A big part of planning a trip is ensuring that things at home will be taken care of when you are away. You need to make arrangements for the care of your home, your pets, and your property and doing so can be more time consuming and expensive than planning and paying for your vacation!

What does your insurance require to be valid while you’re away? Will you kennel your pets? What will that cost? Who will cut your grass or shovel snow during your time away? What will you do about the mail and the magazine subscriptions? All of these things need to be considered and planned for before you depart for your trip.

There is a way you can avoid having to jump through hoops for your insurance company and have everything at home, including your pets, taken care of while you enjoy your trip. Employing a housesitter can save you time, money, and peace of mind. Here are some clear benefits of having a housesitter care for your home and pets while you focus on a relaxing vacation.

1. A house sitter works for you.

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Most house sitters trade their time and services for accommodation, meaning they have a free place to sleep while caring for homeowners’ homes and pets. Where you are not paying a housesitter monetarily, the relationship is one built on trust and an exchange of services (caring for your home) for goods (a free stay) a housesitter is essentially working for you. Housesitters expect to perform a number of tasks to maintain your home and property and to provide loving care for all pets. Good lines of communication established early will help create an arrangement that is rewarding for everyone. Housesitters will then view an assignment as a mutually beneficial agreement between them and the homeowner.

If you were to have friends or family taking care of things while you’re away, they need to contend with their jobs, and their own property maintenance, and pet care. Understandably, your home and pets may not be their number one priority and could end up being a burden to the people you care about. The relationship between house sitter and a homeowner is professional, productive and satisfying for both parties.

2. Your pets will be happier.

benefits of having a housesitter

Probably the biggest benefit of having a housesitter is letting your pets stay home instead of having to put them in a kennel. Boarding your pet at a kennel can be stressful for both you and your pet not to mention really expensive. Pets are definitely more comfortable if they are able to stay at home. They will already have to deal with you being away, which can be stressful for them as it is. Being able to stay at home will help them deal with missing you in comfort rather than pining for you from behind the door of a wire cage.

Taking your pet along on vacation can be a lot less enjoyable than you would think as well, cargo holds, long waits in travel containers, motion sickness, vaccinations, sedatives, and quarantine can make traveling a terrible experience for a pet. A house sitter can help pets by providing one on one care and companionship while you are away. Keeping them fed, active and safe by ensuring their normal routine for feeding and walking will help you worry less and have you return home to a happy, healthy pet.

3. You’ll stay connected while you’re away.

There are benefits to having your home lived in while you are away, like someone to answer your phone, open the door for visitors and collect the mail daily. A house sitter acts as a link between you and life as you know it back home. This connection can keep you in the loop for important things that may come up while you are away. You can request that your house sitter stays in regular contact with you to update you on the status of your home and pets.

Alternatively, if you’d rather not know what’s happening at home, you can ask a neighbor or family member to be the liaison for your house sitter.

4. You won’t have to close up your house for vacancy.

It can be a huge job to prepare your home to be empty. There are many things that need considering, where should you set the heat to avoid freezing pipes? Who is going to cut the grass for you? Will the neighbor collect the mail?

You can avoid forwarding your mail or canceling subscriptions and keep other things like help with property maintenance or routine servicing by outside companies running as usual as well. Doing this can save you time and hassle disconnecting and reconnecting services when you vacation.

5. You can avoid insurance hassles.

Don’t rest easy thinking that your insurance company will have your back when you’re away. Not only does leaving your house vacant make it a target for vandalism and burglary, your home and contents insurance becomes null and void after your home is empty for 30 consecutive days in most cases! Where we lived in Canada, we had to have someone check in our home every 3 days when we traveled to keep our insurance valid. We lived rurally, so it was even more challenging. We ended up paying a service to check in on it and that cost us a lot of money we could have saved having a housesitter live in.

You can buy extra insurance coverage for while you’re away, but that kind of coverage is very expensive. Never mind the fact, most police and insurance agents would advise you not to leave it empty because of the increased risk of theft and property damage if something is left unchecked like a burst pipe.

6. You’ll have someone there if something should happen.

Stuff happens! Freak storms, power outages, burst pipes, a fire next door—these are all things that can happen while you’re on a beach in Cabo. Having a housesitter in your home when something potentially catastrophic happens will save you money and could save your home from irreparable damage. Housesitters are there to call help and deal with issues due to weather and property maintenance, that is part of their responsibility. You hope these kinds of things won’t happen while you’re away, but they can. Having your home occupied by a housesitter will help you rest easier, not worrying about “what if?”

Have you struggled to decide if having a housesitter to take care of things is the best for your home and pets while you’re away? I hope I’ve shown some clear benefits to having a housesitter. We love housesitting and are happy to be there for homeowners so they can enjoy a worry-free holiday. You can see their comments here.

If you’re interested in becoming a housesitter to save on travel costs or enlisting a housesitter to care for your home and pets while you vacation it can be tough to decide which housesitting website to sign up with. HouseSit Match is a platform we use and love. It’s a great site to use if you’re new to house sitting because the personalized service they offer makes the process so easy.

If you would like to check out some housesitting opportunities visit HouseSitMatch.com.

Or if you’re interested in registering to become a house sitter or to enlist a house sitter to care for your home while you vacation you can look at plans here.

Have you had a housesitter take care of your home and pets while on holiday? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

This article was originally published on the ExpatExperiment.com

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