We are currently housesitting in the South of Spain. It’s our first experience of it but something that I have always wanted to do. I wanted to share what house sitting was and how you could get involved.
We decided to try and get a housesit this summer because of Covid. Our initial summer plans had gone out of the window and we started worrying about money as we wouldn’t have a job in the summer, and would need money for living in September once we start working again. The idea came to try and do some house-sitting, as we had accepted it was probably more responsible for us to stay in Spain than travelling around.
So… What is Housesitting?
It’s really simple, you basically look after someone’s house and pets whilst they are away. They need someone to look after the pets mainly but you get a nice house to stay in for free. Sometimes you even get use of their car. The only expense extra is your food and petrol. It’s a great way to spend long periods of time in a place on a small budget.
What we have to do for our housesit.
We managed to get a housesit in the Murcia region of Spain. We were very lucky, as we had no previous experience and applied for this one and got it.
Currently, we are staying at this house for 5 weeks, looking after 18 cats and 2 peacocks. 18 cats is a bit extreme for a first housesit, in fact any housesit but, they are all outside cats except one which is very old and needs extra TLC. All the cats have been rescued and 4 of them are off to be adopted in Germany. So I like to think of it as a good deed that we are doing.
We have to feed them twice a day, in the mornings and evenings, and make sure they’re all OK. Apart from that they just seek shade from the sun and nap all day.
We spend our days in the huge pool that we have to ourselves, playing cards and backgammon, pétangue, reading, cooking, napping and recently I’ve started writing again every day. It really is the downtime we needed.
I would totally recommend housesitting if you have time to spare. It’s a great way to stay in a place for short/long term, cut down on accommodation costs and even a great way to travel if you work remotely as you will have a base for a few weeks or even months. I would do it again in the future for sure as I am able to stay in a place that would usually cost a lot of money, with a swimming pool to enjoy and we have a car to use for free.
How do you get involved in housesitting?
There’s a couple of websites online. Some of them you have to pay a yearly fee but it really isn’t too bad, considering you get to stay for free in these places.
(Mind my house is the one we found ours and there was a 24€ annual payment.)
Workaway is a great website with 1000s of opportunties around the world. You help people out with jobs they may need doing in exchange for accommodation and food. There is a 24€ annual fee, but that’s nothing to the amount of travelling you can do from this website on a budget. You can find an array of opportunities; from teaching English in a 5-star hotel in Thailand, to help to build an eco-hostel in the mountains of India.
Facebook is also a great place to find housesitting gigs, there are lots of private groups on there that you can join. Just search house-sitting in Spain for example.