House and pet-sitting is a great way to travel cheaply and see parts of the world. This is our third year to escape the long and cold Canadian winters. Trish and I discovered this unique way of travelling and after we disconnect all our heating and electrical devices, we are financially better off than staying home.Let me give you a few secrets. First of all, you need to get a police clearance that states you do not have a criminal record. Pop in to your local police station and hope that there is a gorgeous woman in uniform awaiting you. There is a charge for this clearance. Get some references and write up an article about your love of animals. The reward could be a month on Moorea, the sister island of Tahaiti. (This is my wife, Trish and Gypsy).
Secondly, go on line to such webpages as Mind My House, Trusted House Sitters, etc. All of these sites charge a yearly fee. You choose countries that you want to house/pet sit. In most cases, pets are part of the deal. The agency sends you emails of the prospective house owner with information and photos of the home and the pets. There is usually a little blurb about their animals and the nearest city, etc. The house/pet sitting times vary – from a weekend to a week or two – and sometimes longer. You are not paid any money – you have free accommodation, t.v. wi-fi – heating etc. Most owners like to Skype or email you – and they always like to meet you with a meal the day before they leave. Make sure that you get pictures of the home as well as the pets. We have never let a house sitter down by cancelling a job for what we might consider to be a ‘better’ home. By being upfront and totally honest, we have been rewarded with first-class references. We are now heading off for Europe and we will be staying at two homes that we have house-sat before. We are now considered friends with these two families, plus we are meeting our Tahiti housekeepers in Paris this year. Yes, we actually had a month on Mooeea the sister island of Tahiti. We met Marie & Rene in New Zealand at a Starbucks Cafe. My wife, Trish, is fluent in French and she was actually chatting to them (with me picking up the odd French word and smiling a lot). Anyway, they asked us to housesit for them. They have an adorable dog, Gypsie (who actually understood some of my French phrases) and a cat (whose name I have forgotten).
Marie and Rene are French citizens who live on Moorea. They have two sons – one lives in Tahiti and the other lives separately on Moorea. We will reunite with them in Paris for a meal. They gave us their car to use on Moorea and we consider them as family.
So if you can put some money away as well as a block of time – then the world awaits you. After Europe, we will house sit in Perth, Australia in time to welcome the Christmas season. We have housesat in New South Wales but never travelled to the West. Don’t put off ‘having fun’ until you retire.! Live NOW!