A friend last year told me about this house sitting website which sounded too good to be true. For $80 a year you can house sit as many times as you like all over the world!
Mandy travels the world while working in tech and keeps her costs down by house sitting for people so they don't have to put their pets in kennels/catteries. This is great because it saves the hosts and sitters a lot of money and the pets don't have to leave their nice home. My pets I had as a child always went frantic when they were taken to kennels ☹️. The website also makes a nice income I'm sure so it's a win-win-win situation!
In October I made almost $1,693 so I chose to invest $80 of that and buy an annual membership with Trusted House Sitters - you get 25% off with this link. My friend Soosh signed up and found someone to house sit and look after his cat within a day of joining. (I get two months of free membership if you use that link.)
I fancied going abroad for New Year and I found lots of people advertising sits over Christmas as well. If you don't mind spending one day of the year in a new city then I think it's worth it. Personally, I've spent Christmas abroad on my own before so it wasn't a huge deal when making my decision and I figured the rest of the trip would make it worth it.
The apartment I'm staying at in Berlin is really comfortable! There is a large lounge, a double bedroom and a nice desk to work on in the kitchen. I met the hosts Jono and Dan on Monday night and they were both really lovely! They even made me dinner. ❤️
My main task is really just looking after their cat. I'd say house sitting is definitely a good option for developers or entrepreneurs that use a laptop a lot and like animals. I can stay in and play with the cat in the mornings, for instance. The cat is adorable and easy to look after. Mandy advised me to choose sits with cats over dogs as there is far less maintenance. Also, walking a dog a couple of times a day in winter when it's cold doesn't seem all that fun.
Their apartment is about 30 minutes from the centre of Berlin by subway. Jono very kindly gave me his monthly travel card which expires in a week's time so I will be doing lots of journeys to far flung places like Potsdam while I can use that pass. I've also got his gym pass so I'm going to do my best job of sneaking in and using that as well. I must remember not to wear my personalised running t shirt. 😂
I'm spending the three weeks in Berlin building up sales for my websites, No CS Degree and No CS OK so it's not a holiday. Although, I'm obviously wanting to check out Berlin lots as well. It's sort of half and half! On my way to pitch Soundcloud listings on my job board today, I walked past a section of the Berlin Wall. It's a really moving piece of history and I'm really glad they kept it as a reminder of the dangerous reality of totalitarianism.
It is competitive to get a house sit and I applied for 10 places before being accepted for this one. I had a chat with the hosts over Skype so they could check I was who I said I was. If you are someone who works from home usually I'd definitely emphasise that in your email to hosts.
For my part, I checked out their street before hand and made sure it was in a safe area. I also rationalised that as they both work for a car manufacturer they are probably living in a nice apartment and area.
I think the house sit is a really good deal considering I've got three weeks accomodation in one of the most desirable cities in Europe for the price of one night's Airbnb here. If you don't mind feeding a cat and cleaning up its poo, I'd recommend giving Trusted House Sitters a try!