How house sitting opened up the world to us

My list of places I wanted to visit in England was rather large, add Europe and it was obscene so I had not even attempted to include further afield. We bought a camper van two years ago with the idea of going round Europe. Being on a tight budget at the time meant we could only afford a 16-year-old LDV (not the best make and no longer being produced). The LDV was the only one out of many we had viewed to have everything we needed for the trip: cooker, 12v electric with leisure battery and a decent bed. Considering how it was completely ready for use and had 10 months MOT the £1900 price seemed quite good. Unfortunately, a week after getting it and the second time I drove the gearbox went and whilst we did replace it and head off to France the van proved way too large for me to drive. Other factors, such as the van having very poorly fitted doors meant we were awoken most nights by other campers. After a month we had to head home as I was exhausted and in danger of causing an accident. The European dream needed a re-think. Continue reading

Adventures in misadventures

Yesterday was one of those days where nothing seems to go right. Zack, the eternal optimist says we should be glad our lives are never dull. My idea of an exciting life is not one that involves having your van stuck in reverse gear on the driveway of the people you are house sitting for!

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Adventures in house sitting: Oxfordshire

For anyone who does not know, Zack and I travel a lot through house sitting. We have been lucky enough to be selected for almost all of the assignments we apply for, in the last eight months we have been to Wiltshire twice, Brighton, Oxfordshire, Bath, Brittany (France), Somerset and currently Oxfordshire for a second time. It has been an amazing way to see parts of England  we would not usually due to accommodation costs. We also get to look after many lovely animals; we would love pets but the travel list we have makes it unfair to.I plan on writing a longer post on house sitting soon as I am sure a lot of people would find it a great way of cutting their travel costs. So as I mentioned this week we are back in Oxfordshire and the weather is a little different from our last visit in September. Continue reading

Off to Oxfordshire we go

This morning I woke at home with a killer headache. This morning is when we are due travel almost three hours to housesit in Oxfordshire – nooo! Last night I cleverly decided to leave cleaning the kitchen, finishing packing and hair washing for the morning. I was already feeling sorry for myself when Zack announced he was exhausted due to me waking him up with my tossing and turning. Zack is the worlds lightest sleeper – once I moved my head slightly and the result was ‘what are you doing, why all the moving?!’ I managed to clean the kitchen with Zack’s help and do an immense amount of packing; when we loaded the van it looked like we were moving out instead of going away for one week! I did not wash my hair and decided to try to cover this up with a load of talc, when this did not work I plonked a hat on to hide the worst. Continue reading

Why we do free housesitting

When we first started out housesitting almost everyone thought we should charge for it. From our point of view the places we get to stay for free and the lovely animal companions are enough payment.

Until quite recently I thought that the only people who charged on the site we are registered with were professionals. When I placed a listing for my mother; we are getting married and all of us are going to Edinburgh for a week, almost everyone who responded wanted paying and they weren’t shy about saying it either! What with the vast majority of users not charging I fail to see why people would choose them, especially when they offer no references and do not come from animal care jobs.

Some people have been sceptical ‘if they do not charge maybe they are up to something and want to rob me!’ and ‘why would anyone want to look after my dog/cat/snake for free?!’ We have a police check and references, so hopefully this puts peoples minds at rest that we are not robbers. In answer to the latter, we get free accommodation, lovely pets, home comforts and the chance to explore somewhere new. When you think about all those then it should be ‘why would you not want to look after my pets for free?’