Frequently Asked Questions
We get asked a lot of questions about our full time housesitting lifestyle. Here we’ve put together some answers to our frequently asked questions!
Due to extra restrictions and requirements for overseas travel, for the moment we are limiting our housesitting to sits in the U.K. only. We’ve had positive experiences with the housesits we have completed over the past year, arranging video meetings or socially-distanced introductions, and executing a thorough clean upon our departure from a house.
Our advice for other housesitters and homeowners would be to follow the guidelines for your area to keep everyone safe.
We are currently in the process of setting up our own housesitting website for an easy way to book us as your housesitters. Until then, to invite us to housesit for you please see our Rover profile for our availability and rates.
Sustaining our travels has mostly been a matter of reducing our expenditure, as opposed to finding funds. As we are constantly travelling from place to place and don’t have a house of our own, we don’t have to pay rent or cover bills which is a huge saving for us.
We are also both fortunate enough to be skilled in areas of work that we can practise on the road. Chris sometimes picks up work as a freelance web developer, and has the freedom to choose his work hours. Suze owns an Etsy shop online, selling handsewn home decor and accessories – most of which are created with one eye on whichever animals we’re looking after that week!
We also charge for housesits – see our Rover profile for details.
Yes – we are happy to housesit anywhere in the world! So far we’ve mainly focused our travels on exploring more of the U.K., though we have completed a housesits in Berlin and Stockholm. After years of U.K. housesits we are definitely looking to travel further afield and see more of the world when travel opens up again.
We get so many questions related to starting housesitting, that we’ve dedicated an entire section of our website to it! We’ve collated all our blog posts and advice about getting started in our Pawsome Guide to Housesitting. If you have any further questions about starting out, get in touch!
We hit the road on the 2nd January 2018, making our way from Kent all the way to the Lake District for our first housesit! Since then we’ve completed 68 housesits, looking after over 147 different pets!
No two housesits are the same, and each one comes with its own set of responsibilities and unique routine! From feeding cats and walking dogs, to mucking out donkeys, watering plants and collecting fresh eggs, housesitting keeps us busy and we rarely find ourselves feeling bored!
When we began our housesitting journey, we used Trusted Housesitters which is a mutually beneficial exchange. Pet owners can find sitters to care for their homes and pets, and sitters can travel, spend time with animals and experience different lifestyles. This has worked well for us as we’ve been able to choose our next adventure, though we now only use the site if we have gaps in our calendar, or a housesit looks particularly exciting!!
For housesitting invitations, we use Rover to connect us with homeowners. This differs from Trusted Housesitters in that we provide a housesitting service that homeowners pay a nightly fee for. Some homeowners prefer to go this route as they feel more secure paying to book a sitter directly, instead of listing dates and waiting for applicants. While we don’t apply for these sits, we benefit financially while still enjoying new experiences and travelling – it just means our costs while sitting are covered.
We also use GuDog when we’re in our hometown of Kent for an extended period. The site connects pet owners with local sitters and dog walkers, and we’ve found it beneficial in the past to expand our dog care experience and earn some money in the process.
For extra doggo cuddles and walkies, we use Borrow My Doggy. We first used the site in 2017 to gain pet care experience before beginning housesitting. It can take a little longer to connect with owners, but we’ve had some lovely, positive encounters from the site. Read our review here!
While it’s not a requirement to have animal care experience before beginning housesitting, we’d say it is definitely beneficial. Our pet care knowledge has expanded exponentially since we first began housesitting, however, we used Borrow My Doggy in the months leading up to setting off on our travels so we had a basic understanding of how to care for dogs, cats and small animals. This is also how we gained our first references to use on our Trusted Housesitters profile. Check out our Pawsome Guide to housesitting for more tips and info about getting started!
We are open to looking after any type of pet as we are always eager to learn about caring for new animals. Check out our about page where we have a list of the pets we have cared for so far!
We have looked after all sorts of dogs, from small balls of fluff to big, strong dogs. Equally we are comfortable looking after indoor-only cats or cats that like to be outside all day!
We’ve looked after farm animals; chickens, horses, donkeys, cows, sheep, pigs even alpacas! As long as we get a bit of a tutorial in looking after a new animal we are happy to care for them all.
The short answer is: YES! It’s a fantastic way to see places that you wouldn’t get to if not for housesitting, and you can live like a local while enjoying a whole new lifestyle. However, you have to remember that your responsibilities to the homeowner and their pets are you main priority at all times. If you’re expecting to treat a home like an AirBnb, then housesitting is not for you.
For the past few years we’ve travelled the length and breadth of the U.K. in our small and reliable Ford Fiesta. It gives us a little more flexibility as we can easily reach remote housesits, and if we have any gaps in between housesits we can drive to AirBnbs or stay with friends. So far for our international housesits we’ve travelled by plane and train, choosing only city sits, but in the future we have plans to take our car across the Channel and beyond!
We are fortunate enough to have been gifted lifetime National Trust membership which we’ve found invaluable. Not only can we visit gorgeous properties and grounds across the UK for free, but there are many National Trust parking spots around the UK where you simply scan your membership card instead of paying. Check out our blog for National Trust posts!
At the beginning of 2020 we’d planned to try out Workaways as an alternative way to travel and meet more people while on the road. In March 2020 we took part in our first workaway on a rural glampsite in Norfolk, where we spent three wonderful months learning from a multi-generational family about smallholding life, working on the land in exchange for accommodation and food. While the unprecedented events of 2020 have put our workaway adventures on hold for now, we had such a fantastic experience at our first one that we’d definitely recommend it as a way to explore, learn and travel.
We get asked a lot about our current photography set up. We will soon be writing a more in-depth article about our equipment but for now this is what we use.
- Fuji XT2
- Fuji X100T
- Fuji XF 10-24mm f/4
- Fuji XF 16mm f/1.4
- Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2
- Fuji XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone X
There are various ways to take the perfect picture of yourselves beyond just holding your arm out and taking a selfie.
A simple technique, is to just get someone else to take a photo for you. Set up the shot and the settings how you want it and just ask them to press the shutter button.
If there is nobody around to help, another way is to set up your phone/camera on a tripod, or even just a flat surface and use the timer function to give yourself a bit of time to get in frame and have your photo taken.
Over our years of housesitting we’ve taken 1000s of photos of pets, so we like to think we know what we are doing! Here’s five quick tips on how to take better pet photos:
- Get down to your pet’s eye level
- Use a fast shutter speed – pets move a lot, so a quick shutter speed will freeze them in action.
- Use treats or toys to get them looking at you, hold them just above the lens to get them looking right at you
- Focus on the eyes
- Burst mode, as before, pets running around are hard to get perfect, using burst may mean you have lots of photos to sort through but you are more likely to get the right shot
Most importantly have fun and take your time. Practice and keep learning! For more tips, check out our dedicated blog post for taking better pet portraits.
Work with us
We’re more than happy to share our experience and knowledge relating to travel, housesitting, pet care, photography and more! Get in touch with us to discuss the details.
We’ve had lots of willing and adorable fluffy models to help us out with our portraiture, as well as lots of doggies to walk with us while we explore gorgeous landscapes to capture. See our Instagram for more examples of our photography, and get in touch if you’d like to arrange a photoshoot with us!
Want to know something else?
We always like to help out where we can, so if you have a question feel free to ask us! You can send us a message using the button below, or you can chat to us on Instagram!Send us a message