Do you love animals and want to travel? If so, Trusted House Sitters might be worth checking out.
If you like the idea of taking care of cats, dogs, or other animals in exchange for accommodation, you can use the platform to stay at people’s homes for free while travelling to your dream destination.
As a pet sitter, you can save thousands of dollars each year on accommodation by signing up for Trusted House Sitters.
In this Trusted House Sitters review, you’ll learn how the platform works, how to sign up as a sitter, pricing, pros and cons, and my personal experience as a pet sitter.
While I’ll touch upon both sides of the platform (sitters and those looking for a sitter), I’ll mainly be talking about my personal experience as a sitter and how you can become one, too.
What Is TrustedHousesitters?
TrustedHousesitters is a platform where you can stay at people’s houses for free in exchange for taking care of their dogs, cats, or other animals while they’re away on vacation. Essentially, this is an exchange of services, and no money is traded between the host and the sitter.
Hosts get peace of mind that their animals are in good, trusted hands, and sitters get to travel to dream destinations while taking care of their pets. It’s a win-win situation!
Trusted House Sitters was founded in 2010 by Andy Peck. Since then, over 4 million nights of pet sitting have been facilitated, and the platform has saved members more than half a billion dollars in accommodation and pet care costs.
The platform is available in over 130 countries. The most popular listings are in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Western Europe.
How Does TrustedHousesitters Work?
On Trusted House Sitters, you’re either looking for a sitter or are a sitter yourself. Here’s how the platform works for both.
As a sitter, you get the freedom to travel anywhere in the world Trusted House Sitters is available and stay at someone’s home for no cost. You can do as many house sits as you want, anywhere in the world. All you have to do is take care of the home and any pets.
Once you’ve purchased your annual membership, set up your profile, and completed the background checks, you can search for available sits.
When looking for a place to stay, you can filter by location, date, duration, pets, local attractions, homes with high-speed wifi, and more. You can look through hundreds of listings and see photos and a description of the pets, location, and responsibilities.
The platform even tells you how many people have already applied for that particular sit.
To apply, click “Apply Now,” select the dates you’d like to apply for, and write them a message telling them why you’re perfect for the sit. This is similar to a cover letter where you’ll introduce yourself, tell them why you want to sit for them and talk about your previous experience.
After that, hit “Send Application” and wait to hear back. Most times, if you’re within the first few applicants or already in the city, they will get back to you relatively quickly.
In my personal experience, applying for a house sit in London while I’m already in the area gave me better results and faster responses from hosts as they could meet me in person before the sit.
If the host gets back to you, they’ll likely want to set up a phone or video call so they can virtually meet you and see if you’re a good match.
If you’re chosen for the sit, the host will confirm on the app and send over a welcome guide which includes details about your stay and tips for taking care of their pets.
Those who want to sign up as a host must purchase a yearly membership that allows them to create unlimited listings and view applicants.
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Those looking for a sitter can browse through available sitters in the area or post a listing with details about their home, pets, and what they need while they’re away.
They can view sitters who apply to their listings and see their reviews, verifications, and profile. Many hosts will want to set up a phone or video call to virtually meet and see if they’re a good match.
Once they’ve chosen a sitter, they can send a welcome guide with details about their home, pets, and anything else they may want the sitter to know.
After the sit is over, both sitter and host leave feedback for each other, visible on their profiles for future sits.
How To Sign Up as a Sitter
To sign up as a sitter on the platform, you’ll first need to select and buy a yearly subscription package. The website does not let you complete your profile or undergo any background checks before doing so.
You can choose from three pricing tiers, as shown below. The most popular and recommended package is Standard Sitter, which is $219/year, billed annually.
After paying for your membership, you’ll enter basic profile details, personal information, and undergo identity verification and background screening. This takes no more than a few days to process.
First, you’ll enter your basic information, such as name, date of birth, occupation status, and job title.
Then select if you’re a solo sitter or will be sitting with someone else and if you will be taking any children with you.
Next, fill out the About You section by adding a profile photo and up to 12 photos of you with pets. This is to show that you’re reliable and add personality to your profile.
Then, fill out the rest of the About You section, including an introduction (what you do, your interests, and your passions) and why you want to house and pet sit.
Add a profile headline. You can optionally add your Airbnb or Linkedin profile links for more credibility.
Then, add your experience by checking off pets you’ve cared for in the past and talking about your relevant experience.
Then, select your preferences in terms of where you want to sit (i.e. beach, city, countryside, or mountains) and where in the world you’d like to go.
Finally, you need to get at least 3 external references, either from close family or friends who know you or from previous house sits, overnight stays, dog walks, etc.
After that, your profile is complete! You can now start searching and applying for house sits anywhere in the world. I’ll share later on how to score the best house sits and some insider tips for getting chosen.
As a sitter, you can choose from 6 different pricing tiers:
Basic Sitter: CAD $169/year – this gets you unlimited house sits worldwide.
Standard Sitter: CAD $219/year – this gets you unlimited house sits worldwide, free video calls and online chat with vets while sitting, instant alerts for saved searches, dedicated support, and accident & third-party liability protection.
Premium Sitter: CAD $339/year – this has all the benefits of the Standard Sitter plus sit cancellation insurance, 2 global airport lounge passes, and adds a premium badge on your profile.
Trusted House Sitters also has combined memberships for those who want to post listings and find sitters as well as be sitters themselves.
Basic Combined: CAD $249/year – this gets you unlimited house sits worldwide plus unlimited pet and home care from verified sitters.
Standard Combined: CAD $299/year – this includes the benefits of Basic Combined, plus free video calls with vets, instant alerts for saved searches, dedicated support, accident & third-party liability protection, home & contents protection, and a few other perks.
Premium Combined – CAD $419/year – this includes the benefits of Standard Combined plus sit cancellation insurance, 2 global airport lounge passes, and it adds a premium badge on your listing and profile.
As a sitter, it’s recommended to get either the Standard Sitter or Premium Sitter plan. Both of those include vet support and insurance, which is necessary if something goes wrong during your stay.
Most people looking for sitters prefer you to have a standard or premium plan and will likely choose someone who does over someone who only has a basic plan.
I have a Standard plan and find that it works just fine; I don’t think I need to upgrade to the Premium plan.
Although you’re paying $149 to $419 per year, I think it is 100% worth it. Just one or two stays will completely offset the cost, as you’re not paying for accommodation. Personally, I have saved thousands of dollars on accommodation by completing just 5 sits!
Pros and Cons of TrustedHousesitters
In my opinion, Trusted House Sitters is an amazing platform that provides great opportunities to travel, take care of pets, and pay absolutely nothing for accommodation. Here are some pros of being a sitter on the platform:
- You can travel anywhere in the world Trusted House Sitters is available
- You don’t pay anything for accommodation
- You can take care of pets – if you’re an animal lover, this is a super pro!
- Easy-to-use platform
- Once your profile is set up, you don’t need to update it very much
- Hosts can find your profile and invite you to sit for them
- You can create saved searches and get email alerts when a sit becomes available in your preferred location
- The standard membership gives you access to free vet calls and insurance, so you’re not paying out of pocket for emergencies
As amazing as the platform is, there are a few cons to using Trusted House Sitters, including the following:
- You pay a hefty membership fee upfront each year (however, this cost is offset fairly quickly)
- There is a large competition, especially in big cities like London, UK, as many sitters want to travel to those destinations
- The platform is not available or popular in many countries (most popular in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and western Europe)
- The messaging and review system between sitters and hosts can be a bit wonky at times on the website; however, the Trusted House Sitters app is a bit better
- The Saved Search feature does not send you alerts right away, which means you can miss out on potential sits
- Welcome guide sharing is not the most intuitive for hosts or new users
My Personal Experience With TrustedHousesitters
Personally, I’ve completed five house sits, and I love the platform. It is 100% worth the annual subscription fee, as sitting for only a few nights covers the cost of what you would be paying for accommodation.
I’ve completed 4 sits in London, UK, and 1 sit in Paris, France. All stays were successful, and the host was always very responsive and communicative.
Before every stay, I had a call with the host, and for a few stays in London, I met the hosts and pets before staying there for a week.
I gave and received 5-star feedback for all stays, as both the host and I had a positive experience.
I was lucky enough to have every stay line up perfectly in terms of dates, as there are currently many sits available in London. On the same day that one sit ended, I moved to the next one.
For almost 5 weeks, I was able to travel and pay $0 for accommodation. I don’t think that can be beat!
These are my completed house sits and dates that I stayed:
Overall, I would rate Trusted House Sitters 10/10, and I plan to continue using it whenever I travel! I would recommend it to anyone who loves animals and wants to travel.
Tips to Get More House Sits
When you first sign up to the platform, getting your first house sit can be difficult, especially if you have no prior experience. There can be a lot of competition, depending on the country or city you want to travel to. Here are a few tips on how to get more house sits:
When setting up your profile, take the time to fill it out in detail. Be sure to mention previous experience and talk about why you want to be a pet sitter.
Be personal so that hosts can get to know you. Also, don’t forget to add multiple photos of you with animals or just being you!
Apply for multiple sits at once, as you’re not guaranteed to get chosen for every one. On any given listing, there can be anywhere between 0 to 30+ applicants.
You can apply for unlimited stays anywhere in the world, so go for it. If multiple hosts message you back, you can simply decline any offers you don’t want.
Be personal in your applications. Try not to copy and paste a general message for each application. Mention the host and pet’s name(s), why you want to travel there, and why you’re an ideal applicant.
By being personal, they will know that you’ve read the entire listing and will be more likely to choose you.
In your applications, mention that you’re willing to set up a video call to meet the host and pets. This shows initiative and willingness to talk to the host, so you can both see if you’re a good match.
Lastly, ensure you’re in constant communication with the hosts and that you’re doing the best job you possibly can.
Think about it – the host is leaving their pet with you to take care of them while they’re away on vacation. If you were them, you would want updates and to know how your pet is doing.
Sending updates once a day or every few days is a sure way to get five-star reviews on your profile and build credibility so that you’re more likely to get chosen for future stays.
TrustedHousesitters vs Rover
Rover is a similar pet-sitting app available in Canada, the US, and the UK. It is only available in major cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver; however, you can sign up to see if it’s available in your area.
The main difference between Rover and Trusted House Sitters is that with Rover, pet owners pay you to walk their dogs, do drop-in visits, overnight stays, boarding, and more. You can make money with Rover, whereas you don’t with Trusted House Sitters.
There is no annual fee with Rover, and you can make an average of $20 to $30 per dog walk. You set your own rates for each service you provide.
Most pet owners use Rover for dog walks or drop-in visits, so there won’t be as many house sits as there are on Trusted House Sitters.
On Rover, the application process for dog walks and house sitting is reversed. Pet owners search for sitters and invite them to complete the walk, drop-in visit, or house sit.
Rover’s signup and approval process is very similar to Trusted House Sitters, where all sitters pass a background check, fill out a detailed profile, and get approved by the team of sitter specialists.
Is TrustedHousesitters Legit?
Yes, Trusted House Sitters is a legitimate platform. It has thousands of listings all over the world at any given time.
It is a verified company on Trustpilot and has a rating of 4.7 with over 15,000 reviews. It is also rated 4.47 on Sitejabber with almost 1,000 reviews.
Although a few people have had a bad experience with Trusted House Sitters, most reviews are positive.
Keep in mind that 2 out of 3 membership tiers include free vet calls and accident & third-party liability insurance, so you’re covered if anything goes wrong.
Trusted House Sitters also has a forum where hosts and sitters can post questions and receive quick responses from the community.
Is Trusted House Sitters Worth It?
In my personal opinion, Trusted House Sitters is absolutely worth it. I would recommend the platform to anyone who loves animals and travelling.
It saves you a ton of money on accommodation and can be an easy way to travel on a budget. There is no better platform than Trusted House Sitters, which is available in as many places in the world that offers free accommodation.
However, if you don’t like pets or don’t plan on being in communication with hosts, then this platform probably isn’t for you. You need to be reliable and send updates daily or every few days, as people will want to know how their pets are doing.