ll probably start building my profile. 🙂

  4. Thank you for your great tips. House sitting is a great way to visit a city or country without spend a huge amount of money. This is a great article 🙂

  5. Oh this is something really new and interesting for us. We both are neither animal lovers nor knew about the concept of house sitters. But this is amazing for nomads who love animals. And am going to share this with my friend who loves both.

  6. Wonderful post. Dwayne and I just did our first house/kitten sit. It just fell in our laps, but I should get a reference shouldn’t I as we are considering doing more of this. Thank you for your timely post!

      1. The cats name is Nuggles. She is adorable. We have just been asked to go up and cat sit for another 10 days. Looking forward to the a/c and cat cuddles.

  7. We are housesitting at the moment in Australia- a 3 1/2 month sit which is fantastic. We found out about TrustedHousesitters from other bloggers and hope one day to become nomads too. At the moment we are working but hoping to combine more house sits with work opportunities around Australia. It really is a great way to see the world!

  8. So incredible that you’ve managed to combine your love of animals with the opportunity to travel the world – I think house and animal sits are an incredible opportunity for people to realize their dream of travel, and it’s great because you actually get to spend proper time in your new destination, and feel as though you’re living as a local. Good work guys on making this happen, and thanks for sharing your tips with everyone else to encourage more people to think outside the box to make travel a reality.

  9. House sitting is such a great way to save money while travelling. Plus the added bonus that you can integrate with the locals and culture. You’ve provided great advice especially for first timers. It’s good to know it will take a bit of time to get a rapport before you can choosy. 🙂

  10. I am a Solo Traveler, so still going for bunk beds. But house sitting does look like a great option to get accommodation for Free.

  11. Thanks for sharing this! We are currently in the process of quitting our jobs and our apartment in order to travel the world, and housesitting is something we have been carefully considering as a way of extending our travel budget for as long as possible. As I am from the UK, housesitting there would be a great option for the “in between” parts of our bigger trips and get us the references and experience as you say. Thanks so much again – really useful post for us. I also signed up to get notified of your new posts!

  12. Thanks for sharing your experience. I want to have a decent amount saved up for emergency and retirement before I travel for years at a time, so I hope resources like these are still around when I do!

  13. I would love to try house-sitting. Waiting a bit for my toddler to grow up and stop being a little Godzilla around the house crashing things on his way, and then will plan some trips like this for sure!

    1. Hi Ana! Sometimes there are homeowners who offer house sits for families. Especially if they have young kids themselves and a house full of toys. Maybe you’ll find something anyway.

  14. I have lots of travel friends who do house sits, but we prefer not to as a. we have animal allergies and b. we want to travel away from the place for longer than a day. We have done several house exchanges over the years where we swap both house and car with someone.

What do you think? Your comment is most appreciated.