Blog

Break free, ultimate guide to housesitting, dani and jess, globetrotter girls, book review (3) (2)

Book review: The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting

  |   Reviews   |   6 Comments

This is the website of travel writer, Michael Turtle. After working in broadcast journalism for a decade in Australia, Michael left Sydney to travel the world indefinitely and write about his discoveries.

The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting

Imagine, as a traveller, you were offered a house to live in for a month… or maybe more. And imagine it would be totally free.

“But what is the catch?” you understandably ask.

Imagine I told you there were no catches, except you had to look after the property and possibly some pets.

Sound like a dream opportunity? Well, in some ways it is. But it’s also extremely common and some good friends of mine have some advice on how you can live this dream life.

Break free, ultimate guide to housesitting, dani and jess, globetrotter girls, book review (3) (5)

Jessica and Dani write a fantastic travel blog called Globetrotter Girls and they’ve been spending a lot of their time recently living in other people’s houses around the world – rent-free and all to themselves!

“Housesitting has had so much to do with the life of freedom we enjoy,” they explain, “and is a major factor in what has allowed us to travel through Canada, the U.S., Europe, Mexico, South East Asia and Latin America.”

Break free, ultimate guide to housesitting, dani and jess, globetrotter girls, book review (3) (1)

Housesitting seems like a good deal for the independent traveller… and there’s no denying that. Last year alone, Jessica and Dani had six months of free housesitting that they’ve estimated saved them about $12,000 worth of accommodation costs. Not bad work, if you can get it!

But it’s also extremely beneficial for the homeowner. They can go on their holiday with the assurance the house is being looked after and probably save a lot of money by not having to put the pets in professional care. This is why the system works so well.

From my perspective – and probably yours – the real interest is in the housesitters’ experience and Jessica and Dani can’t recommend it highly enough. For them it’s about much more than just saving money on the road.

Break free, ultimate guide to housesitting, dani and jess, globetrotter girls, book review (3) (4)

“Housesitting has not only afforded us free accommodation, but it has allowed us to live as locals,” they say.

“As housesitters we almost travel in a sort of modernized version of the way the privileged classes of Europe would have in the 18th or 19th centuries. We stay in beautiful homes for extended periods of time, are introduced to ‘society’ (friends and neighbours) upon arrival and often have a built in network from the moment we arrive to a new place, all without the long weeks at sea and the benefit of wireless internet.”

Break free, ultimate guide to housesitting, dani and jess, globetrotter girls, book review (3) (3)

The couple have just written an in-depth book called ‘Break Free: The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting’ that will walk you through the housesitting movement – from either side. It is full of really comprehensive information from finding out about opportunities, applying, taking care of the house and the pets, and leaving a good enough impression that you might get another one somewhere else.

Break free, ultimate guide to housesitting, dani and jess, globetrotter girls, book review (3) (6)

I’ve had a good read of the book and was slightly disappointed to find it didn’t have romantic, adjective-filled, verbose descriptions of spending months in amazing locations. But that’s just because I didn’t want to feel like I’m the only one who writes too much :) What it did have was answers to any possible question you could have about the housesitting movement and how you too can benefit. This really is the ultimate guide.

If this isn’t the kind of thing you’ve considered previously, it might be worth having a think about whether it fits in with your plans. Personally, I’ve always been very keen to give it a try but have just never had the motivation. This new book by Jessica and Dani might be just the thing to kickstart me!

* For more information about the book, including how to get a copy, you can check out Break Free: The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting

Want occasional updates?

Sign up to be the first to hear the latest about the adventures of Time Travel Turtle.

6 Comments
  • Nicole | Jan 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    We have thought about housesitting a couple of times but it’s never worked out. Maybe one day. It sounds like a great way to travel.
    Nicole recently posted..Where’s Baby B: Strolling around Paris, FranceMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Feb 5, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      I’m the same as you… I’m always thinking out it but just haven’t got around to actually making it happen. This really inspires me to make more of an effort, though!

  • Vera | Jan 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    House-sitting does interest me. The days of available work-and-travel visas that let you travel and make money at the same time, are pretty much over, and that has been a great way to get involved in the daily life of a foreign country. House-sitting might be the next step and even greater, because there’s often pets involved^^… I’m pretty sure we’ll give it a try in the future. Should probably get the guide before going somewhere and rearranging someone’s furniture, or other terrible faux-pas’…
    Vera recently posted..The street art of BarcelonaMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Feb 5, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      I know – the pets! It can get quite lonely on the road sometimes (even if you’re travelling with someone) and I think it would be wonderful to stop for a while to look after some dogs or cats. Or horses. Or snakes. Or something cute, at least.

  • Jennifer | Jan 24, 2013 at 2:03 am

    We would totally LOVE to house sit! It’s a great way to save big on accommodations and really live like a local. Right now since we both still work full time, house sitting doesn’t work out for the times we plan to travel longer than on a short break, but some day!
    Jennifer recently posted..Seven Romantic Getaways for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Feb 6, 2013 at 1:20 am

      When you finally get a longer break sometime but don’t feel like rushing about, this could be the perfect solution for you guys!

Post A Comment

CommentLuv badge