Long-term House Sitting – A TrustedHousesitters Review

House sitting is a fantastic way to extend your travels, stay in some gorgeous properties for free, and explore new places.

Perhaps one of travel’s best kept secrets, house sitting has grown in popularity over recent years, and for those that want to travel indefinitely, long-term house sitting could be the answer.

I spent my entire twenties travelling the world and living in hostel dorms, often for free in exchange for working on reception or making beds (I did write an entire guide to working in hostels here, if you’re interested).

However, now that I’m a bit older, the thought of leading a bunch of 19 year olds on pub crawls around Europe isn’t quite as appealing as it used to be, and I’d much rather spend a week in the Scottish Highlands feeding someone’s cat and watering their plants.

Enter, house sitting.

a woman looking out at the sunset behind mountains
House sitting lets you stay in wonderful places for free

The concept of house sitting has been on my radar for years, but aside from a month-long stint in a friend’s apartment in Tuscany, I’d never seriously considered becoming a house and pet sitter until recently.

I would watch my friends’ Instagram stories of villas in Mexico, rustic farmhouses in the south of France, and chic apartments in Lisbon, amazed when they revealed that they were living in such places for free.

Unable to watch from afar any longer, I bit the bullet and signed up to TrustedHousesitters, a website with over 200,000 members and house sits available in more than 140 countries.

a cat in the living room
Looking after Tiny the cat

To my surprise, I snagged my first house sitting gig within a few days (and it was only the second one I applied to!).

In this TrustedHoustsitters review, I’m going to share everything you need to know about signing up to TrustedHousesitters, how the platform works, how to land your first sit, and whether I think TrustedHousesitters is worth it overall.

I’m also going to talk about what house sitting involves, how to find house sitting jobs, and tips on getting your first house sit without any reviews.

I’ll also be sharing an exclusive 25% discount code, so just keep reading if you want to make some savings!

House Sitting At a Glance

So, what is house sitting, exactly?

Well, house sitting is where a person who is leaving their home (usually for work or a vacation) entrusts another person (a house sitter) to live in their house and take care of the house and any pets they have in their absence.

While many house sitting opportunities last only for a couple of days or weeks, there are many others that require a longer commitment – anywhere from 1 month up to a year! This is what’s known as long-term house sitting.

Long-term house sitting could also refer to a person travelling indefinitely while arranging back-to-back house sits, which is really common.

They may only spend a few days in each place, but thanks to house sitting, they’re able to travel for months at a time without ever paying for accommodation.

a cat sat on a windowsill
‘Wake up, I’m hungry!’

My TrustedHousesitters Review

What is TrustedHousesitters?

Established back in 2010, TrustedHousesitters is the largest and most well-known international house sitting website, with over 200,000 members in 140+ countries.

It is an online platform that connects pet lovers with homeowners who need someone to look after their pets and home while they travel.

Sitters pay an annual fee to use the platform, and this allows them to apply for house sits, message the ‘pet parent,’ and arrange their stay.

I’ll go into the specifics of how TrustedHousesitters works later in the review, but that’s the general gist.

Already decided you want to sign up? CLICK HERE and use code JEZEBEL25 to save 25% off your annual membership!

How does TrustedHousesitters work?

Creating a free account

The first thing you’ll need to do is create a free account on TrustedHousesitters.

This will allow you to conduct searches and browse listings without having to pay the membership fee.

The only time you’ll need to actually pay the fee is if you want to contact someone to arrange a house sit.

I love the fact that you can browse the opportunities for free, because if everything was behind a paywall, you’d have no idea if there were any decent sits available!

trustedhousesitters homepage
Browsing listings is free

Using the ‘Search’ feature

Once you’ve created a free account, you can browse through the featured sits (the ‘Find a Sit’ page on both the app and website), or create your own search.

For example, if you want to browse listings in the United States, you can type ‘United States’ into the search bar, and you will only be shown results in the United States.

You can use the map feature to zoom in and out, narrowing the search results by location as you move around the map.

You can also filter your results, ensuring you only get shown suitable sits.

The filter feature is brilliant and very in-depth, allowing you to filter searches for things like:

  • Dates
  • Duration of the sit
  • Pets (check the boxes next to the animals you’re comfortable taking care of)
  • Local attractions (beach, mountains, countryside and city)
  • House vs. apartment
  • Disabled access
  • Use of car
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Family friendly
  • High speed Wi-Fi

For example, I work from home, don’t drive, and my experience is mainly with cats, so I filter for ‘cats, high speed Wi-Fi, accessible by public transport.’

I also change the dates to reflect when I’m available to travel.

trustedhousesitters review
The search filters on TrustedHousesitters
trustedhousesitters website
More search filters

Applying for sits

When you’ve signed up and paid the membership fee, you’ll be able to apply to any sits you like.

You should write a brief message to the homeowner, explaining who you are and why you’d like to take care of their pet.

The platform will tell you how many other applicants there are, and whether the person has read your application yet.

Usually, the person will get back to you to arrange a phone call or video call.

This is the time to get to know each other better and see whether it’s a match.

If it is, they’ll accept your application on the app, and you’re good to go!

More features

Something that I love about TrustedHousesitters is that you can save your search criteria, and the app will notify you when new listings are posted that match your preferences so that you can apply right away.

If you see a listing that you like the look of but it isn’t currently accepting applications, you can ‘favourite’ it, and you’ll also be notified if it becomes available.

The platform is smooth and easy to navigate, and I love having the push notifications on the app, as I’m able to get in and apply quickly when a great sit becomes available!

How much does TrustedHousesitters cost?

Browsing the listings on TrustedHousesitters is free, and creating an account is as simple as just signing in using your email address.

If you decide that you want to pay for a membership, you have three options:

Basic Sitter – £99

  • Money back guarantee
  • Unlimited sits for 1 year

Standard Sitter – £129

  • Money back guarantee
  • Unlimited sits for 1 year
  • Free video calls with vets when pet sitting
  • Instant alerts for unlimited searches
  • Dedicated support to land your first sit
  • Accident & third party liability plan (you’ll be covered if the animal causes damage or hurts someone due to your negligence during your stay)

Premium Sitter – £199

  • All of the Standard Sitter perks
  • Sit cancellation plan (receive compensation if the sit gets cancelled)
  • Global airport lounge passes for you and a friend
  • Premium badge on your profile

Because I’m cheap, I went for the most basic plan, but the one that I’d recommend is the Standard Sitter plan, purely because of the accident and third party liability plan.

Having the video calls included isn’t really necessary (you can just do it on Whatsapp or something similar), and while I might not receive unlimited saved searches as a basic member, I can still save searches which I receive push notifications about.

Overall, I’d say the standard plan is the best option, but if you can’t afford it, the basic plan works just fine.

If I had extra cash, I’d definitely opt for the premium plan to enjoy those airport lounge passes though!

TrustedHousesitters Money Back Guarantee

Worried about wasting your money?

If you’re based in the UK, you can cancel your membership and receive a full refund if you haven’t confirmed a sit within 14 days of making your 5th application. 

Note: I’m not sure why this only applies to UK sitters, but I will come back and update this if anything changes!

TrustedHousesitters DISCOUNT CODE

As a user of the TrustedHousesitters platform, I’ve been lucky enough to have been given a special TrustedHousesitters discount code that will get you 25% off your annual membership!

Just use the code JEZEBEL25 when you sign up, and you’ll receive a 25% TrustedHousesitters discount!

Is TrustedHousesitters legit?

Safety comes first, and you don’t want to rely on Craigslist for house sitting opportunities.

At the time of writing (June 2024), TrustedHousesitters has over 17,000 5-star reviews on Trustpilot, with an overall score of 4.5.

It’s pretty safe to say that TrustedHousesitters is legit, and has established a rock solid reputation over the last 14 years.

When you sign up as a sitter, you are required to upload a photograph of your ID, and complete a phone and email verification. You must also provide at least one external reference before your profile goes live.

US-based sitters are also required to complete background checks.

House sitting listings are always manually checked by the team at TrustedHousesitters before they are allowed to go live, and the review system also enables both sitters and homeowners to get a feel for what to expect from one another.

Do you get paid on TrustedHousesitters?

You do not get paid to house sit on TrustedHousesitters.

The idea is that it is a fair exchange – the homeowner is safe in the knowledge that their pet is being cared for, and you get to stay in their home without having to pay any rent or utility bills.

a big tv in a living room
Getting to relax and watch Netflix is payment enough for me!

My experience on TrustedHousesitters

I first signed up to TrustedHousesitters years ago as a free member (you can browse the listings for free).

I then paid for a full subscription about 2 weeks ago, and have already completed my first house sit.

the author taking a selfie in the countryside
Happy on my first house sit

My first application on TrustedHousesitters was unsuccessful.

I applied to a cat sit in Estonia for 3 weeks, and the lady regrettably informed me that as she’d be in a very remote area (and wouldn’t be able to be contacted during the sit), she was looking for someone with more reviews.

No problem! I continued the search.

I decided that I should apply somewhere local and short-term for my first sit.

This way, I’d have a better chance of being accepted, and I’d be able to get my first review under my belt.

Spotting a 3-day cat sit in the Lake District (UK), I applied and received a reply straight away from Sara, the homeowner.

We arranged a call on Whatsapp for the following day, and after a brief chat, she invited me to come and look after her adorable 12 year old cat, Tiny, the following weekend.

I sent Sara a screenshot of my train tickets to confirm when I’d be arriving, and she actually offered to pick me up from the station!

cottage in the lake district
My home for the weekend

After collecting me, she gave me a brief tour of the house, introduced me to Tiny, and then left me alone in her cottage for the weekend.

I had the best time.

For the next 3 days, I cuddled with Tiny, made sure that her food was always topped up, and let her out into the garden when she wanted me to.

During the afternoons, I explored the surrounding area, went for long walks in the countryside, and visited every traditional pub I could find.

It was bliss.

Despite Sara’s assurances that Tiny was fine to be left alone, I always returned in the evenings so that she could play outside for a while, before we cuddled up on the couch and watched Netflix together.

a cat on a couch
Watching Baby Reindeer with Tiny

Knowing that cottages like this one cost hundreds of pounds a night on Airbnb, I couldn’t believe that I was staying here for free.

It had already covered the £75 I paid to sign up (basic membership with 25% discount).

What does reviewing mean on TrustedHousesitters?

Often, you’ll see a ‘reviewing applications‘ message on active listings.

Originally, I thought that this meant the homeowner had paused their listing so that they could review current applicants, but actually, all it means is that they have reached the 5 application limit imposed by TrustedHousesitters.

When a listing shows as ‘reviewing,’ you can’t apply for the sit, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the position has been filled.

The homeowner could read through the 5 initial applications and decide that none of them are a good match.

General House Sitting Tips

Responsibilities of the house sitter

In exchange for being able to stay in the property for free, the house sitter takes on certain responsibilities within the home such as watering plants, taking in the mail and other household chores that the owner may require.

Most people list their home on TrustedHousesitters because they have pets that need looking after.

The animals I’ve seen on TrustedHousesitters range from dogs and cats to horses, chickens, lizards, and sheep!

Of course, if you’re looking after someone’s pet, your duties will depend on the animal itself and its individual needs, but you’ll typically be in charge of feeding, dog-walking, and cleaning litter trays etc.

When I recently house sat, all I needed to do was feed a gorgeous little cat and let her out to play in the garden every so often.

a cat in a garden
Tiny was happy to hang out in the garden

Sometimes there are slightly more complex tasks involved, such as administering medicine or maintaining a swimming pool, but usually feeding animals and keeping the house clean will be your primary duties.

In fact, many of the listings that I’ve seen mention that they have professional cleaners, so your job really is as simple as not burning the place down!

The general idea is that house sitting is a mutually beneficial situation – the homeowners can enjoy their time away, safe in the knowledge that their home is being well taken care of, and the house sitters get to live in gorgeous properties rent-free and explore new places.

a large villa with a swimming pool
Live here rent free? Yes please!

Benefits of house sitting

House sitting isn’t just about living rent-free (although of course, that doesn’t hurt!).

There are tonnes of benefits to long-term house sitting that keep house and pet sitters doing what they do for years on end, moving seamlessly from place to place without ever settling down.

Some of the benefits of house sitting include:

Live like a local

When we travel, we often talk about wanting to ‘live like a local’ and have an ‘authentic experience,’ and then find ourselves in staying in a hotel, ticking tourist traps off our bucket lists, and never venturing beyond the guidebook.

When you are house sitting, you have a chance to really sink into a place and get to know it intimately.

You will discover where to buy the best coffee in town, which secret spots the locals love, and how it really feels to live in a destination.

british countryside
A lovely walk near where I stayed

Get to know lots of cuddly animals

I’m a sucker for animals, and due to my lifestyle, I can’t have a pet of my own.

The idea of ‘borrowing’ someone’s cat, or cuddling up with a cute pup every evening is one of the main reasons that house sitting appeals to me.

Travel for free!

This is a bit of a no-brainer, right? Long-term house sitting enables you to travel all over the world and live rent-free in places you would never normally be able to!

From rustic farm houses in Tuscany to town houses in London, beach villas in Hawaii, and wooden cabins in Costa Rica, the possibilities are endless when it comes to house sitting.

Base for your remote work

I’m no stranger to remote work – in fact, I was living as a ‘digital nomad’ before the term was even coined!

However, living in hostels and trying to work online was not easy, and hotels and Airbnbs are not always set up to provide an adequate working experience.

Coliving spaces are fantastic, but they tend to be expensive, and so having your very own home to work from with stable Wi-Fi and plenty of space to work is a lifesaver.

a cat asleep on a laptop
Keeping Luna company while my boyfriend’s family was at work

Sustainable travel

I am a huge advocate for slow and sustainable travel.

In fact, I wrote an entire blog post about the benefits of slow travel here.

Slow travel is the best way to not only create a deeper connection between yourself and a destination, but it’s also much better for the environment and the world as a whole.

How to get house sitting jobs

Landing your first house sitting job is going to be a bit trickier, as you’re starting out with no reviews.

However, by sending the right message and having the right profile, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Here are my tips for getting your house sitting applications accepted.

Get some experience

If you can, offer to house sit for someone you know first.

Not only will this be a great indicator of whether you actually want to be a house sitter, but you will also be able to ask your friend for references, which are vital when it comes to getting chosen to look after someone’s home.

You can also ask former employers, organisations you’ve volunteered for, and past landlords to write you a reference.

Do you always feed your neighbour’s cat when he goes on holiday? Ask him for a reference!

Have you been mowing your nan’s lawn for the last 5 years? Ask her!

Create an engaging profile

Your profile is the first thing that people looking for house sitters will see, so make it count.

Introduce yourself, highlighting any skills or passions that will come in handy if you’re looking after a house and/or pet.

Relevant experience could include:

  • Taking care of your own pet
  • Volunteering at an animal sanctuary
  • Being a keen gardener
  • Growing up on a farm
  • Past work experience as a cleaner or similar

It really doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary – I included the fact that I used to care for the family cat as a teenager when my parents weren’t home!

Try to be as detailed as possible while keeping your tone friendly and informal.

You should also include things like being a non-smoker, or the fact that you work from home (people love it if you’re available to be at home with their pets all day).

When it comes to pictures, include friendly and approachable shots of you, preferably with animals. Other great shots are ones that involve you doing ‘wholesome’ things like charity runs or hiking (I wouldn’t recommend using a picture of yourself in a wet t-shirt contest in Benidorm, but what do I know?).

cats in kotor
If this doesn’t show how much I love cats, I don’t know what will

Be fast

The best long-term house sitting jobs will get snapped up fast, so you have to get your game face on.

If you spot a sit you like, apply right away, don’t wait until later.

Sign up to email alerts and push notifications for your preferred sits, and apply as soon as they become available.

Stand out

Don’t apply for a house sitting job with a vague, generic message that reads ‘Hi, I’m interested in house sitting for you, let me know what you think.’

Personalise your message according to what they have written on their profile.

Talk about your previous visits to their city, or mention something specific about their pet.

You should also be need to be quick with your replies.

Not only does this show the homeowner that you’re reliable and committed, but it stops somebody else from sneaking under the radar and snapping up your opportunity.

Be prepared for an interview

Most homeowners will want to speak to you, either on the phone or via video chat.

If they don’t ask for a call then you should.

House sitting is a two-way street and you don’t want to turn up to find any nasty surprises when it comes to the property or the expectations that the person has of you.

Start small

You’re probably not going to be sipping Mimosas in a Beverly Hills mansion right away.

Luxury house sitting is highly competitive, and might require a lot of high-quality references or specialist experience in house sitting for luxury homes.

If you start small and get some reviews under your belt, you’ll be far more likely to score your dream sitting jobs in the future.

Pro-tip: look out for the ‘Low Applications’ flag on listings. These are the ones with less competition!

How to be a good house sitter

Aim to excel

Don’t view house sitting as just a free holiday.

People are entrusting you with their home and pets – that’s a big deal!

House sitting is a service, and you should aim to excel at it.

Leave the house in a better state than you found it in, take care of the animals as if they were your own, and keep in contact with the homeowner during your stay (they always appreciate little updates and pictures of their pet!).

Be reliable

People are planning their travels around you.

Don’t agree to something and flake out at the last minute or just outright ghost someone.

Planning a trip is stressful enough without finding out that your house sitter has gone AWOL three days before they’re meant to arrive.

Keep the communication flowing and always respond quickly to messages.

Be prepared to work hard

Things can (and will) go wrong during your stay, so be prepared for emergency trips to the vet, accidental damage, or a torrential rainstorm resulting in an ominous leak.

As long as you are house sitting, the property is your responsibility, and you can’t just check out when the going gets tough.

a woman watering the plants
House sitting isn’t a holiday

Get travel insurance

As with all travel, travel insurance is super important when you’re house sitting.

The cover that I recommend is Safety Wing, due to their robust, inexpensive coverage which is designed for digital nomads and people who travel a lot.

Is TrustedHousesitters Worth It? | Final thoughts

So, is TrustedHousesitters worth it?

If you ask me, the answer is 100% YES.

I paid £75 for an entire year’s membership, and I’ve already saved that money on my first sit, which I confirmed almost as soon as I joined the platform.

TrustedHousesitters is easy to use, and I love the fact that you can filter your search to find the perfect sit.

I also love that the mandatory application limits mean that once you’ve got your application in, you don’t have to worry about an influx of sitters applying for the spot you want.

I’m already addicted to TrustedHousesitters, and every spare second I get, I’m refreshing my search to see what future adventures await me.

That’s it for now, but don’t forget to use the code JEZEBEL25 for a 25% discount on your membership, and if you have any questions then please leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you!

Sign up to TrustedHousesitters here.

Until next time,


If you liked this article and would like to support my work, please click the button above to donate a couple of bucks and buy me a coffee. The ad revenue that I receive on this website is minimal, so support from my readers enables me to keep creating content that you (hopefully!) love to read.

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase on a recommended site, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.