Travel the World, RENT FREE - By: Mike of Travel Thru My Eyes

As a guest blogger I wrote the below article for "Informed Explorer"
(this website has been deactivated)

By; Mike Hopkins; Travel Thru My Eyes, Let’s GO

Have you ever thought about traveling the world without paying for lodging?  It can be done, and I along with many others do it.  How you may ask, by house and pet sitting.

Basically house and pet sitting can be equated to watching your neighbors’ house and taking care of their pets while they go on vacation (Wikipedia definition of house sitting).  Many of us have done it and have had family, friends, or neighbors “keep an eye” on our homes while we were away.  In today’s society, house and pet sitting is rapidly becoming the method of choice for vacationers.



As a single traveler from the US, I’ve sat million dollar homes, homes by oceans or lakes, with pools, and with and without pets.  Some of the home owners I knew prior to sitting, while others I met only a few days before they left on vacation.  These homes are located both in and out of the US and I only paid for my transportation and food.
             
House sitting assignments are available throughout the world and range from a few days to several months, with some being a year or longer leaving you to decide where to go and how long you want to stay.  Many home owners invite you to stay, or offer a place to store your excess baggage after they return so you can continue traveling throughout the extended area.

How do you become a house and pet sitter?  It’s really quite simple; I recommend registering on one (or more) of the many websites designed to bring home owners and house sitters together.  Personally, I use Trustedhousesitters.com, Mindmyhouse.com, and Housecarers.com.

  Here’s how it works:
-          Register as a home owner and/or a house-sitter.
-          Create a profile; be honest.
-          Place an advertisement.
-          Use the site tools to help in your search.
-          Search your preferred location for a prospective house to sit or a sitter.
-          Make contact with the home owner or sitter via emails, telephone conversations and if possible personal meetings.  I think this is the most critical part and you need to be open and honest.
-         
Become familiar with and use the sample agreements and guidelines provided by the sites.

Okay you’ve registered as a house sitter, but you don’t want to just hang around the house doing the same things you do at home; you want to travel, explore.  Not a problem; while you’re communicating with the home owner let them know you may take some day trips in the local area, but commit to being in their home every night.  In my experiences the owners have been a wealth of information, recommending places to see and things to do, as well as those that are not worth your time or money.
On one house sitting assignment I took daily walks in the Costa Rican rainforest.  I watched a family of monkeys swinging in the trees, saw adult and baby toucans as well as several other species of birds.  I traveled to neighboring villages, and explored the wildlife around Lake Arenal.

A second travel option while house sitting is to move from one assignment to another without returning to your home.  While sitting another home in Costa Rica I applied for an assignment in Panama.  After communicating with the owner via email and Skype, she said that since I “was in the area” she choose me from the nine applicants she had received.  This extended my stay in Central America from the original 3 week sit in Costa Rica to a total of 8 weeks with 5 of those weeks spent in Panama.

But let’s not forget our goal is to travel so with your house sitting assignment complete simply extend your stay and travel. 

When my most recent international house sitting assignment was completed, I had planned on staying an additional week.  I wasn’t sure exactly where I would go, but I had three months of house sitting to figure it out.  In the end I took a bus from Costa Rica to Granada Nicaragua, where I experienced a “Choco Therapy Message”, toured some islands of Lake Nicaragua, and enjoyed the local culture.

                      
As you can see, house and pet sitting is not only a way to see the world without paying for a room; it’s also a unique way of traveling of its own.  You enjoy the surrounding area on your own schedule, you experience life as a local, and you have a “home base” from which to extend your travels.

To read more of Mike’s published articles or blogs visit Travel Thru My Eyes, Let’s GO

11 comments:

  1. Great Blog here my friend! Very informative, I appreciate all the information that you just shared with me very much and I'll be back to read more in the future.
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  2. Alex;
    Thanks for the comment and I look forward to hearing from you again.

    House and pet sitting is a great experience that can be accomplished internationally or in the sitters home country. In fact, I'm from the US and am writing you this response while house sitting a vacation rental property (VRBO: Corn Island #351041 and Corn Island #335699).

    Thanks again,
    Mike

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  3. Your blog site is so benefited for your all site users. I read your blog and I want to tell about me, I am a tourist and I also find such kind of areas for visiting and stay. I appreciate to you for your nice blog. Good work and thanks for your nice sharing.

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  4. Amazing sharing! I am also a travel lover and always prefer to visit such kind of nature attractions. Next week I am going with yosemite tours from vegasbecause it is also a nice opportunity to visit some nature attractions in California.

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    Replies
    1. Jony;
      Thanks for reading my blog, I appreciate it.

      Sharing travel experiences and reading about others opens our minds to new adventures and new ways of seeing things. Hey, it's FUN also.

      If you want to share your Yosemite tour, I'd be happy to post it on my weekly "Tuesday Traveler". Simply put your experience into words and a few pix, I'll look it over and edit if needed, then post it for everybody to read. My direct email is TravelThruMyEyes@Gmail.com

      Have fun!!!
      Mike
      Travel Thru My Eyes, Let's GO!!!

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  5. I must share my Yosemite tour experience soon but right now I am looking some information about miami bus tours. Can you recommend me about any blog to get information about Miami attractions and things to do there?

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  6. Jony;
    Welcome back!!! And thanks for taking your time to provide a comment.

    It would be great if you would share your tour of Yosemite. I was there a long time ago and wasn't into blogging at the time; in fact I was still in the workforce and it was a family vacation. Send me some photos and if you want to share with words that would be good also. Just send them directly to me at TravelThruMyEyes@Gmail.com . I can include them in the weekly "Tuesday Traveler"

    As for what to do in Miami, I really don't know. I usually only pass through there but do enjoy going to "Little Havana" for the Cuban vibe. Since my experiences in Miami are limited I'll defer recommendations to Trip Advisor and Expedia .

    Thanks again and have fun
    Mike
    Travel Thru My Eyes, Let's GO

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  7. That's really appreciable blog Mike. Keep on sharing! Glad to hear a lot from you soon. Well Jony! Miami is rich of tourist attraction places, it offers a lot to every person. It has so many place that you cannot visit all in a single tour. I used to visit Miami multiple times and each time I got an impressive experience. However here I'm going to share a link http://www.trailchatter.com/2010/10/miami-attractions-events-things-to-do.html. It will help you to know the most stunning attractions of Mimi and things to do there.

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    Replies
    1. Alix;

      Thanks for reading my blog and the kind words and sharing I will do.

      Also thanks for pointing Jony (and other readers) to things to do in Miami. I agree with you there is a lot to see down there.

      Thanks again, and keep in touch.

      Mike
      Travel Thru My Eyes, Let's GO

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    2. Alix lion! Your reply is very helpful for me and the link that you have shared in your post is very useful for me. I am impressed with your views. I must visit South Beach during my tour to Miami because it sounds cool place to enjoy great outdoors.

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    3. Jony;
      I'm glad the advise Alix gave will help your travels to Miami.

      Thanks again for following...

      Mike
      Travel Thru My Eyes, Let's GO

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