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Trusted Housesitters review: have I discovered traveltopia?

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Trusted Housesitters review: have I discovered traveltopia?

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Trusted Housesitters Review

A chateau in the South of France, you say? And one gets to spend time with animal companions?? For how long??! Wait…it’s completely free??!!

Yup, you’ve just discovered vegan traveltopia!

If you like travelling and love animals even more, but hate the rising cost of accommodation, then you’re going to want to read this TrustedHousesitters review.

Join me on my journey as a nomadic vegan sitter, where I’ll explore its pros and cons, take a closer look at the Trusted Housesitters app and give you my thoughts on how this platform compares to other travel accommodation options.

This review is aimed towards fellow sitters but much of it is also relevant for homeowners and pet parents. If there’s anything I’ve not covered, please feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section below.

To find out more on how to use this service safely and successfully, create a winning profile to secure your first and future sits and travel the world for free whilst experiencing some paw-some adventures, make sure you check out my Trusted Housesitters guide for sitters.

Summary

4/5

Trusted Housesitters provides the opportunity to visit amazing destinations, make memories and spend time with furry friends. I just wish there were more house sits outside of the EU, US, UK and Australia.

Pros

Cons

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What is Trusted Housesitters?

TrustedHousesitters is an online platform that connects homeowners and pet parents with sitters who can take care of their home and animal companions whilst they are away. This service is provided by the sitters for free, in exchange for free accommodation.

TrustedHousesitters was founded in 2010 and has since grown to become the largest house-sitting platform in the world, with members in over 130 countries.

Sitters benefit because they get the opportunity to travel the world and stay in beautiful homes for free, all whilst taking care of some adorable animals.

Homeowners and pet parents get the reassurance that their animal companions will be looked after in the comfort of their own homes by a reliable sitter. No more nasty kennels!

Interested in sitting?
Check out my guide to using Trusted Housesitters (as a sitter).

Have a furry companion you need looking after?
Check out my guide to using Trusted Housesitters (as a pet parent) – coming soon.

A close up of a long-furred cat's face. Her eyes are green with beautiful brown flecks.

Just look at some of the gorgeous furry companions I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with 😻

A springer spaniel with a ball in her mouth. The ground is frosty and you can see the sky is pink from the sunrise

How much does Trusted Housesitters cost?

There are three membership plans for sitters: basic, standard and premium.

I use the basic plan and find this is more than enough. You get unlimited house sits worldwide for £99 a year. It may seem like a lot but, since the majority of hotels costs roughly this much per night now, I think it’s pretty good value for money.

I’ve already done six long house sits this year (it’s only the beginning of April) so I think I’ve more than made up for it.

The standard (£129) and premium (£199) memberships offer more features including 24/7 vet support, instant alerts for unlimited saved searches (handy but not necessary), insurance and liability cover and various other perks.

Use our code VEGANSISTERS for 25% off!

An elongated light brick house with plants
A glass and bottle of French kombucha with a book on a table overlooking the setting sun over the hills of the Ardeche
2 long-haired cats sat in the grass. In the background, you can see the most beautiful red brick garden wall with an arched wooden doorway.
A thatched cottage available as a sit on Trusted Housesitters. It's white with wooden beams and a thatched roof. In the background, you can see the sun set over the most magnificent view.

Some of the beautiful homes I’ve stayed in ☝️

Is Trusted Housesitters worth it?

Well, it ultimately depends on your individual preferences and circumstances. However, many sitters have found great success and enjoyment in using TrustedHousesitters.

Whilst I don’t use it permanently, I use it very often. I like to travel using a mixture of house-sitting, Couchsurfing, staying in Airbnbs/hostels/campsites and even vegan hotels.

Alice is standing taking a selfie in front of the Pont d'Arc, a natural rock formation that arches over the River Rhône
Trusted Housesitters has taken me to some stunning locations!

For me, TrustedHousesitters is a really unique way to travel and explore new places whilst taking care of some amazing animals and living like a local. It has also provided me with the opportunity to stay in houses that would normally be waaaaay out of my budget!

Nevertheless, it has its drawbacks and isn’t always the most convenient way to travel.

To help you decide whether or not it’s right for you, I’ve explored some of the biggest pros and cons below:

The pros

One of the biggest perks of house-sitting through TrustedHousesitters is the free accommodation; you can stay in some of the most beautiful homes around the world without having to spend a penny! I’m talking chateaus, Edwardian manors, treehouses, converted warehouses, rainforest retreats, the lot!

Another major benefit is the animal companionship. As a sitter, you’ll have the opportunity to take care of some pretty awesome animals, from dogs and cats to more unusual creatures such as rescued deer and farm animals at a vegan sanctuary!

It’s the perfect opportunity to create incredible memories with some furry friends whilst exploring new places. I’ve found that walking with my new canine companions has enabled me to have a completely different perspective on a destination, since I often explore places that I might not have even thought about if I wasn’t accompanied by a dog.

Gloucestershire countryside with my red Volvo parked in front of a stunning view

The fact that you’re staying in someone’s home often means that you get introduced to the neighbours and local community, which leads to some pretty exciting experiences; I’ve been taken go-karting, given a tour of the best vegan spots in Geneva, wined and dined, and even ended up playing competitive tennis.

Lastly, one of my favourite things about TrustedHousesitters is the flexibility! You can browse through a variety of house-sitting opportunities that fit your criteria, whether it’s a few days or a few months. You can choose where you want to go and when you want to go, making it the perfect opportunity for travellers who want to work around their own schedules. As a permanent digital nomad, this has worked out great for me!

The cons

If you’ve had experience looking after animals, then you’ll know what a huge responsibility it is. This can weigh particularly heavy if you’re looking after someone else’s companion; I’ve heard about other sitters who have sadly been there as an elderly pet has passed away and had to relay the information to the homeowner whilst they were on holiday.

It’s also important to remember that we are there to look after the animals (although there are animal-free housesits that appear on the platform occasionally), so we can’t go out partying all night. The animals need us to be responsible.

Taffy the cat sat helpfully on my notebook, next to my laptop. He's sitting upright as if standing to attention, ready to work
Taffy supervising my work

I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy myself whilst I travel, of course I do, but I only do so when there is no one else dependent on me. For example, if I’m sitting in Amsterdam and want to explore the drum and bass scene, I’d book an additional couple of nights in an Airbnb or hostel after my sit so I can enjoy myself to the fullest!

Another disadvantage of TrustedHousesitters is that, if you are travelling for an extended period of time, it can be difficult to align multiple sits, which means you are often left with a few days in between. Some homeowners may allow you to arrive early or leave late but I usually just wild camp (the free option) or stay in Airbnbs until my next sit begins.

Finally, whilst there are more sits than you can count across the UK and the US, some countries are lacking house-sitting opportunities. For example, I struggled to find anywhere in the Balkan countries (including Serbia, Croatia, Greece and Montenegro) and Asia is pretty sparse. I hope this will change as TrustedHousesitters continues to grow.

A pink and lilac hued sunrise over frosty fields
A very muddy footed labradoodle on a walk along a canal
A beautiful dog overlooking the stunning landscape from Cleeve Hill
A neolithic long barrow with a sunset in the background. You can see a dog that I was looking after during a housesit
The snoot of a dog looking up at me. You can see the view from my perspective, it's a sunset over a reservoir which I visited on one of my dog walks for Trusted Housesitters

Snapshots of some of the walks I took during my sits. Not only did I get to view some incredible scenery, but it’s also kept me pretty fit 😅

My review of the TrustedHousesitters app

The app provides easy access to a wide range of house-sitting opportunities that you can easily browse and apply for at any time, no matter where you are.

Trusted Housesitters app filters
Screenshot of the Trusted Housesitters app search filters

My main reason for using the app is that you can receive real-time notifications for new house-sitting assignments that match your preferences (by setting up saved searches), ensuring you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

The map feature of the Trusted Housesitters app to see global sits available

The app also features a built-in mapping function that makes it easy to navigate to the house-sitting location and get directions. Plus, communication with homeowners is quick and easy, so you can get any questions or concerns addressed promptly.

Alice's Trusted Housesitters' profile page. You can see her profile photo and her 5* review status
Trusted Housesitters app dashboard to see your upcoming house sits
Trusted Housesitters app view your favourites section screenshot

However, whilst the TrustedHousesitters app is convenient and user-friendly, I’ve found it to be annoyingly glitchy and slow to load. I often have to use the web browser on my laptop to read messages from homeowners that don’t load on my app.

Nonetheless, the app is a great way to stay connected and informed on-the-go!

Vegan Sisters verdict

TrustedHousesitters has opened my eyes to a new way of travelling and I’ve made some incredible memories during my sits.

I love that you can stay in unique homes (for free) across the world and create amazing bonds with animals along the way. Staying in someone’s home gives you a fresh perspective of a destination and will likely lead to some extraordinary experiences.

It’s not without its flaws, however, and there is always the possibility of encountering difficult animals or homeowners.

Overall, though, if you’re willing to take on those risks and are passionate about animals and travel, TrustedHousesitters is definitely worth considering.

Trusted Housesitters review

Ease of use
5/5
Effectiveness
4/5
Style
5/5
Eco-Friendliness
5/5
App
3.4/5
Price
4.5/5
Overall
4.5/5

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Alice

Alice

Nomadic writer, scientist, and amateur mycologist working hard to build a global online vegan community | I write stuff for a living. Mainly about vegan things, science, fungi, and travel. Curious? Head over to Alice's Cerebrum to learn more.

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