Do you want to get free accommodations to the Caribbean? Heck, a free place to stay any where in the world? If that sounds too good to be true, it’s not. There are some responsibilities involved, but it’s absolutely worth it. Let me introduce you to Trusted House Sitters, a website that connects people looking for a pet sitter to people who love to travel.
This service is a huge travel hacking tool that eliminates one of the most expensive parts of any trip. I’m going to tell you how it works, best practices, and the biggest benefits of TrustedHousesitters.
Not only is this a great tool for those looking for a free place to stay, it’s perfect for those with pets that need a trusted pet sitter so they can themselves travel and not worry about their own little fur babies.
We signed up for the service and are going to tell you all about it.
How Housesitting Works
Before we get into the TrustedHousesitters reviews, I want to first tell you what Housesitting is all about for those that might not know all the ins and outs yet.
Simply put, house sitting (and also pet sitting) is when a person (the house sitter), agrees to stay at another person’s home while they are away in order to care for pets and keep an eye on the property. Typically, no money is exchanged between the two sides. The “free places to stay” is the currency or value given to the house sitter/pet sitter in exchange for their services.
Common House Sitting Mistakes
House Sitting Is Not a Free Vacation – No, it’s not a free ticket to travel the world and do as you please, it is a commitment, especially if there are pets involved like there is with TrustedHousesitters. The home owners don’t toss you the keys and do as you please, you will have responsibilities. Depending on the animal you are watching over, you won’t be able to take long exploration trips during the day. Unless it’s a low maintenance cat, and even then you should ask the owner.
You’re Not Going To Make Money – Like we mentioned above, house sitting is not a paid gig. Don’t think you’re going to get a free place to stay in the Caribbean and get paid. This is not fantasy land. You get paid in the form of not paying for a place to stay and free pet cuddles!
It’s Not Like Booking a Hotel – Setting up a sitting opportunity takes time and you’ll need to have flexible dates. It’s not automatic either. On TrustedHosuesitters you may apply for a sitting opportunity at this amazing house in the Cayman Islands, but so are dozens of other people. Will your profile stand out?
Making House Sitting Easy
Most House Sitting opportunities are found and made online. There are forums, groups, and services that connect you with people needing a house or pet sitter, with people looking to travel for free.
This is a growing trend in travel as more and more people are comfortable with the Sharing Economy (Uber, Airbnb, things like that).
We use TrustedHousesitters because it has a great reputation, a great search function that lets you browse sitting opportunities around the world, and it has a great review system that really lets you find the right sit and right person for your sit. People go above and beyond, so it’s a great community.
Trusted House Sitters Price
Is joining TrustedHousesitters worth it? We think so! Just one sit and it more than pays for itself, but you do need to use it. Trusted House Sitters is the most expensive of the paid house sitting and pet sitting sites with $129 per year fee for both the sitters and the home owners. If you want to join both, then it’s just $189US per year.
Not a bad price in our opinion.
We think Trustedhousesitters is your best option when wanting to get into house sitting. If you’re only looking for one per year to get your feet wet or several opportunities, you’re going to win. TrustedHousesitters is the biggest and best resource for finding house sits and house sitters around the world.
Now let’s jump into learning how to best use TrustedHousesitters so you can stand out and land sitting opportunities all over the world. If you already know you want to sign up, click this link to get started.
Guide To Getting The Most out of Trusted House Sitters
As we mentioned before, the Trusted House Sitters service connects those looking for house or pet sitters to those looking to get free accommodations in exchange for watching someone’s pets and property. They are very similar to an online dating service like Match.com.
TrustedHousesitters does not vet or approve any sitters or homeowners. So that’s why it’s very important to have good communication with the other party, look at reviews, and watch how others in the community do business.
There’s a lot to know in order to get the most out of TrustedHousesitters. You don’t want to just jump in and wing it. Here are the best features, how to use them and how to land house sits.
1. It’s The Most Popular House Sitting Website
We don’t want you to go with what’s the most popular, we want you to go with what works best and gives you the most opportunities to travel for free.
Why is this important?
Because it puts the odds in your favor! It gives you more chances to land a house sit opportunity and it gives you some amazing places and properties to choose from. We’ve seen ocean front villas in the Caribbean, Irish castles, New York City lofts, Swiss mountain views–you name it, it’s probably a sit you can apply for.
When Crystal and I first started looking into house sitting as a means to travel hack and travel to the Caribbean more often, we did some research and found that TrustedHousesitters had sitting opportunities in the most countries. While we primarily travel to the Caribbean for this website, we had always planned on visiting Ireland and Scotland. This tool gave us options for free accommodations there and other places on our bucketlist.
2. Easy Website To Use & Navigate
I’ve worked in website design agencies and know how important the user experience of a site is. A website should be easy to navigate, makes information and next steps super simple, and it needs to convey trust. TrustedHousesitters does all of that, which is likely a big reason why it’s the most popular “Trusted House Sitting” tool.
You’ll find it easy to search for sits in countries that you are interested in. They have an easy to use filtering system that lets you filter by country, animal, length of sit, and preferred dates of travel.
They have what’s called “Last Minute House Sits” (they have a blue banner on them), which are really good if you are just getting your feet wet with house sitting as these sits typically have fewer people applying for them.
All sit listings have a map feature which shows you the approximate location of the home so you can narrow down what part of the city you want to stay in and lets you do research on the area so you can learn about local restaurants and things to do.
Once you sign up for TrustedHousesitters, they do a great job of giving you the tools and information to get you started. Their welcome guide is a great resource which helps both sitters and homeowners.
The welcome guide is an area on the site where owners can write in all the information about the house and pets. They can choose how descriptive they need to be, but ultimately provide all information necessary to carry out a successful house sit. Always be sure to give all the details and special instructions. There are six sections to this process:
My Pets, Transports
Being as descriptive as possible will give the homeowners peace of mind knowing that their pets and home are being taken care of the way they are supposed to. They can then have a worry-free trip and minimize interruptions from the sitter.
4. Ease of Information and Communication
During the process of applying for the site, confirming details, and completing the sit–a lot of communication happens. Having all the information in once place makes things easier and helps both parties involved. The house sitter can refer back to the homeowner’s welcome guide at any time to make sure they know the feeding schedule, when the pet likes to be walked, any home security information and anything else they might need to know.
The home owner’s welcome guide only needs to be completed once and it can be shared with future pet sitters.
5. Easy Sign Up & Verification
Some house sitting websites ask for an arm, leg, and DNA to get set up. Kidding, mostly. TrustedHousesitters is much better. They don’t require that you have a police background check in order to qualify for a sit. They do have the option to add, which could put the homeowner at ease and increase your chances of landing the sit.
There are a few easy verifications though in which they have a Standard and Basic. You’ll need to verify who you are with an ID, and get some references. But it’s all pretty easy and straightforward.
6. Email Updates of New Sit Opportunities
We love this feature as you don’t have to keep checking back on the website to look for new sits. You just list out the countries you are interested in in your profile and they’ll send you a daily email of any new opportunities.
7. Trusted House Sitters App
TrustedHousesitters is the only house sitting platform that has a real app. It’s easy to use just like the website and let’s you search for sits or sitters, apply for sits, answer questions from homeowners or sitters and a whole lot more.
8. It Gets You House Sitting Gigs and House Sitters
Last but definitely not least in our list of pros or Trusted House Sitters features is that it works! If you want to travel the world and stay in awesome places for free, then you can do it. If you want to travel and have to leave your pets behind, it helps you not worry.
Here is a good look at the experience.
Trusted House Sitters Cons
Is Trusted House Sitters perfect? No. This is not a paid or sponsored post and we aren’t writing this to only give you one side of the story. In this Trusted House Sitters review, we want you to have all the information you need to make a great travel hacking decision.
There are some improvements the service can make, but we do feel the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Here are some ways things can improve and how you can deal with the situation so that you can land sits and sitters, that fit you best.
1. Trusted House Sitters Price
We mentioned the price earlier and told you it’s the most expensive house sitting website out there, so know that it’s not going to be free. I do think that the price is well worth what you get though.
Another reason for the price is that it holds people accountable. Imagine if it was free, everyone would have a profile up and picking people who really care about pets and have a love of travel would be extremely difficult. There would be last-minute cancelations, bad communication and who knows what else would happen. The price weeds people out and makes them have some skin in the game (something to lose).
Some people are surprised by the price and put off by the $129 annual membership fee, but just think of it as an investment in travel and getting to see parts of the world you might not otherwise get to see. Most hotels cost more than $129 per night and finding a good house/pet sitter is hard work and can cost a lot as well. Again, it’s cost, but it’s a big savings.
2. Popularity Means Competition
Because TrustedHousesitters is popular, there is going to be more competition for sits–especially for the really great places. This can make it hard for beginners especially to land sits, but we can show you how to make it work for you.
3. Inadequate Support & Homeowner Bias
We have found that if you are a sitter, there can be some poor customer service. It seems like they clearly favor the homeowner.
Messages from support seem like they come from a template without much thought behind them. This might not be the case all the time, but I have read about similar issues with other sitters. This could be caused by the popularity of TrustedHousesitters and they might not have a big enough team in places to handle all the inquiries.
I recommend using the chat function on their website if you have questions.
4. Improved Review System
TrustedHousesitters gives you the ability to review both the house sitter and the homeowner. While this is the way it should be, reviews are very much weighted for the house sitters. This can make it difficult for first-time sitters with no reviews to land a sit. On the other side, a new homeowner with no reviews will still receive dozens of applicants. This is another by product of having more sitters than homeowners.
Reviews are crucial for the sitter. They are what a homeowner uses when choosing who to pick for as their sitter. So if you are just starting out, try choosing sits that are less glamorous or in locations that aren’t as popular.
Because these reviews are so important for the sitter, make sure you remind the homeowners to leave you a review after you’ve completed a sit. Send them a message like, “Hey! Hope you are doing well, how are (insert pet names), I know you’re busy, but when you get a chance, could you leave us a quick review?”
Don’t give up if they still fail to leave you a review. Remind them how important reviews are for sitters and that it would really help you out.
TrustedHousesitters Review Conclusion
All in all, this is a great tool for travel hacking and having the opportunity to travel the world for less money. For homeowners, you’ll be in heaven because you’ll have plenty of sitters to choose from in order to make your travel plans happen while at the same time having your pets well taken care of.
For house sitters, in spite of the negative issues we mentioned, you are still going to have a great experience as this is your best house sitting option out there. It really does open the world up to you and helps to turn those dreams of visiting those far-off bucketlist countries into reality.
Congratulations! You’re ready to sign up to TrustedHousesitters. Here’s a link so you can sign up. Here’s what you need to know.
If you already know you want to start house sitting, we highly recommend signing up and getting started right away. Don’t expect to get a house sit immediately – keep applying for house sits, it may take several months before landing your first.
If you have pets of your own, there is a homeowner option as well as a joint house sitter/homeowner option.
Trusted House Sitters Profile Tips That Get You Sits
Remember this is a matchmaking website, and the rule goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. That’s why it’s so important for you to create a sitter profile that makes you look great, shows your love of animals and makes you stand out.
Here are five tips for setting up a great looking house sitter profile on Trusted House Sitters.
Make Your Profile Heading Pop
Make your profile personal
Pick the right photos for your profile
Request plenty of references
Check your spelling and grammar
Let’s dive into these a little closer.
1. Pop Your Profile Heading
The first thing an owner will read on your house sitter profile is the heading. So it’s time to make a good impression. A good profile heading can spark interest or, it can scare potential homeowners.
To win homeowners over and hook them, write a headline that appeals to them. Here are some tips:
State a Benefit (or multiple benefits)
Mentions a Solution to a Problem
I’ve worked in advertising and marketing for years, so I’ll tell you, it’s crucial to follow these points. Think about the homeowners needs, what would you be looking for in a sitter? See what you can learn about the person from their homeowner profile and try to appeal to their personality, interests, and needs.
2. Make Your Profile Personal
Now that you’ve grabbed them with your profile heading, it’s time to tell them all about you. Of course it’s important to treat it a bit like a house sitter resume, but remember, you have to stand out from the crowd with resumes as well. Yes, you’ll want to tell them about your relevant experience, but be sure to let your personality shine.
Here’s a list of thing to cover, which TrustedHousesitters will prompt you to include in your house sitter profile:
Why you want to house sit
Whether you’re a solo sitter, part of a couple, or will be traveling with your family
A bit about you, including your hobbies and interests
Your relevant house sitting experience or skills, like animal care qualification
3. Picking The Right Photos
We are still making first impressions here, so make sure you find photos of you that paint you in a good light. You know that a picture is worth a 1000 words, so let’s make the good words!
Include photos of:
A Picture of you Smiling: Remember, these people are opening up their home to you, they need to trust you. A good smiling photo is a simple but effective way to earn that trust and show you are a nice and friendly person.
A Picture of you with Animals: As you have probably noticed, most people looking for a house sitter are also pet owners. To prove that you are good with animals, include pictures of you with pets — what pet lover’s phone isn’t packed with pictures of them petting a cat or throwing a ball for a dog?
A Picture of you with People: Owners need to know that people like you, so make sure at least one of your photos includes another person. Friends and family members are a great place to start.
4. Request Plenty of References
Reviews are king on TrustedHousesitters. They are one of the first things owners will see (and likely look for) on your profile. They want to see what other homeowners had to say about you, and they want to see your external references.
It goes without saying, the better your ratings, reviews, and references, the better your profile and better your chance of landing a house sit. If you’re just starting out, you won’t have reviews until you’ve started house sitting, but you can request as many references as you like.
So go ahead and request character references from people like landlords and employers. If you’re setting up a TrustedHousesitters profile, it’s easy. All you’ll need to do is go to the basic verification area on your dashboard and request a reference. Your referee will be asked whether you are:
Experienced with pets
Pro-Tip: To increase the number of references you receive, consider sending an email to support the one automated by TrustedHousesitters. Here’s an example:
“Hey (person’s name), I was hoping you could do me a huge favor; I have recently joined TrustedHousesitters to stay with people’s pets while I travel to new places, and I need references from people like you to prove I’m a responsible person. Will you be a reference?
I have sent another email to you through TrustedHousesitters, so please look out for it. It should take less than a minute to complete the reference and it would be a great help to me. Thank you so much and please let me know if you have any questions.”
5. Spelling and Grammar
While everyone makes mistakes, too many spelling and grammatical errors in your house sitter profile suggests you don’t care. So when setting up your profile, take your time and don’t rush through it. Always check for spelling and grammar before you publish it for owners to see. This easy step shows you are professional, educated, and responsible — the same traits most owners are looking for in a house sitter.
Pin it to Pinterest!
That’s a wrap for our TrustedHousesitters review and showing you how to set up your profile. If you are sold and are ready to sign up, click here to get started. We highly recommend it!
If you have any questions, please hit us up on Instagram at @CaribbeanCastaways and we’d be happy to help you.
Now that you have the free place to stay, here’s how to get low prices on airfare or free airfare. Yes, travel hacking is amazing and anyone can do it. Here is our travel resources page with all the tools you need. We might focus on the Caribbean, but these tools can be used to travel anywhere in the world.
Cheers and safe travels!
P.S. – Leaving soon? These recommended links below will help you save money and book your trip:
Get your flight with Skyscanner (you’ll never miss a cheap flight)
Get your accommodation with Booking.com – They have great deals
Find our recommended Caribbean hotels, restaurants, charters, & tours here
Need something else? Check out our list of favorite companies on our resources page
We use all the companies listed here or on the resource page. By booking through these links, the small commission we earn helps us bring you more Caribbean content so that you can save money and have a better island vacation. Crystal and I greatly appreciate any support!
Just a salty pirate looking to explore and document the wonders of the Caribbean. Professional blogger, rum judge, consultant, marketer, and consumer of blue water beauty. To learn more, visit our About Us Page.