For years we dreamed of having a tiny home on wheels. When we gave up our rented flat in 2018 to begin travelling as full time house sitters, our desire to make our dream a reality became even stronger as we navigated life as nomads. In 2022 we finally found our dream vehicle and had it converted, and have now been living in our VW Transporter for almost a year in between house sitting gigs. Here we’re sharing the perks of living in a campervan and house sitting, and why it’s the perfect balance for those who call the road home!

Having your own space

After years of staying in hotels and AirBnbs when pet sits didn’t line up back-to-back, living in our van means we always have somewhere to stay in between sits! This is especially appreciated on the rare occasion a sit gets cancelled last minute, as we know we’ll always have our own roaming accommodation to fall back on. We used to spend so much money on hotels for one or two days in between sits, or we’d have to stay with family which wasn’t always an option if we were at the other end of the country.

Living in spaces decorated with other people’s photos, artwork and ornaments never truly feels like home, and with our van we love relaxing in a space that’s just ours – it’s decorated how we want, with mementoes and pictures that we love – plus we don’t have to worry about all the responsibility that comes with being in someone else’s house. Living in our own tiny home between house sitting jobs means we can relax a little more!

The difference between having our own van and having our own house is that we can always travel with our belongings, and we can bring a lot more of them with us than we used to with our teeny Ford Fiesta! Since we started travelling to pet sits in our van, it’s good to know that everything we need is always with us. We now have all our own bedding, for example, which is great if we find pillows at a house uncomfortable (we bring our OTTY pillows everywhere!!). We also have a large fridge in our van where we can store food between pet sits – we used to have to leave so much food behind because we couldn’t take it with us as we travelled onwards! We love that we can pop into the van to grab items if we can’t find something at a pet sit (why does nobody own a potato masher any more??).

Packing is easier too as we can grab our bags from their storage spaces in the van and bring them inside a house, whereas before we’d have to messily pack things into our car Tetris-style. Having a big vehicle to transport everything also comes in handy when we’re pet sitting multiple dogs and have to drive somewhere to take them for a walk, as we have more space for the dogs to relax in comfort in our campervan!


Having our own mobile home means we can make our travel plans a lot looser than we used to, as we don’t have to tie ourselves to one area when we house sit, or when we take breaks between sits. Our pet sitting business takes us all across the UK, and having the van to live and sleep in means we can arrive in an area the day before a sit starts and be ready to arrive the following morning – we’ve even parked on the driveway overnight when the owner’s haven’t had a spare room at their home, and we’re ready to settle in early the next morning once the owners have left. We’re not tied to hotel check-in or check-out times, and even if a campsite has certain arrival times we can always park up nearby and make ourselves a cuppa in the back of the van while we wait! It’s always nice to tack on a holiday after a pet sit in a new area, so we can get out and explore without the responsibilities that come with pet sitting, and having our own accommodation on wheels makes this a lot easier – and more affordable.

Home comforts

While we love our cosy van, and being nomadic van lifers, there are times that we appreciate the little luxuries that are usually taken for granted in a house. Our camper doesn’t have a shower, or hot water at all, so we make the most of having a daily shower or treating ourselves to a hot bath at house sits. We don’t have an oven or microwave in our van, and we love to cook from scratch, which is something we find easier to do in full kitchens where we can spread out and cook together – especially if we fancy baking some sweet treats or homemade pies! These are the foods we miss when we’ve been staying in the van for an extended period, living on hob-only meals.

Another huge benefit of balancing house sitting and van life is the common problem of laundry – most of the time, van lifers have to stop off at laundrettes or use facilities provided at campsites. If we arrive at a house sit after a few weeks in the van, we can put on a load of washing to freshen up our clothes for our onward travels without having to worry about where to stop for a laundrette.

We’re definitely ‘tiny home’ people at heart, but even we appreciate a week of sleeping in a large bed each night, or having more space to relax together, or a utility room to sort out muddy boots after a walk in Winter without covering our whole van in dirt! House sitting, though it comes with many responsibilities, can feel like a break from the day-to-day admin of van life where we can simply relax, put the electric kettle on, use a full bathroom, cook big meals together, and enjoy spending time with pets. Of course, having pets with us is one of the biggest things we miss when we’re in the van! We hope to have our own van dog one day, but in the mean time we look forward to having pet-filled days at our house sits.

Settling in

It can be tiring to constantly have to find somewhere to park each day in a van. Unless you want to shell out for a campsite and its amenities, most of the time van lifers hop from place to place to stay for a few hours here and there. House sitting takes away the daily task of finding and researching places to spend our days, and nights, in the van.

Being at a house sit usually comes with stable WiFi and electricity! While our solar panels and B2B charging set-up in our van means we have enough power without hooking up to electricity most of the time, not having to worry about power at a house sit is one less van life reality on our minds (though we’re still mindful of our usage!). When we have a good internet connection at a house we can catch up on our favourite TV shows, and crack on with some work (like running our Instagram, and writing posts for this blog!). On the road, it can be find tricky to find a good spot with phone signal in remote areas, so living in a house with a stable WiFi connection is a bonus of the job. When we’re preparing to depart from a house sit with a long trip in our van ahead, we make sure to download a few TV shows for the road and charge all our devices and photography equipment too, while we have access to unlimited electricity.

If we house sit for longer than a week, we feel we can truly settle into living like a local! We love to take the opportunity to explore a new place that we may never have discovered if it weren’t for house sitting. From visiting new National Trust places, to roaming hillside footpaths with four-legged friends by our sides – exploring with pets means we visit more places off the beaten track. We love to talk to locals and other dog walkers out on our adventures, to find the best sights to see in an area over our time there. There’s never a dull moment!

Earning an income

One of the most obvious but important perks of balancing van living with pet sitting! Running a full time house sitting business is A LOT of work – more than most people realise! But our running costs are very low compared to the bills and rent we had to pay when we were still living in flats in London and Brighton. Pet sitting means that we can travel all across the UK, earning money towards further travel adventures in our van, while exploring new places along the way. Every penny we make goes towards funding the continuation of this lifestyle – we love our nomadic, pet-filled lifestyle and we’re not slowing down just yet!

If you’re ready to get started with pet sitting, head to our What Is Housesitting? blog post for a brief overview and discount codes to help you get started! And make sure you check out the other house sitting posts on our blog for more tips.

If you want to try van living, we highly recommend using Quirky Campers! Their extensive list of vans for hire means there’s something for everyone, and there are some really stunning conversions ready to be whisked away for an adventure! We loved roaming with Homer for an autumnal getaway, and exploring with Floyd in the Spring.

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