Earn money on holiday

It is renowned that, when working for an employer, one of the perks as part of your contract of employment may be for you to have sick periods paid for, or to be entitled to paid-for annual leave. When working on a self-employed basis, such as when you work from home, you cannot guarantee that your earnings will keep coming if you are unable to work for a period of time due to illness, or if you want to take a break of a few days.
Things are totally different when you earn with an online business.  And I have found out a solution for you not only to go on holiday for free, but to earn money on holiday.


Name:  Trusted House Sitters Limited

Website:  trustedhousesitters.com

Price:  Annual membership of £90 approximately

Owner:  Andy Peck

Rank:   80 out of 100


How it works

You would like to travel, locally or abroad.  Plane fares can be quite cheap, but it is the stay that can become rather expensive.  So, how to afford it?

All you have to do is register, for free, as a house/pet sitter with Trusted House Sitter!  And once you have registered your interests and your potential holiday destinations, a myriad of house/pet sitting opportunities will be presented to you, where the ball is in your court to apply for the ones that most take your fancy.

Naturally, by registering as a house sitter member, you are given the opportunity to describe yourself, your likes and dislikes and, of course, your love for pets.  Potential home owners need to feel that they can entrust their home and their beloved pets to you.  Therefore a match will only take place if the home owners feel there is a connection between them and you or, for lack of a better word, if they like you at first site.

Once you have applied for that specific ad and the family have accepted your expression of interest, Trusted House Sitters advises that a face to face communication starts taking place between the home owners and yourself, so that you get to know each other better.


A bit of history

This company was started in small scale in UK as a start-up business back in 2010, after the founder and co-owner Andy Peck found himself in the position of sitting for cats and dogs of the house he was staying in whilst on holiday.  He spotted a gap in the market, and that is how Trusted House Sitters was born: from the realisation that the ideal surrounding for pets, when their owner want to go on holiday, is to be left in their own homes rather than kennels or catteries.  With this ethos in mind, Trusted House Sitters has grown from then to connect a world wide community of potential home owners and potential sitters, with a mutual interest in preserving their homes and caring for the pets involved.  In other words, it becomes a win-win situation for both parties, and it is now deemed to have home and sitting members in over 140 countries.

The idea is based on mutual respect and trust.  For this reason, Trusted House Sitters has put together a pledge that encourages both home owners and sitters to reach that mutual agreement that will guarantee a free pet care in exchange for a free holiday retreat.  The pledge encourages all parties involved to communicate extensively prior to the sitter arriving to the house, and also during their stay.  For this reason, demand or offer of payment for sitting is highly discouraged by this company.

But Trusted House Sitter also has a vetting process for potential sitters, which will check references, ID, documents and their criminal records.

This scheme has become so popular in the space of 6-7 years, that it’s earned the company many accolades in the business industry, including Website of The Year 2015, nomination to the American Webby Award for Best Community Website 2016 and global media features by the BBC and The Sunday Telegraph, to name but few.



Who is Trusted House Sitters for

Trusted House Sitters is for single individuals, or couples, that want to have a holiday without having to pay for accommodation, and who love dogs, cats or any other pets specified by the household they apply for.  Which means it is for, virtually, anyone who love pets.

You must demonstrate, when you are apply as a sitter, that you can meet the specific requirements of the home owners of course.  So, if for argument sake, the home owners asks that you drive their dog to the groomer during your stay, you must demonstrate that you can drive.

Personally, I find this solution ideal for students, who through this settlement can afford free accommodation whilst being given the opportunity to explore all corners of the earth.  And it is also very good if, as a young person, you want to improve your knowledge of a foreign language by immersing yourself in the local culture.

But it can equally be ideal for people that do not like to idea of hotels, but prefer the comfort of a home, where you can cook your own meals and have a whole house available to yourself.


Costs involved

The only cost involved is the annual fee of £89.04 (correct figure at the time of this post being published).  Trusted House Sitters advertise the fee as being only £7.42 a month, but they demand an upfront payment for the whole 12 months at once.

Other than that, no other costs are involved – other than you taking yourself to your holiday destination, and the cost of living when you are on holiday.  But for however short or long period of time you are sitting, the accommodation is totally free!!!

The website at one point suggests that you may want to contribute to running costs of using the house/flat if you are required to sit for more than a month, but they leave this arrangement between you and the home owners.

And even if the home owner made such a suggestion, it’s money you will not spend for your own home whilst you are away.


Where’s the earning

Hold on.  So, this program asks for an upfront annual payment to become a member.  So, how to earn money?

Well, here’s the catch.  Not only you pay nothing for your stay, and whilst away you save on your home bills but not being around to use utilities, but if your business is based online, you can work whilst being away!!

So, the earning comes from:

  1. Saving on bills whilst being away (and if you budget your holiday carefully, all you will have to pay for may be food and some sightseeing fees)
  2. You can take your online business with you and carry on working whilst on holiday (but you are allowed to  give yourself a break!)

Again, another win-win solution for you as a house/pet sitter!


What I think of it

Naturally, I would not propose this as an alternative way to keep your online income coming in, if I didn’t think it were a good idea.

In fairness, I haven’t tried Trusted House Sitter myself for my dog when we have been away, nor as a sitter myself.  But that is purely because I only came across this idea recently, and I believe it would be a bit much to put on sitters’ shoulder to burden them with the responsibility of a 13 year old dog, who has had all sorts of ailments under the sun.

Leave it to me, I would try the sitting part of it any time.  But I am a little more adventurous than my husband, who would find taking on board the responsibility for somebody else’s house and, more importantly, pet far too much to enjoy everything else about the holiday.

Nevertheless, I do believe the scheme to be an absolute brilliant idea, and one that would work as it matches together people who all have the same interest at heart: the welfare of the pets.

Positives to me are:

  1. the fact that primarily you do not have to pay a penny for your stay
  2. you can choose the location, family and length of your stay – you just bid for the holiday that suits your needs
  3. there are different options of house sitting to suit everyone’s needs, with home owners advertising from so many different countries, and for different lengths of time
  4. you have a house or flat all to yourself, as opposed to the restrictions of a B&B, a hotel or even renting rooms from a landlord
  5. by living in a local family’s home, you are given the opportunity to absorb the local culture.

But, like with all things, this idea is not flawless, and to me it has very few negatives:

  1. membership is required in a one-off upfront payment, rather than on monthly instalments – this can more so pose risks if you end up for whatever reason not going on holiday after all
  2. you must be an animal lover, as primarily this is an opportunity embraced by pet owners as as alternative solution to kennels and catteries for when they cannot take their beloved pets on holiday with the rest of the family.


My verdict

For the above reasons, I can only rate Trusted House Sitters with a earthy 80 out of 100, and that is primarily due to the membership fees.

If I would try it?  Definitely!  But what I would do as a sitter, I would start in small doses, by trying out dog sitting for a long weekend and where owners decide to take their long weekend break not too far from home.  And I would be keen on communication with the home owners extensively ahead of my stay at their home, to ensure all corners are covered, especially when it comes to emergency care for the pet.  Trusted House Sitters does offer 24 hours a day access to veterinary advice, but I would want to make sure I follow the advice and the guidelines given by the pet owners, as ultimately I would want to respect their wishes.

With this in mind, you need to be in the right frame of mind to take on board the responsibility of looking after somebody’s house and pet.  You must be able not to let the sense of responsibility overwhelm you, otherwise you will risk not being able to enjoy the holiday – which would defeat the object.

But as a dog owner and online marketer myself, I see no particular flaw to this idea, and would welcome the opportunity.


Name:  Trusted House Sitters Limited

Website:  trustedhousesitters.com

Price:  Annual membership of £90

Owner:  Andy Peck

Rank:   80 out of 100



Would you consider a free holiday which would include pet sitting, with the opportunity to keep an eye on your online business whilst sipping a cold glass of wine on a Mediterranean terrazza?  Or have you already had such holiday experience?  Let me know your views, leave a comment below.


26 thoughts on “Earn money on holiday”

  1. I simply love this idea and would have never thought that going on a holiday could be done this way. Money has always been an issue for me when it comes to traveling and I have not been on a holiday for more than 10 Years! The last holiday, I went to London to visit where my ancestors had come from.
    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this information because now, a holiday overseas is looking more of a reality to me rather than just a dream.
    Very kind regards, Jeff.

    1. I’m ever so pleased that you can now see the possibility of a holiday in the near future after reading my post. You are right, going on holiday can be expensive, and sometimes it can be as stressful as going to work. Not only with Trusted House Sitters you get free stay, but you benefit from the comfort of having a home all to yourself, and you can enjoy the companionship of a pet. And, did you know that having cuddles with both cats is an exercise that’s deemed to have therapeutic and distressing properties? What better solution than this then!!!

  2. It seems kinda weird to just live in another persons house for a few days/weeks. However, I think these feeling would go away after the first house or so. Have you used this product to plan holidays? If so whats the most bizarre animal you’ve had to take care of?

    1. You are right Devin, it must do. And this answer your question as well, as no, I have not yet had a holiday using Trusted House Sitter, as a sitter or home owner likewise. But, I used to stay with landlord families when I used to come to UK when I was a teenager to learn English on situ – it was more of a lodging situation, where as a child I certainly didn’t have the responsibility to look after a pet or the freedom to use the property all to myself. But the principle of staying in somebody’s house applied nevertheless, and it was actually cool. By living with a family in a UK home, that is where my love affair with UK culture started!!
      Thanks for passing by 🙂

  3. What a great article for a pet lover like me. My wife and I have not taken a holiday in years because we will not board our dogs. Trusted House Sitters sounds like the perfect solution for us. Maybe I can take a holiday after all.

    1. Yep, same here Jack. We used to leave our dog with a ‘childminder’ but it was very expensive. Plus, we no longer do it as he is starting becoming a bit of an older boy. This, for home owners as well, is just ideal!
      Let me know if in future you avail of the service, and indeed if you are going to manage to find a suitable sitter and how your holidays, and your dog’s time with the sitter, have gone. It will be interesting to have a post-experience feedback.

  4. Wow! What a great post!

    You put so much work into this post and explained everything!

    House Sitting is my Niche and I enjoyed reading this!

    I also like the note about your affiliate links.
    I can learn a lot from you!

    1. Hi Clyde, I have checked your website out and I understand that you and your wife do a lot of house sitting for a holidays. Can you tell us a bit more about your experience as a sitter so far? How did you find the home owners? And did you ever had to sit pets too? Would you recommend this type of holiday to everyone, or does it suit a type of traveller rather than another? It would be interesting to hear from people who actually have been there and done it.

  5. It is like a work trip basically! Your work pays for your travel! I love this idea and is definitely going to get booked mark so I can keep costs down on my next trip!

    1. Yes, in a way that’s the principle behind it Kurtis. People may be thinking that I’m a workaholic, suggesting that you can take your online work with you when on holiday. I can assure you that I am far from it. But it’s also true that online work has to be fed regularly, and that as self-employed you do not have an employer paying your annual leave entitlement. By sitting a pet in somebody’s house, you can enjoy the company of a pet, you can do a few hours work every day, and you can have sightseeing trips or taste the regional cousine in local restaurants. In other words, you get it all!!

    1. Oh yes, Mike, please. And let us know how you get on. As I mentioned, I haven’t had the opportunity to try it out, but I find it most appealing, especially if you think it is an all-round winner in terms of being able to keep up with your online work, getting free of charge accommodation (or no more expensive than the annual fee of £90) and enjoy the local sights. You can’t get a better solution than this!

  6. I have never heard of this before. Probably, I could add this to the book recording ways on earning money online. In fact, I am a pet lover and I have owned 2 dogs and a hamster at home. I showered them with care and they are maintained in a good health. Your posts is great and is in line with my passion. Perhaps, I could seize this opportunity to earn some more money. Thanks for sharing this and I find this helpful.

    1. I can see we share the same passion here, Simlulan. And that is why I wanted to propose this solution: because I can very much see the point of this holiday scheme for pet owners too. I have never wanted to leave my dog in kennels – you hear stories that I didn’t like with the local kennels to where I live. Now that he is an older boy (but not yet decrepit), we try to take him on holiday with us, but not always that’s possible. And that’s where I would consider this scheme not only as a sitter – particularly suitable if you have had pets and have not got new pets yet, that’s when you are given the opportunity to look after a pet for a limited period of time. But the scheme sounds ideal for pet home owners too, especially when they need to go away, like me, travelling abroad by plane but cannot take my dog with me.

  7. This if a very good idea of a business, being that my wife and I have pet sitted for many folks in our area! And, you’re right, you should have a love for animals and it will be a joy to do and not a burden whatsoever. We have never ran into any problems over the last six years with any pets that we’ve taken care of. And, staying in a home in a different country would be a wonderful experience rather than hotel. On top of saving your room expense, you could save a lot in eating out by having at least one meal a day at home. Nice review! I may really look into this. I’ll let you know if we do!

    1. Grant, I’m glad you wanted to share your sitting experience so far. You are right, the savings go beyond the hotel, B&B or cottage rent al fee, as whilst you are in a home, you will end up saving on meals too. Please do let us know if you are going ahead with accepting sitting assignments abroad, and let us know how you get on. As an experienced sitter, your input and feedback would be vital!

  8. This is such a lovely program! I would just wonder if we would be allowed to take our own pets to the sitting. I do love my dog and I would love to go sit other dogs but there’s always that chance they wont like each other and so much more. But then I would also need a sitter for my boy which would just be kind of weird, don’t you think?

    1. Now, that is a point. I’m not sure, but I think I must have read somewhere on Trusted House Sitters website that you are not allowed to thanks your own pets. And the reason would be just what you said Adriana, i.e. the possibility that your pet and the one you are going to sit not getting along. And your hosts would not be that happy about it. So yes, the other requirement would be for you not to own any pet.

  9. This is a great, well written review of a brilliant idea, which I had previously not heard of. I do not know whether it will be suitable for us, but I will certainly do more research. It might well offer the opportunity for extra holidays, as well as giving us the chance to save on kennel bills.

    1. I actually believe, John, that Trusted House Sitters is a winning combination for this reason. Not only you will be able to afford cheaper holidays by not having to pay for accommodation, not only you will be able to ‘keep and eye’ on your online business whilst on holiday, but you will also be able to go away with peace of mind that your pet is left in their familiar home environment, saving you also additional pet care costs. A winner all around, if you ask me!!

  10. What a great idea! If I didn’t have children, I would totally do this. Just for fun, I’m going to visit the site to see if there is anything in Hawaii! I do know a few people that are in just the right situation to make this type of thing work for them.

    1. And that is why I mentioned this as a perfectly feasible solution for students, Ally. At the same time, I would consider it, now that my family is growing older. I know there are plentiful options in the States, so it may well be that you could find a property to sit in Hawaii. So you know for when your kids are a bit older 🙂

  11. This is a great idea that will help out both parties concerned. The membership fee is not outrageous as well. I think the strong part is that it suggest creating a relationship between the parties first. Now, is there a background check involved? because if I am the person letting someone in my home this is the only way I would be comfortable.

    1. I agree Ronnie, I would want to know as a home owner as well – my husband especially, being a stickler for such things, would never allow it!! But my understanding is that Trusted House Sitters do have up to 3 levels of check ups on the sitter, starting from the mere ID check to the most advance check on criminal records. Now, not all sitters may be happy to disclose their data protection information, which is fine, but if as a home owner you apply to have such personal information disclosed, you will only be given access to applications by those applicants that are happy to release the details. At the end of the day, it is not any more discriminating than any employer doing checks on potential employees, from the mere request to see their passport at the point of recruiting, to the DBS check or to doing checks with the police force, depending on which role they recruit for. A sitter should be prepared to be asked such questions too, as they enter people’s homes and take on board the responsibility of looking after their loved ones, their pets, and their homes.
      I hope this puts your mind at rest, Ronnie, and let us know if you ever are going to use the service as a home owner, or indeed as a sitter!

  12. Absolutely BRILLIANT! I’ve heard of people “renting” out spare rooms to people traveling, but I never thought about traveling with the intention of “house sitting.” I hope you don’t mind I’m going to share this post on my facebook page, for my work at home bloggers! 🙂 Have a great day

    1. Of course I don’t, Wenda. Personally I think it’s a great idea, and by you spreading the word as well, I am hoping it will help many people who are trying to earn a living whilst home-based, or who would like to travel more often whilst saving a bit of ‘dosh’ in accommodation. Thank you ever so much 🙂

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