House-sit and see the world on a budget

Holidaymakers, listen up! If you’ve ever wondered if there is such a thing as a free holiday, then you’ll be pleased to hear that house-sitting comes pretty close.

For your next holiday – in Australia or further afield – you might want to turn to house-sitting instead of hotels. It’s a win-win situation for all involved – holidaymakers get free accommodation (minus the tiny agency fee) and house owners looking for a sitter save on getting a caretaker or pet boarding costs. What’s not to like about that? Apparently nothing. House sitting is becoming increasingly popular.

How does it work?
In exchange for free accommodation, homeowners hand over their keys to people willing to take care of their house while they're away. House-sitters pay a small annual one-off fee, which is sometimes refundable for those who don't find a suitable opportunity. It just depends on what service you use. Aussie House Sitters provide a service for $65 per year.

What will I need to do?
Mainly you will be responsible for keeping the house safe, tidy and in a good condition until the owner returns. It is quite common for house-sitters to have to look after pets too. Some homeowners will request specific tasks for you to do, such as taking care of the garden, but this should all be discussed and agreed on in advance.

Is it safe?
The service provides information to help people ensure their security, such as advice on checking references and having a friend or neighbour drop in occasionally for long-term sits.

Why should I consider a house-sit?

It's a great way to have a cheap holiday, or a great chance to stay in a wonderful residential properties you'd never normally be able to afford. The mutual benefits are literally amazing. In terms of cost alone, a house sitting arrangement can save both parties lots of money.

This article was written in partnership with Over60.