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Our house sitting journey

by Brittnay Bailey

House sitting has provided us some wonderful experiences. From living next to a castle to having Bono just around the corner, house sitting certainly is an adventure. However, what we have enjoyed the most is spending time with a variety of animals and having the opportunity to explore our new surroundings with them.

My partner and I are The Traveling House Sitters, Jayden & Brittnay, a New Zealand & Aussie travel loving couple. We started our house sitting journey whilst working away in London. We managed to squeeze in 21 trips to Europe and Africa while living there. However, what we wanted was to see more. We loved the idea of spending 2-4 weeks in a location to really understand the way of life as well as the way of eating! We realized that house sitting could offer us that. Not only that we could spend time with animals, which was one of our favorite pastimes.

To build up our references we started with a house sit in London, immediately we were hooked. After two exciting years in London, we moved across the pond to Dublin, we managed to secure two month long house sits in Dublin as well three, two week sits. What we didn’t realize was that these house sitters were in the most affluent areas of Dublin, so having a castle on side and Bono around the corner quickly became the norm.

After three months later and four house sits done and dusted, we set off from Ireland, destined for Thailand. We have pieced together some of our most memorable moments. We have also included some tips from our guide how to become a house sitter.

Some of our Favorite House Sits

House near the Bullocks Habour

While we were still in London, we had a Skype conversation with a lovely Australian couple who were off to France for three weeks. The couple needed someone to look after their elderly lab Roxy and eight-bedroom mansion. When we arrived and ushered through the big gates. We meet Roxy, the most relaxed dog in Dublin, who only required a walk up and down the driveway every second day.

With castles next door, beautiful harbours and beaches, Dalkey was a lovely area to live, we weren’t surprised when we learned that Bono lived around the corner.

Home in Country of Enfield

We had chosen to do some house sitting before immersing ourselves in Dublin. An hour west of the big city, down a quiet country lane, it where we found our next sit. It was a complete change from the hustle and bustle of London, however, we were delighted. The Dutch couple had built themselves a stunning hidden cottage with no neighbors or busy roads for miles. It had a gorgeous Scandinavian aesthetic, sleek and modern yet snug.

We looked after their two Siamese cats, two Scottish terriers & two chickens. The dogs warmed to us right away and were happy to cuddle with us on the sofa of an evening. The cats took a day or two however, once we realize that they loved to play fetch with a small toy rat, we were all best friends. Only being one week it was over too quickly and we were off to the big city for our next adventure.

Some of Our Top Tips For House Sitting

Getting Started

The hardest part is getting that all important first good review. The more good reviews you have the more likely someone is to hire you. If you don’t have any house sitting references you might need to get creative. Use Airbnb references, a character reference from a boss or even a professional reference. Every little bit helps!

Police Checks

Police checks are the ultimate peace of mind for homeowners. If you have never obtained a police check before they are usually free and really easy to get your hands on – just get in touch with your local police or countries Justice Department. This could also push you towards the top of the pile and gives your homeowners some piece of mind.

Apply, Apply, Apply!

Once you have signed up, start applying for houses sits in your desired area. You need to be prompt and stand out with your applications. Don’t send a generic copy and paste application. Show the homeowner you have read their listing and you really understand their needs.

Get Accredited

For the most part, you will be looking for someone’s pride and joy. We recommend attending a pet first aid course. It can help to ensure you are prepared for any situations. Generally, they are a one day course and only cost around $50. It can also give you an edge when you are among 25 other applicants for that house sit at a beachfront villa in Bali.

As you can see house sitting has provided an amazing experiences in Ireland for us. We have made firm friendships (human and animals) and discovered places we would have never had had even dreamed existed. We would recommend house sitting to anyone who is looking to save some money, up for an adventure or would just love an animal to snuggle up with in the evenings.

Brittnay Bailey

About the author: Brittnay Bailey

Jay & Britt are 'The Travelling Housesitters'! They have a joint obsession with food, wine, a good view & travelling.