Find out how to save money on accommodation in my honest Trusted Housesitter review!
Hanging out with puppies in exchange for free rent and travel accommodations? I thought it was too good to be true–until I started using TrustedHousesitters.
Trusted Housesitters is an online network connecting home and pet owners with ‘trusted’ house sitters around the world.
House sitting is more popular than ever among nomads and adventurers. Many trusted house sitters work from home already (myself included).
Using TrustedHousesitters and sites like it makes working from home more interesting.
Pet owners can more easily find and book reliable pet sitters.
Plus, the exchange in services means free accommodation for pet sitters and free house and pet care for the pet parent.
As a remote worker and travel addict, I wanted to give house-sitting a try. So, I signed up for Trusted Housesitters.
Read my full Trusted Housesitters review for tips on finding the perfect house sit for you.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Table of Contents
What is TrustedHousesitters?
Trusted Housesitters is a popular website offering travelers free accommodation in exchange for house and pet sitting.
The premise of connecting verified trusted house sitters with pet owners is simple: exchange services for mutual benefits.
Home owners with furry friends want to travel but don’t want to pay the outrageous cost of a kennel or remove their pets from their familiar surroundings. Travelers who love pets are looking for a way to cut accommodation costs.
That’s where Trusted Housesitters comes in. It’s easy to sign up for this website, and there are safety features built in for both the sitters and the home owners.
How Does TrustedHousesitters Work?
Choose a Subscription Plan
Making a free account on Trusted Housesitters was straightforward and allowed me to view house-sitting opportunities. But I had to subscribe to apply for gigs.
It’s normal to pay a subscription before being able to apply for house-sitting opportunities.
I’ve used other well-known work exchange and accommodation websites that have similar business models (e.g. Work Away and Couch Surfer).
I browsed the house-sitting listings, noting the places I wanted to travel to. The user interface felt professional and straightforward.
Trusted Housesitters has an expensive membership fee, but it pays for itself on the first housesit.
The payment is annual. A standard subscription (what I chose) costs $169 and comes with the following perks:
- Unlimited House Sits Worldwide
- Free Vet Advice Line
- Alerts for All of Your Saved House Sits
- Dedicated Member Support
- Liability Protection
If you want more peace of mind, I suggest the premium subscription. A premium sitter package offers the same perks as the standard subscription, plus:
- Sit Cancellation Insurance
- Two Airport Lounge Passes
- Premium Badge on Your Account
There’s also a basic plan for $129 per year, but I don’t recommend it. The Basic subscription allows unlimited house sits without perks. Liability protection and vet advice will help you enjoy housesitting instead of worrying.
Create Your Profile
After subscribing to Trusted Housesitters, I made my profile. This part is important because it’s what a home owner looks at when they choose a house sitter.
First impressions are everything, so your ‘About Me’ section must stand out. It’s also a great time to showcase your relevant skills.
Previous experience in house sitting or as a pet sitter is huge here! Let them know that you’re qualified for the job.
In my ‘About Me’ section, I talked about my previous experience as a pet sitter, as well as my career, travel experience, and hobbies
I suggest using photos that show your personality and, most importantly, you with animals.
After the main ‘About Me’ section, you’ll fill out your profile’s ‘Experiences,’ ‘Preferences,’ and ‘Verifications’ sections.
The verifications are easy and free. You can submit a proper I.D. and complete the free background check.
Having references from previous pet sits is crucial to getting the opportunity to watch someone’s house. This is also the hardest part of filling out your profile.
If you’ve never house-sat before and you want an easy pet-sitting experience, so you can get that first reference, I suggest finding someone in your hometown to pet-sit for.
Being in the same town already gives you a greater chance for an interview. Simply say you’re in the same town and can meet in person.
After your first completed house-sit, you can request a review from the homeowners. The review will then go into your profile’s ‘External References’ section.
Apply to Housesits
Now, it’s time for the fun part. Start looking at house-sitting jobs available around the world and begin applying to your perfect sit. I have so many tips for applying, but here are the main ones.
You can search by specific location, dates, and duration. Trusted Housesitters gives you a plethora of filter options for your pet sit.
These filters include selecting which animals you’d prefer to watch (or not) and what destination you’re interested in (beach, city, countryside, and mountains).
But that’s not all. There are more filters you can apply when using this house-sitting website. The extra filters include:
- Choice Between a Home or Apartment
- Family Friendly Destinations
- Home with Hi-Speed Internet
- Disabled Access
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Use of Car Included (my favorite!)
Yes, you read that correctly. You can filter house-sitting opportunities by the availability of a free car for you to use. This feature is absolutely wonderful.
There are more opportunities with a free car available than you think.
But before we get any further, the application process is also where you need to buckle down and do your research.
Read through previous sitters’ reviews. Consistently positive reviews of the homeowners indicate that the owner is probably good to work for.
Also, be mindful of the animals and responsibilities required for a house sit. Some opportunities require you to work with horses, alpacas, chickens, and other livestock.
Interview with the Home Owner
The home owner will schedule an interview with you if they think you could be a good fit. I’ve done all of my interviews via Facetime or Zoom.
Be yourself and take note of the house and pet owner’s requests. It’s THEIR home and pet, after all.
My goal is always to take care of their pet and house as the owner would.
Remember, just because you got the interview doesn’t mean you’re allowed to watch this person’s house. You have to earn their trust. They’ve likely been flooded with applications if it’s a popular housesit.
Comment on their lovely pets and ask questions about the animals. I’ll go over many more tips later in this review.
Experience Life in a New Location
If you made it to this stage, congrats! You’re now on your way to your first house-sitting opportunity.
Look over everything about your new location as well as the benefits of your subscription. If you have a premium subscription, then you’re in good hands.
I suggest that you join a house-sitting community on Facebook or other house-sitting platforms to talk with others who’ve done the same. This’ll give you some insight into what to expect on your first sit.
Many people have completed house sits and are eager to tell you about their experience.
A Quick Look at TrustedHousesitters as a Company
The History of TrustedHousesitters
Trusted Housesitters was founded in 2010 to connect pet parents and pet sitters more conveniently.
Andy Peck came up with the idea after he suffered a near-fatal incident in the South American Andes. He was recovering in Spain and pet-sitting when he had the idea for Trusted Housesitters.
He realized that exchanging house and pet sitting for free accommodation might help more people travel.
These exchanges of services are often by like-minded individuals. Both love animals and love to travel. It’s a win-win if you ask me.
To this day, no platform brings pet lovers and travelers together to trade services like Trusted Housesitters. Thus, this house-sitting website was born!
DOWNLOAD THE TRUSTEDHOUSESITTERS APP HERE:
How Does TrustedHousesitters Make Money?
A subscription system for trusted house sitters and homeowners makes up most of Trusted Housesitters’ revenue.
As a house sitter, you’ll pay anywhere from $129 to $259 per year. If you’re a pet owner, you’ll pay an extra $30 for the standard subscription ($159).
You can’t make money yourself through house-sitting services with this platform. Trusted Housesitters is a medium in which to exchange services.
TrustedHousesitters Review: My Experience Using TrustedHousesitters.com
Trusted Housesitters has saved me so much money since I became a full-time remote worker. It’s perfect because I’m already staying home the majority of the day anyway.
I’d rather spend my working hours with a cute little puppy or cat than by myself. But there’s one downside for some. Trusted house sitters have to make a serious commitment.
There are shorter sitting dates out there these days than in previous years, but a lot of people are fellow travelers themselves. They want to go abroad for an extended period.
At first, I was scared because it was the most expensive membership fee that I’d ever paid. But if you use Trusted Housesitters to stay somewhere for one week for free, it pays for itself and then some.
I say ‘and then some’ because many of these houses are very nice and sometimes luxurious.
The subscription fee might even be equivalent to paying for one night at an Airbnb. Think about how much you’ll save after a week of not paying for Airbnb.
Budget travelers like myself use the platform almost as much as Booking.com or Airbnb.com.
Using Trustedhousesitters.com has given me opportunities I didn’t think were possible.
My last sit in Puerto Rico was situated right on the beach with two amazing dogs. I loved it. It was perfect for me. I was in an ideal location and got it all for free.
DOWNLOAD THE TRUSTEDHOUSESITTERS APP HERE:
Free Places to Stay While Traveling
Having a free place to stay is an obvious pro. The whole reason to start house sitting is for the free accommodation.
And for pet owners, it’s cheaper than taking your pet to the kennel. In fact, it’s WAY cheaper.
The more house-sitting experience you gain, the more opportunities will come. You’ll find house sits that are super competitive, but you’re able to get them.
Becoming a trusted housesitter is an ideal situation, especially as a remote worker. There are negative reviews out there, but it’s been worth every penny for me.
Sometimes Offers Car to Use
It might not be necessary to have a car in certain places around the world. But in places like Puerto Rico, you need a car. The cars can also be pricey.
If you know you’ll need a car to use while house-sitting, simply click that filter when searching. The car filtering feature alone adds hundreds of dollars in value.
Most house-sitting opportunities won’t give you their car, but there’s more that offer this than you think. Other sites like Rover don’t have this filter at all.
Thousands of Homes in Europe and North America
Europe and North America are some of the most expensive places to travel in the entire world. So, I was glad to see that a majority of all house sits are in these locations.
These areas are where you need to save money on accommodation the most. Post-Covid travel has been going crazy in Europe, and the prices reflect this.
There’s a good amount of house sit opportunities in Australia too.
But keep in mind that wherever accommodation prices are high, competition is also super high among potential housesitters.
Can Filter Out Certain Pets
We don’t have to start the debate of whether dogs or cats are better. Some people are more of a dog person than anything else, and that’s OK!
As a Trusted Housesitter, you can filter out specific animals you don’t want to watch.
This is important because you can choose to watch dogs, cats, reptiles, horses, fish, birds, poultry, livestock, and/or other small pets like rabbits.
From experience, cats are super easy to take care of compared to dogs. Aside from livestock and horses, people with dogs ask the most of you.
There are a number of sits around the world that have farm animals. So, if that’s something you enjoy, add it to the filter!
Amazing for Remote Workers
All future sitters, listen up: house sitting is the best opportunity for all remote workers out there. Period. The initial extra cost to cover the subscription didn’t matter to me as much because I was making money anyway.
Becoming a house sitter is still worth it if you don’t have a remote job. But you may want to leave the house much more than the pet owners are comfortable with.
For example, an owner with a dog might ask me to walk the dog, play fetch, and hang out with it. Meanwhile, I’ve never been asked to take someone’s cat for a walk!
Watching dogs takes a lot of work but can bring the biggest joy.
The Best House Sitting Insurance
Trusted Housesitters is unique when comparing their insurance to other house-sitting platforms. It’s true for both the house-sitter and pet owners.
You can go with the Basic plan, but I think the Standard subscription is worth it for the perks…
For trusted house sitters: if the pet you’re watching causes damage to the house, another person, or other animals, then you’ll be covered up to $1 million.
For pet owners: if you have existing house insurance, you’ll also be protected up to $1 million. The insurance covers property damage, theft, and public liability.
As a sitter, you’ll also receive pet care from a vet 24/7. Why not pay premium membership? The sitter membership will save you more money in the long run.
Difficult to Get Your First House Sit
Needing the experience but not getting a chance to gain experience is the ultimate catch-22. Getting my first house sit took some time, but it was worth it in the end.
As I mentioned previously, a good way to get your first house-sitting opportunity is by doing it in your hometown.
I also contacted Trusted House Sitters, and they gave me these tips.
I knew I was the perfect sitter because I’ve lived with pets my entire life. But the pet parents aren’t thinking from this perspective. It’s possible to get your first sit without a reference, but much harder.
Not Many Housesits Available in Latin America
Not having many housesits available in Latin America is one of my biggest pet peeves (pun intended), and the main thing I don’t like about Trusted Housesitters. But it isn’t their fault.
I love traveling to Latin America and especially South America. Unfortunately, there’s normally only a maximum of five total sits available for the whole continent at once.
This isn’t a huge deal at the end of the day as this area is also one of the cheapest to travel through.
It would be a bigger problem if there were only five sits in all of Europe.
Home Owners Trusted More Than Sitters
Some of the Trustedhousesitters complaints I’ve read online deal with the sitters’ word vs. the owners’ word. Owners are very protective of their pets, as they should be.
These situations can cause some concern for sitters. I’ve read previous reviews about surveillance issues and sitters being accused of animal abuse.
DOWNLOAD THE TRUSTEDHOUSESITTERS APP HERE:
How to Have the Best Experience on TrustedHousesitters as House Sitters
References are Gold
The more references, the better. This can be frightening for some because many trusted house sitters on the platform already have multiple five-star reviews.
Don’t let your lack of references hold you back from paying the membership fee and becoming part of this community of trusted house sitters.
You can email references from past experiences. After all, we’re all animal lovers, right?
Complete the Background Check
If you’re based in the U.S., then this is mandatory, but it’s completely free. Complete the background check as soon as possible to get your account moving forward.
Becoming more flexible on your travel dates will allow you to find more house-sitting opportunities.
The more applications you can send out, the more likely you are to get a house to sit in. Use the Trusted Housesitter app to find even more opportunities on the road!
Post Amazing Photos
Photos are the perfect way to show homeowners your personality! Post a lot of photos with you and different pets in them. This tip might seem obvious, but some people don’t post pictures with animals.
My main goal when setting up my profile is to give the house and pet owners a reason to choose me instead of going for that expensive sitter at their local kennel.
How to Have the Best Experience on TrustedHousesitters as a Pet Owner
Post Your Listing in Advance
Things come up, and I get that. But posting last-minute house sits doesn’t give you enough time to find your ideal sitter–the person who’ll take care of your pet like it’s their own.
Plus, the listing might not get that many applicants because it’s also hard for the sitters to make arrangements that quickly.
Ask for a Video Call
Always opt for a video call instead of simply an audio call. Being able to interact with your potential house sitters and see their body language is a huge plus.
Be Upfront About Your Pet’s Routines
There are plenty of trusted house sitters on this site. So, you shouldn’t feel worried about scaring any of them off.
Tell the house sitters your pet’s routines and exactly what you want them to do each day.
If your pet isn’t going to be happy, then neither are you. You’ll be worried about your entire trip. Do yourself a favor and be upfront when interviewing trusted house sitters.
TrustedHousesitters Cancellation Policy
Things happen. Having a cancellation policy in place is good business. As a homeowner looking for pet care, you have a money-back guarantee.
In the past, other Trusted Housesitters reviews complained of terrible service. But they have gotten better in that department recently.
If you’re paying the annual fee as a sitter or pet owner, there are cancellation policies for these situations. But you must be paying for the Premium subscription to get these benefits!
In the event that your house-sitters cancel last minute, you’ll receive $150 per day that your sitter was scheduled for (up to $1500). This money is super helpful as things come up all the time.
The same sort of policy applies to house sitters. If your host cancels, then you get $150 per day to pay for accommodation (up to $1500).
This insurance is how trusted housesitters like me afford to book an Airbnb last minute if the homeowners cancel.
You can find some Trusted Housesitters horror stories from people, but the insurance policy definitely helps calm my nerves.
FAQs About TrustedHousesitters
Is TrustedHousesitters safe?
Trustedhousesitters is a safe way to travel the world, save money, and meet new friends (the furry kind).
Background checks are mandatory when wanting to house sit or are in need of a sitter.
Do you pay TrustedHousesitters?
You pay for a membership plan to use their platform. The services are then exchanged for free between the host and the sitter.
Is TrustedHousesitters worth it?
Absolutely! Trustedhousesitters is an excellent way to see the world, and it pays for itself in your first sit.
Who owns TrustedHousesitters?
Andy Peck started TrustedHousesitters in 2010 after an injury in the Andes forced him into a long recovery.
How long has TrustedHousesitters been around?
Trustedhousesitters has been around for 13 years.
What is an alternative to TrustedHousesitters?
Rover and Wag! are great alternatives to Trustedhousesitters. These sites have thousands of reviews and even offer dog walking!
What is premium membership on TrustedHousesitters?
The premium subscription on Trustedhousesitters costs $259 per year for both sitters and homeowners. These memberships come with a lot of perks that can help ease any worries.
Accidents happen, and you should protect yourself against them. Overall, these memberships offer cancellation policies as well as accident protection.
Plus, you get a cool-looking premium badge on your profile!
Conclusion: So, is TrustedHousesitters.com legit?
This is an easy answer. YES! Trustedhousesitters is legit. I love this website and everything about it.
They’ve truly grown a lot over the last few years and changed for the better.
If you’re a remote worker, love animals, or simply are a budget traveler, then this website is for you.
The experience of truly feeling what it’s like to be a resident with pets in these communities is next level.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a Trustedhousesitters free trial, but you can still browse houses/sits for free. Once you find something you like, you can then pay for the membership.
Overall, this is a more sustainable/cheaper way to travel, and I’m all for it. The membership price may seem high, but after one sit, it’ll pay for itself.
And there you go! Now, you can add TrustedHousesitters to your arsenal when you plan your next vacation or travel abroad.
DOWNLOAD THE TRUSTEDHOUSESITTERS APP HERE:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phillip Anderson is a freelance travel writer, personal trainer, and adventure enthusiast from Virginia Beach. Growing up, he spent most of his days either hiking in the Shenandoah, going to the beach, or working out. He is currently traveling through Latin America while working on projects to share his adventures with the world.
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