When we decided to start full time travelling as a family, one of our biggest challenges was accommodation costs. During our research, we came across house sitting and decided to try it. Initially, our aim was to save money and to make it possible for us to travel for longer.

During the planning phase for our upcoming trip, we also realized that it would be nice to have a homely environment for our kids and possibly even a garden for our busy 3-year-old!

We’ve now successfully completed some amazing house sits and we’re still going! We got more out of this experience than we ever could imagine and just want to share a few highlights with you here.

We saved a ton of money!

The countries we travelled to so far were all amazing destinations, including France, Belgium and Mauritius. If you look at the average accommodation costs on Airbnb, Booking.com or any of the leading comparison sites, the average for a family of 4 is easily around $90 per night. This is normally a small apartment/villa with just the basic accessories and amenities.

If we do a very rough calculation according to this average amount, we easily saved more than $16 000 in the last 6 months alone! This amount is for the most basic accommodation, during off-peak season and will be much closer to $25 000 if we had to rent accommodation similar to what we had while house sitting. (Most of our house sits were during peak season and would have pushed this up even further)

On top of this, we had the use of a car for 5 of those 6 months. Car rental in places like France is very expensive and 5 months would quickly have added another $5000+!

This means, in just 6 months of using house sitting to travel the world, we saved a whopping minimum $30 000!!

What can you do with $30 000?

There are house sits available all over the world and range from 1 night to 2 years and anything in between. If you’re unsure if house sitting will work for you, you can always try out a short house sit in your area/country before embarking on a longer house sit abroad.

Luxury and comfort

We don’t even know where to start with this! We stayed in anything from a small chateau in Dordogne, France to a luxurious villa on a golf course in Mauritius!

All of the houses we’ve looked after had fully equipped kitchens, laundry rooms, entertainment systems, unlimited high-speed wifi, spacious living areas and gardens. In most of these houses, our kids even had their own rooms. (something you would most likely not have in rented accommodation but quite important with the age and gender difference in our case!)

The houses are fully equipped, to the smallest detail, because this is someone’s home that they set up for their own use. Things like a big TV, good quality washer and dryer, comfortable mattresses, enough linen and towels, comfortable couches, etc. In the kitchen, for instance, we usually find food processors, baking utensils, coffee machines, good quality pots and pans and very importantly, dishwashers!

Most of the houses even had BBQ’s and swimming pools, which is a very nice benefit in summer when you’re not out and about. Another thing that adds value to house sitting is that people make sure their own houses are properly heated for winter and equipped with aircons for summer. Something you won’t always find in an Airbnb or similar.

Most of our house sits had pets that had to be looked after (you can choose to apply for house sits with or without pets) and the kids loved to play with and cuddle them.

Living as a local

One of the biggest benefits of house sitting for us is something we didn’t anticipate. Because we live in local neighbourhoods and shop in the local shops, the local people quickly realize there’s a newcomer in town. We’ve made amazing friends, got very helpful tips and info from them about the surrounding area and were warmly welcomed everywhere we went. This gave us a much more authentic experience and helped us understand the local culture better. As an example, we found the French people very warm and welcoming, not at all like the old cliche about them being rude. We now can’t wait to meet the next town’s baker, butcher and winemaker! (see what we did there? :-))

Our kids had play dates with local children and made friends for life. We also still have contact with most of the homeowners and might even house sit for them again in future.

House Sitting is mutually beneficial to the homeowner and the house sitter and this makes for a relationship that is much closer to friendship than business.

Where do you start?

We’ve had so many questions from people we’ve met along the way, friends and family that we decided to put together a short basic guide to help you understand what house sitting is. We’re also busy developing a very comprehensive course to give you the best chance of getting great house sits as we have. House Sitting is becoming more popular every day and following our proven formula will give you a much better chance of being picked for great house sits.


Let us know if you’ve done any house sits or have any questions by leaving a comment below.


Matt & Annel

Matt & Annel

Matt & Annél Strydom, with their two kids Anika and Reuben, is a full-time housesitting family and have done amazing house sits around the world. Their backgrounds in technology, course development and now house sitting, created the perfect recipe to develop this comprehensive course. They love travelling and they love helping others with the knowledge they've gained through all their adventures!

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