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Continuing our week of accommodation related posts, tonight Nicole and Michael from Suitcase Stories share their expertise on house sitting!  As avid house sitters, Nicole and Michael want to share their experience and show others how a life of travel is not only possible, but also affordable through house sitting.

When people hear that we are traveling indefinitely they think we must have won the lottery.  But we didn’t, although I wouldn’t say no to that!  No, we worked hard, saved every penny we could and sold all of our possessions to make this happen.   But of course, in order to help stretch our funds further, we have to find ways to travel on the cheap.

But we are in our mid – late 30’s and to be honest the thought of sharing a room with four 20 year olds didn’t appeal to us so that ruled out hosteling.  Then we thought about camping, but who am I kidding, I’m way too much of a princess for that.  Of course we could couchsurf but we want to travel slow, so moving every few days was also unappealing.  So we found a perfect alternative – House sitting.

You won’t find a hotel which looks like this!

Most people have heard of house sitting but not many understand what’s actually involved.  House sitting is basically an exchange of services for free accommodation.  To extend on that, while a homeowner is away on vacation, the housesitter will live in the home and take care of the pets and house until the homeowner returns.  Sounds too easy?  That’s because it is!   For 14 months we have been living in other peoples homes all around the world, looking after their cat or dog, keeping their house clean while not paying a cent in accommodation costs. 

So how does one get into housesitting as a way to travel the world?  It’s quite simple really.  There are websites that do all the hard work for you.  Just Google “house sitting” and you will find the first page full of websites that advertise homes available for sitting.  Once you find the website right for you, you just need to create a profile and then you can start contacting homeowners who need a house sitter.

Why not house-sit in an amazing home like this!

Anyone can house sit!  There is no age requirement, no experience needed (although this does help) and it doesn’t matter if you are a solo traveler, a couple or even a family!  There are housesits available to suit everyone.  And it doesn’t matter where in the world you want to housesit, you will probably find more than one in that area.  Of course some countries have more to offer than others – Australia, UK, USA, Canada, NZ are some of the more popular areas – but we have seen housesits advertised even in the most unusual countries. 

We get asked all the time how much we have saved while house sitting so we compared our travel costs between our house sitting days and our hotel days (we stay in hotels between sits).  The results were amazing!  We couldn’t believe how much money we saved by traveling this way.

Of course the money saving is great but there are so many other reasons to housesit.  We love that we are living as the locals do wherever we travel.  We love getting to know the neighbors and finding out about those ‘hidden’ treasures that tourists do not know about.  And because I am a little bit of a princess, I love the luxury that often comes with house sitting.   We have lived on an island, in the Costa Rican jungle, a beach house in Florida, a gorgeous English cottage, a farm house in Spain and so much more.  We lived with pools, hot tubs, luxury cars, state of the art entertainment systems, kitchens a cook would die for…. Then there are the beautiful pets we get to care for.  If you love animals as much as we do, this is definitely a huge benefit to house sitting.

We have been asked how long we expect to travel full time and our answer is always  “for as long as we can”.  And with house sitting this means we will be traveling for many years to come.

Not bad for free accommodation!

One of the homes we sat for

Nicole and Michael are an Australian couple who gave up their careers, sold their possessions and left their ‘conventional’ life behind for a life of travel. They have been living a nomadic life for 13 months and see no end in sight.

They recently launched Suitcase Stories, a website where they share their stories, travel tips and destination guides.  Their main goal for this website is to inspire others to travel and to show people how long term travel is not only possible but affordable.

You can follow their journey on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest also.



  1. So I’ve heard that it’s difficult to house-sit if you don’t own a house. Do you know if that’s true?

    • I dont think that’s true. My husband and I have house-sat a number of different times and neither of us owned a house at that point. It’s more how you present yourself and click with the home owner.

      Home exchange is a different story as this is where you swap houses, so for that it’s essential to own, but not necessarily for a house sit :)

    • That’s great news! Thanks for the info! :)

    • Perfect thanks Daz! I hadn’t heard of so will definitely check out their directory :)

  2. This is great! Even though im very responsible, I hope it isn’t too difficult for me to find someone to trust me with their home since I’m a single 22 year old with no experience…

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Jessie! I’m sure you’ll be fine; sign up for a site like trusted house-sitters, and a lot of the owners set up a Skype interview before choosing someone to sit for them. You can gauge a pretty decent judge of character from that normally :)

      Best of luck, and happy house-hunting!

  3. We love housesitting as well. It’s the absolute best way to travel through expensive countries cheaply while hanging out with some awesome little fur babies! Cheers guys.

    • So glad to hear you’re up with housesitting Ross – it really is such a fantastic way to travel cheaply and eliminate your accommodation costs. And most of the time you’re in a property which blows a regular hotel out of the water!

      Happy travels :)

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