House sitting is a great way to get free, private accommodation in a private house or apartment. Basically, as a traveler, you receive this benefit in exchange for caring for someone’s home and usually pet(s) while they themselves are away. For all the details about house sitting and why I love it as a budget traveler and introvert, check out my post on 5 Benefits of House Sitting.
Once you’ve decided to try house sitting (whether as a house sitter or as a homeowner), you need to become a member of a house sitting website. There are many sites out there, all with differing membership fees and regions covered. So which one to choose? In this post, I’m going to compare some of the most popular house sitting websites so you can decide which is right for you. Scroll down for my top pick, which I think has the best value and where I’ve gotten most of my house sitting gigs!
Fee: US$119/year for both homeowners and house sitters
Pros: Well established, good reputation, variety in homes/sitters, online member support and vet advice, verification
Cons: High fee, large membership also means lots of competition
One of the most well-known and popular house sitting websites, Trusted House Sitters has a good reputation and a lot of options around the world. With that popularity, however, comes a larger membership fee and more competition for the best house sits and sitters. They do have good online support.
Fee: Free Trial Option, US$35/quarter, US$89/year for both sitters and homeowners
Pros: Well established, good reputation, variety in homes/sitters, free trial & pay quarterly options, online advice & blog
Cons: Large membership also means lots of competition, you can find gigs worldwide but the majority are in Europe
Nomador is similar to Trusted House Sitters in scope and popularity, though there are more jobs available in Europe than anywhere else in the world. Their free trial does offer actual contact between sitters and homeowners. Sitters can contact 3 homeowners without paying anything and homeowners can offer 1 housesit without paying. I used the free feature without success and as I found plenty of gigs on other sites I never upgraded to a paid membership.
Fee: US$25/year for house sitters, free for homeowners
Pros: Cheap fee, nice houses, variety in homes/sitters
Cons: You can find gigs worldwide but the majority are in the US & Europe
Luxury house sitters has a great mix of nicer homes available and one of the lowest membership fees out there.
Fee: US$20/year for house sitters, free for homeowners
Pros: Cheapest fee I’ve seen, well established, variety in homes/sitters, email alerts
Cons: You can find gigs worldwide but the majority are in the UK/Europe & the US, competition for sitters
One of the longest-running house sitting websites, Mind My House also has by far the cheapest of the fees for house sitters. While there are gigs worldwide, the majority are in Europe and the United States. There are also more house sitters than homeowners, so while homeowners are spoiled for choice, sitters have more competition for gigs. That being said, I’ve had very good luck finding many house sits through this site and find it very user-friendly.
Fee: US$50/year for house sitters, free for homeowners
Pros: Well established, good reputation, reasonable fee, variety in homes/sitters, good info on website
Cons: You can find gigs worldwide but the majority are in the US & Europe, slightly fewer gigs available than other sites, slightly less user-friendly site
Another one of the oldest and best-established house sitting websites out there, beginning in 2000, House Carers has its stuff together but the site shows its age a bit in design and there are slightly fewer gigs available than other sites.
Fee: US$30/year for house sitters, free for homeowners
Pros: Well established, cheap fee, variety in homes/sitters, region specific/USA only
Cons: Region specific/USA only
“House Sitters” is a chain of country-specific sister-sites. They all have the same branding but each is limited to one country. House Sitters America is great to concentrate your options if you only want to house sit in the US but requires you to join other sites if you want to house sit in any other country.
House Sitters Canada
Fee: Free for both sitters and homeowners for 2 years (at time of posting, limited time offer), then CAD$130/year for sitters & still free for homeowners
Pros: Currently free, variety in homes/sitters, region specific/Canada only
Cons: High membership fee after free trial ends, region specific/Canada only, new/not well-established yet
House Sitters Canada is the newest specific site for the House Sitters brand. In an effort to increase their membership as a new site, both homeowners and house sitters currently have full access completely free for 2 years. After that, homeowners continue to be free while the fee for house sitters becomes one of the highest out there. I’ve had pretty good luck with this site so far and you can’t beat free!
Fee: AUS$84/year for sitters, free fro homeowners
Pros: Well established, reasonable fee, variety in homes/sitters, region specific/Australia only
Cons: Region specific/Australia only
Aussie House Sitters is the Australia specific site of the House Sitters brand. It has the most house sitting gigs available in Australia compared to other Aussie specific sites and definitely compared to worldwide sites. Of course, if you want to house sit worldwide you will have to join another site as well.
Countries: New Zealand
Fee: NZ$84/year for house sitters, free for homeowners
Pros: Well established, reasonable fee, variety in homes/sitters, region specific/New Zealand only
Cons: Region specific/New Zealand only
Pretty much exactly what I said about Aussie House Sitters, except for New Zealand.
Fee: AU$59/year for house sitters, free for homeowners
Pros: Reasonable fee, lots of house sits available, great for region specific travel, fewer sitters means less competition for gigs, blog
Cons: Only good for Australia travel/not worldwide, fewer sitters available for homeowners
I used Mind a Home to find house sits while traveling Australia for several months. The fee is on the lower end of the spectrum and there were lots of variety of house sits. I was contacted daily by homeowners asking if I was interested in sitting for them. The amount of information house sitters and especially homeowners are asked to provide is very limited, however.
My Top Pick
Of the websites I’ve personally used, I’ve by far found the most jobs on Mind My House. I love that it’s cheap and worldwide. I’ve found it very easy to use and well set up. Of the ones I haven’t tried (yet!), Luxury House Sitters would be my next choice.
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