Tag Archives: Travel

How to survive a Chinese spa

I’d heard a lot about spas here in Shenzhen and how different they were to western versions, and I was keen to see how they compared. One of my students offered to take us to D-Club, a luxury spa in the Futian district and it really was an experience unlike any other!

Read the story of how our day unfolded here:

http://www.saporedicina.com/english/luxury-chinese-spa-experience/

House Sitting Websites Compared

If you are new to house sitting or pet sitting, then you’ve probably discovered that you’ll need to subscribe to a website to get access to assignments.

Which house sitting website should I choose?

Here we compare the best house sitting websites and the services provided. We review the top 5 international house sitting websites and provide links to some of the country specific sites in popular countries like the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

  • Trusted House Sitters
  • Nomador
  • House Carers
  • Mind My House
  • House Sit Match

Without doubt Trusted House Sitters is the largest and most popular international house sitting website, with a wide range of assignments in countries around the world.

How do house sitting websites compare?

All of the subscription costs are shown in USD $ unless indicated

www.TrustedHouseSitters.com

Operated Since:
Price:
Average House Sits:
Countries:
Photo Upload:
Video Upload:
Reference Upload:
Police Checks:
ID Check:
Facebook Group:
Twitter Page:

2010
USD $96 year / $ 72 qtr
4000-5000
International
Yes (4 images)
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
trustedhousesitters
housesitting

This is the largest and most well known of the international house sitting websites. You will find house sits from all over the world but they are particularly strong in Europe, Australia and the USA.

They have the most house sitting assignments to choose from. Although they are the most expensive, the huge choice will increase your chances of selection. This website is also run as a professional business and we have seen the site improved time and time again over the years.

Definitely one to have at the top of your list!

www.Nomador.com

Operated Since:
Price:
Average House Sits:
Countries:
Photo Upload:
Video Upload:
Reference Upload:
Police Checks:
ID Check:
Facebook Group:
Twitter Page:

2014
USD $ 89 year / $ 35 qtr
1000-2000
International, specialise France & Europe
Yes
?
?
Yes
Yes
nomador.community
Nomador_Com

Nomador is fairly new to the scene but it’s already gaining ground on the three other most popular sites. This site was originally operated as a French house sitting site called Ilidor. Its French connection means there are still a lot of house sits in France, but the business is now run out of Australia. So, international registrations are becoming much more prolific. The site is however, a little difficult to navigate in terms of pre-registration browsing.

The website’s modern design has a unique trust-based identity upload area for passports, driving licences and other forms of ID. This identity check provides extra reassurance for homeowners. Your uploaded information is not shared and it is disposed of once the verification is complete.

www.HouseCarers.com

Operated Since:
Price:
Average House Sits:
Countries:
Photo Upload:
Video Upload:
Reference Upload:
Police Checks:
ID Check:
Facebook Group:
Twitter Page:

2000
USD $ 50 year
300-400
International, specialise in Aus, NZ
Yes
Yes
Yes (maximum 14)
Yes
No
housecarers
housecarers

Another long standing international site, although they do seem to specialise more in house sitting assignment in Australia, USA, Canada and New Zealand. But there are some listings in other countries around the world. Definitely worth considering, and the website has had a major overhaul so the user interface is much easier to use and with more features than before.

They have a limited free trial although you can’t upload photographs or contact home owners. You will get daily alerts so it could be worth a try just to see what you get offered.

We’ve just secured our latest house sit with HouseCarers. We’ll be looking after a beautiful luxury property in Australia, with a pool and a fabulous view! We were very happy with their service and the ease of use.

www.HouseSitMatch.com

Operated Since:
Price:
Average House Sits:
Countries:
Photo Upload:
Video Upload:
Reference Upload:
Police Checks:
ID Check:
Facebook Group:
Twitter Page:

2013
GBP £ 35 / £ 59  (2 plans)
100-200
UK, AUS, Europe, Caribbean
Yes – 2 to 7 depends on subscription
Yes – on £ 59 plan
Yes
Yes
No
housesitmatch
housesitmatch

House Sit Match is another newcomer to the house sitting scene. Initially the site focused on house sits in the UK and Australia but new countries are being added all the time. Their strength in Europe is currently in the UK and Spain.

They don’t have so many house sitting assignments – 118 on the day of writing this – but they are currently offering home owners a great £1 subscription option so this should result in a lot more availability over the next few months! They also have lots of great resources. We will be trying out House Sit Match when we return to Europe, and in my opinion this is one website to watch!

www.MindMyHouse.com

Operated Since:
Price:
Average House Sits:
Countries:
Photo Upload:
Video Upload:
Reference Upload:
Police Checks:
ID Check:
Facebook Group:
Twitter Page:

2005
USD $ 20 year
200-300
International
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
not active since 2013 – use twitter
MindMyHouse1

Another good international website that gets regularly updated and improved.

This site is inexpensive to join at USD $20 a year and so we would suggest it should be added to your top three as a matter of course. You’ve nothing to lose really at this price!

It has a good messaging system and a great search system with a useful map locator. There’s lots of relevant information to help you get started and they have some good downloadable resources.

Country Specific House Sitting Websites

Not all house sitting sites cover international assignments. Some prefer to focus on one particular country, such as the UK, or a region such as Australia & New Zealand.

If you are planning to house sit in the UK, USA, Australia or New Zealand, then you might find it beneficial to also subscribe to one of these more focused websites.

We’ve always found that HouseSittersUK has worked very well for us when we’ve been looking for sites in the UK, and I think if we were looking in Australia, we would definitely look to sign up to a similar site there

Remember that many home owners will have signed up to the larger international sites as well, so you need to weigh up whether you think it’s worth it.

House sitting websites in Australia

Australia is a great place to house sit. Many Aussies love to travel and usually for extended periods. This means properties are available throughout the year in some great and often interesting locations and there are more country specific websites here than in most other countries.

If you are an Australian looking to house sit primarily in your home countries then one of more of these sites are worth subscribing to and we would definitely recommend: www.aussiehousesitters.com

If you are planning to spend an extended period of time in Australia house sitting long term, then we would also recommend signing up to an Australian specific website.

However, if you have subscribed to House Carers and Trusted House Sitters you will have a large selection of Australian assignments available to you. We suggest you browse the sites of your international subscriptions first, and compare to your country specific selection to see what sort of duplication of assignments exists.

We recently came across a new comparison website that compares all the features available on the more popular Australian specific websites and international sites such as Trusted House Sitters. It is new and some information is yet to be uploaded but it might be worth checking out at  www.comparehousesitting.com

www.happyhousesitters.com.au
www.aussiehousesitters.com.au
www.mindahome.com.au
www.housesittersaustralia.com.au
www.australianhousesitter.com.au
www.housesitworld.com.au

House sitting websites in New Zealand

www.kiwihousesitters.co.nz

House Sitting websites in the USA

Given the size of America and the number of house sitting opportunities that exist, there are very few country specific house sitting websites available.

This is probably why House Sitters America do so well. They charge only $30 a year for anywhere in the USA. Some sites charge by zones or states so this really is a good deal.
The website runs and operates easily using the same format as House Sitters UK, a company we’ve had great personal success with.

www.housesittersamerica.com
www.housesitworld.com/usa/

House Sitters UK Website
House Sitters UK Website

House Sitting websites in the UK

House sitting in the UK is extremely popular and there are two great country specific websites. We are subscribed to House Sitters UK and I find their website really easy to navigate. We had instant success when we joined up, finding two consecutive house sits within just a few weeks. They have a great instant messaging system, cost only £15 for a year and currently have over 100 assignments listed.

Again, as with Australia, you should compare how many of these assignments are featured on the international websites if you are only looking to house sit temporarily in the UK.

www.housesittersuk.co.uk
www.mindahome.co.uk

How do I get started? Try our new online course for only $19

If you want to learn how to become a successful house sitter or pet sitter then we have a newly released online course on Udemy.

This course covers all the techniques used by successful house sitters. We’ll show you all the tips and strategies you’ll need to secure the assignments of your choice time and time again. You’ll discover all the secrets to becoming a credible, well respected house sitter, even as a newcomer.

You can get this course for only USD $19 (a 50% discount) by clicking this link:

Udemy Online Course – House Sitting: how to get free world travel accommodation

Or watch our Youtube video introduction here:

House Sitting – Introduction to becoming a successful international house sitter

Join our Reddit community

You can also join our subreddit where you’ll find lots of useful resources, house sitting articles and a question and answer forum:

https://www.reddit.com/r/housesittingforum/

We hope you’ve found this article helpful – message us if you have any questions – we’d love to help you get started!

Updated 10th August 2015

 

House Sitting in the UK

It was tough leaving the USA and even tougher selling the RV, our home for six months while we traveled around the southern states. But now we were back in England looking forward to house sitting in Reading.

I had grown up close by, so it was interesting to see how Reading had developed from my memory of a dingy, soulless town into a vibrant, modern city.

We were looking after an apartment that overlooked a park and the River Thames, just a short walk across the bridge to the city center. We had no car but we really didn’t need one here as the we could almost see the train station from our balcony!

This is one of those house sits that nearly didn’t happen. We were scheduled to look after Karen’s country home and her dogs for three weeks while she traveled. But a personal issue meant that she had to cancel and so no longer needed a sitter. However, she knew that we were flying in from the US and that it was too short notice for us to easily secure another assignment, and so she offered up her second property that was in the process of being sold.

Our house sitting home in Reading
Our house sitting home in Reading

This is what’s so lovely about the house sitting community. On the whole, and I believe because no money changes hands, everything is handled on the basis of trust and respect. People don’t want to let each other down, and Karen was amazing in this respect. When we arrived at the apartment, she’d even stocked up the fridge for us and put the heating on. What great hospitality.

So what exactly is house sitting?

House Sitting is a trend that’s become extremely popular over the last few years. It’s now a recognized alternative to a regular vacation and a great accommodation option for longer term travel.

Some people (and we’re almost in this category), house sit as a way of life. It’s an inexpensive way to visit and live temporarily in different countries and cultures round the world.

Sunny morning on the River Thames
Sunny morning on the River Thames

Instead of leaving a house vacant, home owners use house sitters to care for their property, possessions and pets. This can be anything from a few days to a few months, or even longer. By registering on international house sitting websites such as Trusted House Sitters, you can choose properties all over the world to stay in free of charge!

Continue reading House Sitting in the UK

Border Crossing: Shenzhen to Hong Kong

The sprawling metropolis that is Shenzhen, one of China’s fastest growing 1st Tier cities, borders the Hong Kong peninsula on mainland China.

Deciding which border crossing to make entry into Hong Kong or vice versa,  depends on where you want to end up.

My latest article can be found at “Sapore di Cina” in English, Spanish and Italian – please click here:

Sapore di Cina – “Bordering on Hong Kong” full article

You can find out the “ins and outs” of the most popular crossing points, including the ferry from Skekou, directly into Hong Kong Airport.

This is the first of a monthly series of articles that I will be writing exclusively for Sapore di Cina – hope you enjoy!