As a full-time traveller who spends the majority of their time away from their fluffy pals back home, I seize any opportunity to hang out with animals. This is the very reason I first joined TrustedHousesitters in 2021 as a sitter.
Thanks to their platform, I’ve had some incredible adventures in many different corners of the world. I’m now on first-name terms with many awesome animals, some of whom I even get to hang out with regularly.
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. This is why I wanted to put together this thorough and honest TrustedHousesitters review. I will be detailing my own experience with using their platform over the last few years, making sure to include both the highs and the lows.
In doing so, I hope to provide you with enough information to start your own successful TrustedHousesitters journey!
What is TrustedHousesitters?
TrustedHousesitters is a platform that connects homeowners with individuals who are willing to pet-sit or house-sit for them. It is a yearly membership-based service that allows homeowners to find responsible sitters to take care of their homes, pets, and gardens while they are away. This often results in savings on pet boarding or house-sitting costs. Sitters, on the other hand, get to experience new places and live in homes around the world without having to pay for accommodation.
How does TrustedHousesitters work?
Everything starts on the TrustedHousesitters website. Sign up for the most suitable membership for you and begin by filling out your profile. Make sure to be thorough, honest and personable, and include plenty of photographs. Once your profile is finished, you can begin looking for sitters and/or looking for sits.
Owners need to set up a listing with available dates for sitters to apply for. They can also use the sitter directory to send manual invites to sitters. Whereas sitters will need to browse the directory of listings to find sits to apply for. The listings can filtered by location, animal, date, and length.
I have sat for many different animals across the world, here’s what I loved the most about my experience.
Lots of worldwide sits
The TrustedHousesitters platform boasts extensive listings all over the world which makes travelling as a sitter very viable. In my first year on the platform, I sat for two incredible dogs in Mexico as well as a few awesome kitties back in the UK.
There are so many opportunities popping up on the platform all the time. I have a few alerts that I set up that notify me whenever a new sit shows up in an area that I’d like to visit. It pays to be flexible with your time, but there are so many opportunities to pick from.
I have been able to explore places that I’ve never visited before in the company of animals, all whilst being supported by the hosts, many of whom are happy to provide extensive information on the local area. Moreover, being able to make yourself at home in someone else’s home makes your trip a lot more comfortable than showing up at a bare Airbnb in a strange new place.
Helps foster long-term relationships
One of my favourite things about TrustedHousesitters is that you get to meet other amazing people on the platform. As a sitter, I can only talk about my experiences meeting pet owners, but what I can say is that I’ve made some lifelong friendships with both humans and their animals. This has meant that I’ve been able to return to a few housesits numerous times, which has been enjoyable.
Moreover, by creating long-term relationships and having a few return housesits under your belt, you can build up a trustworthy review profile that helps you land future housesits.
The TrustedHousesitters platform is really easy to use and navigate. I personally really enjoy their map view search function that allows you to discover housesits in different areas around the world. There is also a directory of sitters that is easy to filter through.
I also find that user profiles are clean and easy to read. You can browse through all of their reviews and even click through to the reviewer’s profile and read what the original user wrote about them in return. On top of this, a sitter can display countries that they would like to visit on their profile and also update their availability which makes it easier for homeowners to get in contact with any potential opportunities.
You can also use their mobile app to communicate with other users and find opportunities on the go. The app also allows you to see empty reviews on profiles, which are a result of a user choosing not to leave a review for a sitter or owner. This isn’t visible on the desktop version.
You get to hang out with animals
My main reason for starting on TrustedHousesitters was to hang out with animals whilst travelling around the world. I love what I do but I regularly miss my fluffy friends back home.
Being able to discover new places around the world, or even new places back home, whilst in the company of some awesome animals is an absolute dream come true. I love nothing more than getting to meet new animals, discovering their personality traits, and seeing them eventually warm up to me after a few days. It is all very heartwarming.
There are plenty of fun experiences to be had on TrustedHousesitters, but there are some things you should consider before getting started.
It can be tricky without reviews
When you first get started on the platform as a sitter you may struggle to get accepted to sit, and as a pet owner, you may not get many sitter applications.
This is because users rely heavily on other user reviews to vet opportunities. But I have a few tips to help you get started on TrustedHousesitters.
- Write a thorough and engaging bio that includes reasons why you would make a great sitter
- Go into plenty of detail about your previous experience looking after animals or housesitting
- Use plenty of up-to-date photographs with your face in them (bonus if you can include any animals)
- Gather external references from people you have previously sat for
- Apply for short sits in your local area to build reviews
- Write honest and personable applications to sits (this helped me get my first sit)
For pet owners:
- Write an honest bio about your home and your animal(s), and include reasons why you have signed up for the platform
- Upload plenty of photos of your home (yes this matters, a lot) and animal(s)
- Offer video chats to potential sitters to build rapport
- If people off the platform have housesat for you consider providing their contact details to potential sitters so they can supply an external review
Extra vetting can be necessary
Whilst I love the service that TrustedHousesitters provide, your experience largely depends on the users you interact with. Unfortunately, I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences with pet owners. Including owners who have broken the Terms of Service by allowing their family members to come and watch over me, while others have not been entirely truthful about their pet’s behaviour.
Through these bad experiences, I have learnt to be more cautious when vetting people. To do this, you need to carefully examine their reviews and compare them with their profile. However, due to the old review system (which I will explain below), most reviews tend to be positive, so you will need to read between the lines. For instance, if a review mentions that the dog loves chasing squirrels and is super energetic on walks, but the pet owner has said in their writeup that their dog is an absolute angel on the lead, then you may want to question this.
I also make sure to check out user profiles on the mobile app. If they have a lot of empty reviews from different people on their profile, it may suggest that people have decided not to leave a review because they are too scared to be honest. While you are there, you may notice that some users have multiple reviews from the same person, which is a great sign!
Thankfully, TrustedHousesitters recently rolled out a new reviewing feature that is similar to Airbnb’s. Essentially, your review will remain hidden until the other party has left theirs or until 14 days have passed. After this period, neither party can leave a review anymore. This means that you can leave an honest review without worrying that the other party will see it and adjust the review they write.
Before this review update, many users of the platform were too scared to leave honest reviews, myself included, on the basis that it may impact how the other party reviews them. Now both parties can be honest about how they felt. This should mean that the more recent reviews you see on user’s profiles are a lot more honest. Which will make vetting future housesits and sitters a lot easier.
Ultimately, I am a big fan of TrustedHousesitters. It provides some incredible opportunities to travel the world as a sitter and meet loads of new animal pals along the way, and for pet owners, it can ensure your pets are well looked after by caring and considerate guests.
It can be hard to get started. But I believe a review system is necessary for a service like this. The fact that there are people like me who have built up their profile in the last few years, shows that it is entirely possible to build up yours too!
The few issues I have experienced with the platform, aren’t down to the company itself. Anything that relies on the trust and honesty of other people is bound to have risks involved. But by exercising caution and being honest in your reviews, TrustedHousesitters can become a much more open platform with few risks.
The vast majority of the housesits that I have completed have far exceeded expectations. I’ve been invited into people’s homes, given tours of the local areas, and invited to events by the owner’s friends, and as you can see in my pictures, I’ve met some lovely animals along the way.
I continue to use Trustedhousesitters as I travel. I can’t wait to see how the platform transforms as more honest reviews start to come through. And I’ll be sure to share my experiences with you all as I start using the platform to travel around Asia!
To get started with TrustedHousesitters you will need to sign up for one of their memberships directly from their website – trustedhousesitters.com.
There are a few different memberships for you to choose from, including basic, standard, or premium. The prices are pretty similar for sitters and pet owners, but you will get a discount if you are after a combined membership which allows you to list sits and also sit for others. You can find out more about each TrustedHousesitters membership below: