Last updated: 05:00 AM ET, Wed March 11 2015

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  • Nicole Connolly | March 11, 2015 5:00 AM ET

    House Sitting Vs. Hotels – The Pros And Cons

    House Sitting Vs. Hotels – The Pros And Cons

    For anyone who reads this blog, you know we love to housesit. And it’s not just us! Housesitting is trending as an alternative accommodation option but how does it stack up against a hotel?

    A hotel stay is without care or responsibility which as we know is a large part of its charm. Housesitting could be seen as coming with the unglamorous baggage of everyday responsibilities. To my mind, they provide a fundamentally different travel experience, each with their own delights and drawbacks.

    The choice will depend very much on the type of traveler you are.


    The Pros

    It is extremely cost-effective — free from accommodation costs, your travel plans can expand exponentially. With that said, homeowners with beautiful homes in more desirable locations are beginning to realize they can charge for accommodation as well as getting a caretaking service. Still, prices are much lower than standard hotel room and generally housesits only involve a few utility costs.

    Homes are often spacious and usually come with well-equipped kitchens or even kitchen gardens so your food costs can be reduced if you shop locally and cook at home.

    If you have a positive and outgoing disposition, then housesitting is a great way to get to know people and places. Chatting to neighbors, shop and bar owners can get you information about attractions and sightseeing options not mentioned in the travel guides.

    It’s also a boon for animal lovers. Pets are often part of the housesitting deal; the pet in question can be the family moggie or a flock of goats (I speak from experience). So having a love of animals or animal husbandry chops can be an essential part of the job.

    House sitters are often able to chill and let what happens unfold. On longer-term house sitting vacations, there is plenty of time to relax and recharge. If you have a project on the go they are perfect for getting work done in a relaxing homey environment.

    The Cons

    There may be certain responsibilities you have to take care of, such as gardening or general maintenance. If the air conditioner stops working it will be your job to get in touch with tradesmen.

    Often you will need to work with the homeowner to fit your vacation time around theirs. So housesitting works best with a flexible or open-ended schedule. Also many house sitting vacancies arise in the off season.

    If there are animals involved, you will be tied to feeding schedules which can limit your day trip possibilities.


    The Pros

    Vacancies and budget allowing, you can book a hotel-based vacation whenever and where you want to. Once in your room, you are answerable to no one.

    Hotels are completely chore-free. Clean fresh bed linens, toiletries arriving each day by magic. Room service trays miraculously appear and vanish without you having to lift a finger.

    Most importantly, hotels give you that uplifting sense of freedom, of really being on holiday. Sumptuous decor and amenities let you know are being rewarded. A really lovely hotel room can be worth every dollar.

    The Cons

    The cost is an issue. Hotels can seem overly expensive for what they offer, especially in high season. It is difficult not to feel a little exploited.

    Often there is limited space to stretch out in. The shoebox hotel room where you come back to crash is not the stuff of a great romantic holiday. Meals and snacks are often eaten outside the hotel and these and other incidentals can blow out a holiday budget.

    Time is definitely money in a hotel. The stay is often short, limiting the amount of time you can spend exploring.

    For the time-rich traveler who wants to embed themselves in a culture and get some work done, a housesit provides it all. But for those of us who require a complete break from day-to-day reality with all the extras thrown in, well a hotel it is. 


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Nicole Connolly Suitcase Stories' Luxe Life Travel Tales and Tips

Nicole Connolly Nicole, along with her husband Michael, left her ordinary life behind for a life of extraordinary travel. The couple left Australia in March 2012 and have been traveling ever since. Nicole has a penchant for all things luxury and this shows in their lifestyle. They may live the life of a gypsy but they certainly know how to do it in style. Their goal is to share their experiences and show others how a life of luxury is possible without the big bank account. Follow their adventures at
Sandals Resorts: The 5-Star Luxury Included Resorts

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