Over the years I have heard talk from time to time about home exchanges, which always seemed rather complex to me, but when we had our two gorgeous dogs, Sampson and Lizzie, and we had to travel, we had heard horror stories about kennels so they were not an option, but we had to find someone we could trust to look after our dogs and homes.
So, we had to find a house sitter, and we succeeded in finding some great ones, but some do not come cheap, and in reality neither would you want them to be anything less than professional when looking after you much loved pets and home.
All this changed a couple of years ago when on line, I stumbled across www.trustedhousesitters.com, founded and led by Andy Peck, who says he discovered the concept of house sitting several years ago when he cared for Dave the dog in a villa with a vineyard and pool in Galicia, Spain. He added that after falling in love with Dave and speaking with other pet owners he soon realized there was a huge need for a comprehensive house sitting website (which previously did not exist) and since then, Andy and his fiancée and co-founder Rachel have enjoyed pet sitting across the globe, while making lots of furry friends and living like a local, with Andy’s favourite house sit being caring for what they describe as the sweet-natured Labradors Gracie and Rufus in Breckenridge, Colorado, US.
The team at www.trustedhousesitters.com seems very much like a big family with co-founder Rachel described as organiser of the Pack, with a splash of Newshound, with her favourite house sit being caring for two Devon Rex cats and enjoying lots of cat kisses in Sydney, Australia. Will Ogden is described as the Technical Geek of the Pack and CTO, with a former British Tourist Authority/Visit Britain colleague and friend Laurence Bresh, [pictured] the Chief Planner of the Pack and Chief Marketing Office. Lisa Logan is the Customer Champion of the Pack, with her favourite house sit being looking after a Christmas Tree farm, two lovely labradors and chickens with her family in Wales, with Glenise, the Customer Carer of the Pack (Customer Support), having enjoyed her favourite house sit, looking after a 19th Century Regency home on the South Coast of England. With social media critical to a business like www.trustedhousesitters.com, Angela is The Sharer of the Pack (Social Media & Customer Care), having house sat across 5 continents in the last 10 years and manages to find pet and animal welfare charities to volunteer her time at too whilst on her travels and regularly uses sitters for her home in BC, Canada.
So how does it all work?
Launched in 2010 www.trustedhousesitters.com is effectively a global pet loving community, helping thousands of owners find ideal sitters to care and love for their home and pets, for free, in exchange for a free retreat or house site, with many in amazing locations right across the world, where you can live like a local on short or even long term sits … and again for FREE, except for membership fee.
So, whether you are looking for a sit or for a sitter, all you have to do is visit www.trustedhousesitters.com, register your property or yourself as a sitter, provide details, photos and dates and then sit back and wait!
What could be better … and by the way, all sitters are checked out, they have to provide a detailed profile, police checks, images, etc. and also as they complete house sits, they receive references.
Check out this short video to hear from members on how and why TrustedHousesitters works for them.
Written by John Alwyn-Jones