It’s about that time of year when our social media feeds are swarmed with pictures of friends and celebrities on their European vacations.
But from beachside villas in Greece to old French castles, these holidays are coming with a hefty price tag - one most of us can’t afford.
Also read: 6 Ways for Couples to Save Money on Travel
Even if you don’t stay in five-star accommodation, during peak season any hotel in Europe can set you back upwards of $200 per night, making it tough to save up enough cash to have your own overseas vacay.
But what if I told you it’s possible to snatch up some free accommodation in virtually any country?
And not just any old accommodation.
Think villas in the south of France, Danish farmhouses, Hawaiian beach-side homes or even Sicilian rooftop apartments.
I’m listening. How do I get free accommodation?
Home-staying is probably not something you’ve turned your mind to since study abroad exchanges back in high school or university.
But, there are a few home-sitting sites out there with homeowners offering up their homes in exchange for one request: you look after it, and their much-loved furry friend.
One of those sites is TrustedHousesitters, which gives Aussies the chance to stay in homes all over the world for free.
While you will need to pay a yearly membership to site of $99, it’s nothing compared to the money you’d save on accommodation overseas.
Another site, Nomador, also offers you the chance to house-sit overseas, but bear in mind there is a verification process to make sure you’re fit for the job.
Nomador verifies users with a badge system where house-sitters and homeowners rate each other and give a detailed review of the experience.
Future sitters can also write a detailed personal profile so homeowners get a sense of who’ll be staying in their home.
Has it been done before?
TrustedHousesitters has seen a 99.6 per cent increase in Australian memberships over the past two years, with more travellers jumping on board to save money.
Community manager of the house-sharing site, Angela Laws, has completed around 200 sits in eight different countries, including France, Italy and Barbados.
How can I make sure I get picked to house-sit?
Laws has given us her top tips on how to boost your pet sitting CV.
First and foremost you must be an animal lover with experience of the pets you’ll be looking after while also being trustworthy, reliable and sensitive to the needs of both pets and their owners
Create a great profile with engaging images of you with pets and people
Make your profile about you, let your personality shine through and be the person that your owners’ pets would want you to be
Think like an owner. What would you want to know about someone who you will be handing over the responsibility of your home and beloved pets?
Start locally and try some shorter sits to build up your references and to be certain the lifestyle of a house and pet sitter is right for you
Write an engaging email application and personalise it for each house sit that you apply for.
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