Two big names in the underground wanderlust nomadic community are “House sitting” and “Couch Surfing”. Both of these names sound way sillier than they are. House sitting is way more than just sitting in a house, or babysitting a house, and couch surfing is way more than just couches. Have you ever wanted to travel the world for free, meet tons of people, become part of a family and live and work like a local – all over the world? Then these two options may be perfect for you.
House sitting is a free trade or paid job where you take care of someone’s home while they are away. This is a great option for someone that doesn’t want to put their house up for rent, and wants to make sure their property is maintained while they are away – and typically – it involves caring for a pet or two as well. Some house sitting opportunities are paid and others are not, and in many cases you can also use their cars, bikes, kayaks and basically live like them for the term of your stay. It’s important to remember though, this is a job. I always laugh when I see house sitting commercials of ‘house sitters’ climbing what looks like mount everest during their house sit. Aren’t you supposed to be watching the dog? I guess you are allowed a little freedom each day. When you are paying you know you’re getting the service they are providing you a service and you’re paying them for it, they set things up for you in a certain way, you have access to the kitchen and all the tools.
I’ve seen housesitting opportunities in New Zealand, in the Amazon rainforest, and Costa Rica by the beach as well as in Northern California by a winery. I’ve seen castles, I’ve seen gorgeous ranches, and even luxury ski chalets. There are tons of incredible options for housesitting, but basically when it comes to couch surfing and housesitting you still need to position yourself in a certain way that you become accepted and easily integrated into the community.
So if somebody has pets you want to make sure you are capable of doing certain procedures to help protect that pet (ie. care for a small wound – and knowing when it’s time to take the pet to the vet). If you’re just watching a house in general, something that makes you look like you’d be able to handle situations like even a robbery, something that they are looking to have you protect to the house from. When it comes to couch surfing it is really all about just building a reputation that shows you are a fun and responsible guest who is going to be enjoyable to have at the house and care for a space.
If House sitting is something you’d like to try out – you can sign up to be a housesitter on sites like Trusted Housesitters or Mind My House. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a house sitter professionally (increase your offer acceptance rate) check out this awesome guide to international house sitting e-book – International House Sitting: How To Travel The World And Stay Anywhere, For FREE
Couch surfing is different and depends on each host. Sometimes it’s a couch, sometimes it’s a bunkbed room, sometimes it’s a beautiful huge master bedroom. It all depends on the host and it is a little bit more of an experience you need to have a little bit of time to select, but if you are on a budget and you’re looking to just get as much travel as you can, couch surfing is like staying with family. I’ve heard incredible success stories from people that have had life-changing experiences and made lifelong friends using couch surfing.
If you’re going to be couch surfing be aware that you’re going to be part of a community and if you’re more introverted you might not like that, but if you’re a little bit more extroverted you might really enjoy being able to make new friends and doing things with those people. The couchsurfing community is about creating friendships, hearing stories, going on adventures together, and learning. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy – you should check out http://couchsurfing.com
couch surfing and housesitting you basically build up a profile ando have qualifications, you have experience, you have a story, a little bit of information of how you work and what you’re doing, how and why you are traveling the world, and then you have reviews that others can leave you on your profiles. So those kind of things are important, set up your profile is very important to position yourself for coach surfing or housesitting. When it comes to housesitting there’s even more qualifications involved. Somebody would choose someone who they feel is responsible, and potentially can deal with certain crisis situations, like a real responsible adult. So if you’re looking to do housesitting you might want to look into certain certifications and adjust to basically things that would make you more appealing.
So if you have a smaller budget that you are looking to still travel the world, staying in hostels, couch surfing, or housesitting are incredible options to make the most of a small budget but give you a wealth of experience : )