Sick of accommodation sucking up so much of your hard-earned money? Have you thought about housesitting while you’re in Australia? If not, then you should. Membership to the housesitting sites are quite cheap and the amount you can save in accommodation far outweighs the price. Memberships range from $65 for an annual subscription to a specific-country housesitting site, such as aussiehousesitters.com.au or around the $10 per month mark for a larger international site such as trustedhousesitters.com. Once you sign up and pay your membership fee, you simply create yourself a profile and start to search and apply for housesitting opportunities.
After paying the $65 membership to aussiehousesitters.com.au, we landed a 10 day housesit in Brisbane over the Christmas and New Year period within 24 hours! That housesit alone has saved us over $450 in accommodation costs over the busy peak period. Squeamish about living in someone else’s house?
- You can shower without thongs (flip-flops) on
If you have been on the road for a while I know this will bring a smile to your face and a lustful dreamy glaze to your eyes. The downside of showering without the aid of footwear is that what you thought was a great tan on your feet might wash away with a good scrub.
- You can walk around the house in your underwear
Is there anything nicer on a warm summer’s morning that getting out of bed and making breakfast in your underwear? I think not. For our first housesit, I do not think that I put on pants until after midday most days. The way a vacation should be!
- You can get to know a place, and the locals
Whilst hospitality and tourism workers are accustomed to showcasing the best of their town and acting as on-demand tour guides, the people you meet whilst housesitting are not. They give you the nitty-gritty truth about their town and also some great secret-spot tips!
- You get to pretend you have pets again
Missing Fido? Join the club. Most housesitting opportunities come with the responsibility of looking after the family pets also. In most cases this is a cat or dog. The idea is that the owner saves money on a pet kennel, you get free accommodation and the pet is not removed from their house. It is a winning situation all-round.
- You get to use a clean washing machine, for free
Housesitting means that you have access to a domestic, clean washing machine. You do not have feed all your coins into it, you do not have to waste a morning waiting for the thing to finish and you do not have to worry about what other people have put through it before you. (necessary when you’re working hard fruit picking!)
- You can store leftovers in the fridge, and buy ice-cream in a tub
This may not relate to hostel or hotel-dweller, but campers will understand this one. We have not been able to store spinach, lettuce or ice cream since we left our house. We live out of an esky/cooler with ice most of the time. Ice melts and turns to water and anything that is not in a sealed container or snap lock bag is ruined, usually when you least expect it. Ice cream is impossible to keep frozen, and leafy greens spoilt at the tiniest drop of water touching them. First thing I purchase when we head into a housesit? A tub of coconut ice cream and a big fresh head of lettuce!
- Housesitting is a great way to see the bigger cities which can be expensive for travelers
City accommodation pricing is out of control. Housesitting is a great way to live right in the middle of the action, and not pay the exuberant fees. Infact the picture at the top of this acticle was the actual view from the balcony of our first housesit. How much would you pay for a hotel with views like that!?
- You get to hold the remote and choose the movies
I spent a lot of time in hostels in my youth, and due to this, I have seen every episode of The Simpsons ever made, in at least four languages. It is difficult to find a TV show or movie that everyone agrees upon in a hostel setting, so back then, it was always The Simpsons that was shown as a happy middle-ground. Everyone likes The Simpsons, right?! I’m sure there is new show has eclipsed this now, but if you’re a long-term traveler you will know what I’m talking about. You will also be desperate to regain control of the TV, whether that is to turn it off altogether, or to select the shows that you like to watch.
- Hot water on demand and no queues for the bathroom
There is no queue to use the bathroom, no one banging on the door for you to hurry up, or stop singing in the shower. Campers, I know you’re particularly excited about this. Solar showers have their place, and they are certainly better than a cold shower, however imagine having a shower with water pressure!
- You can live in locations that you did not dream of visiting before
Housesititng in unique locations is also a great way to get away from the hoards of other travelers who are on the same tourist-route and have all taken the exact same pictures. We surely never thought that we would spend 4 weeks in Townsville, but after taking a housesitting assignment there, it turns out that it’s a great town and we loved it!