Things to Consider When House Sitting Abroad

Posted April 9, 2013 by Charli Moore in Travel Tips

House sitting has provided me with the opportunity to live like a local all over the world. Having looked after 12 homes and countless pets in 6 different countries I’m familiar with most factors that need careful consideration before accepting an assignment abroad.If you’ve already secured your first housesitting gig, here are some things you need to consider.


The first thing to investigate before accepting a foreign house sitting assignment is whether you’ll be granted a visa for the country you’re visiting. Do not assume that a standard tourist visa will cover the length of your trip.

Consider how you will obtain the relevant visa. Do you need to apply in advance?If you intend to charge for your services as a house sitter be aware that you will need to obtain a working visa.

Assignment Requirements

Generally these are listed on the sitter wanted advert however be sure to clarify exactly what is expected of you during your stay. If you are uncomfortable with anything make the homeowners aware of your concerns.

Be open and honest about your motivation to house sit and make sure you’re able to comply with all of the requirements.

Ziplining in Costa Rica


More often than not location is the driving force behind the desire to house sit. Make sure you utilise the opportunity to visit places that interest and inspire you.

Be aware that locations are not always as depicted in glossy travel magazines. Do your research to make sure that you’re well prepared for life in that country before accepting the assignment.


Find out what transport options are available to you during your stay. If a car is not offered by the homeowner investigate the frequency of local public transport or cost of vehicle rental. Find out how far the house is from local amenities and services you will require during the assignment.


Consider the cost of getting to the house, including any flights and ground transport to and from the airport. Understand what financial responsibilities you will be liable for. Homeowners may ask sitters to pay for utilities, property/vehicle maintenance and fuel where applicable.

Plan how you will access your money abroad. Invest time in researching the best ways to manage your money and reduce foreign spending fees.

House Sitting in South Australia


Ask the homeowners what internet and telephone package will be available for your use.  If you run an online business ensure the internet allowance and speed meet your requirements.

Utilise free VOIP services to chat with the homeowners and better understand what they are looking for from their sitter before accepting an assignment.

Contractual Agreement

Some homeowners may ask you to sign a house sitting contract. Read it thoroughly before you sign. Don’t be afraid to suggest amendments and discuss any points you don’t understand or agree with.

In most circumstances it’s advisable not to pay a deposit to secure an assignment or in lieu of utility bills before arriving on location.

House sitting is a great way to experience life in local communities all over the world. Refer to this guide before accepting an assignment and ensure you don’t encounter any complications as you immerse yourself in foreign cultures and new experiences.

About the Author

Charli Moore

Travel writer and blogger Charli is a digital nomad currently travelling the world with her other half Ben. Whether backpacking through Central America or road tripping around Australia they embrace each and every opportunity for adventure. Read more about their insatiable wanderlust on their blog, Wanderlusters.

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