Are you traveling the world while working online, and looking for an alternative way of accommodation? This article lists 9 reasons why house sitting is great for digital nomads and why you should give it a try. Read on to get inspired!
House sitting is a great way to explore the world for everyone who loves pets and doesn’t mind watering some plants and making sure all is OK in the house.
If you’re new to the concept, house sitting is caring for someone’s cat, dog, or other pets, plants, and apartment/house/villa while the owners are away.
Our friends keep asking…So, am I going to stay at someone’s house for free, by myself, just like that?”
The answer is yes, just like that.
There’s no trick or secret behind house sitting. It’s a wonderful way to connect to homeowners and travelers. Locals are looking for responsible animal lovers, and the latter prefer staying at someone’s home rather than a hotel for different reasons.
House sitting is very different from the Couchsurfing platform, where you’re hosted by a local who is still living at their place and you are expected to spend some quality time with each other.
House sitting is also far from the Airbnb idea, when you pay for your stay without any obligations towards the owner.
It’s also not related to a “house swap or house exchange,” where you are exchanging your own place with somebody else’s. In house sitting you don’t need to own any property as you are not exchanging physical properties.
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House sitting for digital nomads
So why is house sitting so great for digital nomads particularly?
Besides having a temporary home and staying in unique places, house sitting brings many perks for people who travel and work online. Here are the most significant ones.
Cutting costs of accommodation and food
Whether you plan to live somewhere long- or short term, having free accommodation helps your budget. Since you don’t pay for house sitting (except for the annual fee when registering at any website), you can invest saved money into your business, or in your next trip. Or just save up for the future.
Just to give you an idea, during our first year of house sitting when we house sat for a total of 7 months in different countries (England, Portugal, Turkey, France, Belgium and Vietnam), we saved 7000 euros ($7800 USD) on accommodation (based on average price of a hotel in each country).
Living in a fully equipped house/apartment means also having all the amenities available to cook for yourself. This is a big bonus, especially when you house sit in countries where eating out can be insanely expensive (I’m looking at you, Belgium, America, England, and France).
Preparing your own food is also ideal if you have any diet restrictions since you can decide what to cook.
Unless you’re in a very remote area in a house where the owners don’t use Internet – you should have reliable Wi-Fi 24/7. The owners need usually speedy Internet reception themselves, and in most cases they won’t require you to pay for that.
It happened to us only once that we paid the bill of 20 EUR ($22 USD) for two months when cat sitting in Portugal in a far-flung cottage that the owners used as a summer house.
More inspiring posts:
- How to Become a Digital Nomad: Jump Into the Digital Nomad Lifestyle, Step by Step
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- Travel Medical Insurance for Digital Nomads: Why You REALLY Need It
- Digital Nomad Guide to Thailand: Taking Your First Steps
- Teach English online: How to Find the Best Fit for You
Your own working space and privacy
Apart from having a temporary home (every now and then everybody needs a bit of comfort and a feeling you have a safe place to return), one of the main perks of house sitting as a digital nomad is having your privacy and a desk where you can work daily.
Say goodbye to noisy cafés or co-working spaces where you might feel obliged to chit-chat when you don’t really want to.
Links to: digital nomad packing, how to become a digital nomad, how to start a travel blog
Welcome a gym, yoga, dance class, and maybe even a swimming pool back in your life!
If you’ve been on the road for a while, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
You’ve left home with big dreams to explore the world, be your own boss and enjoy life. And… being a few kilos (or pounds) lighter and fitter. The truth is, once on the road, you might lose your routine that used to keep you fit. The result? Your health and productivity start deteriorating.
Why? Because your daily tasks are reduced to deadlines, planning travel itineraries and hunting for cafés with cheap beverages & fast Wi-Fi. All of this takes a big chunk of your time.
Thus, time for your hobbies is very limited, or non-existent.
A long term housesit can mitigate these problems! If you’re staying in one place for a few weeks or months, you’ll be able to sign up for a gym, head to a swimming pool, or take yoga classes again.
Plus, it’ll boost your productivity and creativity.
The most work we’ve ever done since we’ve been living as full-time digital nomads was while house sitting.
A solid working space, close proximity to nature (regular walks, meditation, jogging, or yoga in fresh air works like magic), and a kitchen where you can prepare meals without caring where to eat…
All of this creates a healthy and productive foundation for your online work. It also helps you to keep focused.
We wrote three ebooks during our house sitting gigs and completed some major redesigns of our website.
Entering the local community of digital nomads
Networking is a core element for building your brand. Remember this when picking a destination for your house sit. If you’re looking for a place to focus on your work without any social distractions, that’s fine.
There are thousands of assignments in remote areas that will create a great environment to concentrate.
But if you prefer staying with other digital nomads, apply for a house sit in digital nomad hubs (Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Ubud, Canggu, Saigon, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Medellín, Lisbon, Barcelona, Canary Islands.)
This way you’ll not only meet new people and learn from them, but also introduce your brand and share your knowledge with others.
Improving your language skills
In many non-English speaking countries you’ll get by with essential English. But why limit yourself and let other people make an effort if you can do the same?
Improving your language skills while house sitting will be an obvious growth. Many times you’ll live in local neighborhoods, interact with vendors, shop assistants, drivers, and neighbors.
From our experience, whenever you show even a tiny effort to speak the local language, people become more friendly and are more willing to help and share their stories.
Roaming around the world long-term in developing countries means you’re not able to buy the necessary electronics or any products online.
However, being settled for a while in a country with reliable online stores or brick and mortar stores with high-quality electronics (Dubai, Singapore, New Orleans -you’ve been wonderful) means you can shop whenever you need.
Things do break when traveling. Sooner or later you’ll need to replace your hard drives, chargers, cameras etc. That’s why having an address where you can receive these products is priceless.
Pets, pets, pets
Last but not least, you’ll have company of pets that you might have missed since you’ve started your nomadic lifestyle. They are great companions when working online, and they’ll always make sure you take a little break from your computer and give them lots of love, cuddles, and strolls.
Is house sitting something that interests you? Would you like to know how and where to start? What about becoming a full-time or a part-time house sitter and explore the world while looking after some furry friends?
We have some great news! In August 2019 we’re launching our ultimate guide to house sitting. If you want to receive updates about the e-book, sign up here and you’ll know first!
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