Henry the Jack Russell was welcomed into our family just before the summer school holidays however there was an issue with adopting our newest family member. The "humans" were already committed into travelling overseas for a extend time to Dubai and Europe only after having Henry for six weeks.
With our new dilemma (housing affordability for a pet) we asked around for help, looked into a range of options and in the end, we were recommended to check out the trustedhousesitters.com website. Where you can arrange for someone, a couple or another family to stay and look after your residence and your pets while you are away.
So to help someone else who might be in a pickle! I've created this review and process just for you or someone you know who needs someone to look after their pet while they are away travelling.
There are a few ways you can go about sourcing and finding a house sitter to look after your residence and your beloved pets while you are away travelling with kids or without kids. Though for the purpose of our review we will keep it to the service we used which came recommended by a friend.
We did search online and look at what options were available, and we even considered going on Airbnb and letting the house. Though at the end of the day we wanted a simple service that we could trust and most importantly find someone for the home who could take care of it, and ensure our new family addition Henry the Jack Russell was going to be looked after and in good care.
The whole process of setting up is simple, and we were so surprised at the quality of responses we received as soon as we hit the go fetch button. The whole setup process including the profile configuration, and taking photos, etc. was around 60 mins.
Question: How much does it cost? To get set up there is a small annual application fee. I believe the fee helps to keep the site professional and the type of applicants at high-quality standard
Question: Do you need to pay the sitters? No - You don't have a to pay the sitter, and the sitters are not expected to pay you for looking after the house. It's a free exchange you can read more about this in the FAQ section
Question: Why would use trusted house sitters? I guess the big benefit to using trusted house sitters to look after your home while you are away, your family can travel safe in the knowledge that your home will be well maintained, and your pets’ daily routine will be undisrupted by your absence.
The sites step by step setup is easy to follow.
Here are some stages you will need to go through when getting setup, the trusted sitter site is easy to use and very intuitive and will guide you effortlessly through the installation process.
Start by visiting the URL www.trustedhousesitters.com, to be directed to the sign-up form.
Ensure you complete all the details about you and your house, so that house sitters can read about you, your pets and your home.
You can do this with your camera phone, take some lovely photos of your house. Bedrooms, Facilities - BBQ/pool areas, Kitchen, Bathrooms, living rooms.
Trusted house sitter site will guide you through this process, but be honest in your assessment and the type of sitter you would like to have. If you are going to provide use of car, type of internet access you in the house. The more details, the better.
Once you submit your request your inbox will begin to fill up with potential candidates. If it becomes overwhelming, you can pause the application so that you can limit the number of respondents (great benefit). Once you have a shortlist, I would write back to 2 -3 then ask them some relevant questions. We found it handy jump in on video Skype call to ask them these questions.
Another great feature of the service is the pre-ready made contract template which outlines the terms between you and the sitter. You can also add in your own terms if you want.
Allow 2 hours to do this. Very handy the site has a template which you can follow, this where you can explain how and where to find things in your house, what to do in an emergency, how things work, passwords to the internet and so on. It's a great document to work on with you sitter and ask them what type of stuff they would like in the manual.
Set a high expectation, make sure your home is tidy before they arrive. Visit your local tourism office and create a compendium of things to do in your area, and maps, etc. Your house sitter will love you for this effort.
Swap social media accounts details, phone numbers where you will be, email address. We used WhatsApp to stay in touch and our sitter every week shared some lovely photos of Henry, which the kids enjoyed seeing.
The trusted house sitter site works on quality reviews, so it's important you provide your feedback on how you rated the service, how your sitter did while you were away. Your sitter should do the same for you. So that next time your sitter and you can have a reference on the site. When we came home, we came home to the most amazing clean house, which was very welcomed after a long haul flight from Europe.
Providing an honest review is a great way to how the site maintains quality sitters.
If you would like to find out more or sign up for this excellent service visit www.trustedhousesitters.com
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James is the founder of Little Nomads a family-focused travel site where he shares his experiences about travelling with kids. You can have a conversation with James on twitter @littlenomads or via his Facebook page.