Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Mon April 06 2015

Opinion Home | Suitcase Stories' Luxe Life Travel Tales and Tips

  • Nicole Connolly | April 6, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    Why Housesitting is the Perfect Way to Travel

    Why Housesitting is the Perfect Way to Travel

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

    Housesitting is an ideal way to travel because anyone can become an active participant. There is no age limit or previous experience necessary in order to find a position. The only qualifications are that the person interested in pursuing a housesitting appointment be reliable, trustworthy, and caring.

    It is also beneficial for applicants to have good communication skills, because being clear about one’s expectations will prevent any misunderstandings. Most reputable housesitting services do require a small membership fee in order to fully access their websites, but such costs are negligible when compared to the savings that result from gaining an assignment.

    Housesitting is also the perfect way to travel around the world on a limited budget, because it helps eliminate expensive hotel bills and mitigates other travel costs. This allows visitors to spend greater sums of money on the more important aspects of their vacation. Extensive scuba diving trips, African safaris, and excursions to the Whitsunday Islands can easily become a reality when the financial burdens associated with staying in hotels or hostels are no longer an issue.

    Yet this arrangement is mutually beneficial for everyone involved. The homeowner has peace of mind knowing their property and pets are being looked after while the housesitters receive ample rewards for preforming basic tasks such as picking up mail, watering plants, and/or feeding animals.

    Having a whole residence to oneself or to be shared with one’s traveling companions is not a luxury to be taken lightly. Even the best of friends or most loving of couples can certainly benefit from having breathing room on vacation. After all, most hotel rooms are nowhere near as spacious as private residences (and hostel dorm rooms certainly aren’t).

    Even the most superior of hotel suites are often lacking in the basic facilities that most of us take for granted in our own homes. However, when housesitting, these features are provided more often than not. Having laundry facilities, entertainment centers, a kitchen, free wireless internet, and sometimes a car at one’s disposal are only a few of the ways housesitters are made to feel right at home.

    Perhaps the most useful of all these in terms of facilitating a homey feeling is the kitchen. Eating out can become expensive over time, but affordable home-cooked meals soon become a reality for travelers who choose to housesit. Of course, for travelers who wish to vacation in a region where they are allergic to common culinary ingredients, home-cooked meals are a boon that allow them to explore the region without any personal health risks.

    While some houses offered to sitters are completely ordinary residences in respectable neighborhoods, others that are available are much fancier luxury estates that most people could never realistically afford. Pretending to be a millionaire by living in someone else's expensive villa or castle, albeit temporarily, certainly beats staying in the average hotel room and completely outclasses the hostel.

    Unlike hotel rooms, housesitting assignments more often than not come with a few temporary pets. Rather than deal with the potentially expensive and traumatic experience of sending beloved dogs or cats to be boarded elsewhere, most pet owners would prefer their furry friends to be looked after in the safety of their own home.

    These animals are usually the reason the housesitting arrangements were initiated, and as a result deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and affection. Other household chores may be assigned to housesitters on an as needed basis as well. So yes, housesitting does require some work and responsibility, but the benefits certainly are worth it.

    Housesitting additionally provides those fortunate enough to experience it a chance to interact with the locals on their level. Rather than being funneled into tourists spots that the hotel staff may be paid to recommend, conversations with the neighbors and grocery store clerks may send travelers in an entirely different but equally wonderful direction.

    Off-the-beaten-path adventures are much easier to find when housesitting and provide a more authentic insight into any culture. By experiencing a region on advice from those who live there rather than relying on the pages of a favorite guidebook, one learns about the place they are visiting on a deeper and meaningful level than they otherwise would have.


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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
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