If you’re hoping to become a world traveler on a budget, you must get creative about saving money. One of the best ways to experience a new place is through housesitting – especially if you’re travelling in Europe, where rentals can be expensive. There are some great websites can connect you with real hosts who need you to take care of their homes and pets.
As with anything involving international travel, you have to be careful and ensure that you work with a reputable company. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you. Below, read our recommendations for trusted house sitting websites in Europe.
Trusted Websites to Find Housesitting in Europe
Below are the five best websites for finding housesitting in Europe. Each of them is customizable in different ways, and each appeals to a different type of clientele. We recommend browsing them all before registering on a few of them and narrowing your search from there.
Trusted Housesitters has over 120,000 members and has been in business for more than ten years. Primarily, they connect travelers with pet sitting and home-sitting jobs around the globe.
Membership and Pricing
Trusted Housesitters charges travelers an annual membership fee but provides unlimited stays. You can choose from the Basic Sitter membership ($129 per year), which offers unlimited stays with verified hosts.
For $169, the Standard Sitter membership also gets you additional protection from accidents, 24/7 video chat access to veterinarians, and other benefits. The top tier, Premium Sitter ($259), also includes cancellation insurance, access to airport lounges, and more.
There are also owner memberships with comparable and combination prices if you want to hire a sitter and travel as a pet sitter yourself.
One of the best things about Trusted Housesitters is their large membership base. While you have to go where the work is available, you’ll be able to choose from a wide array of destinations and types of properties.
The company has reliable customer support for hosts and sitters alike. They also allow past sitters to leave reviews, so you can read about where you’ll be staying from others like you.
One of the biggest bummers about Trusted Housesitters is that you must make a significant financial commitment up-front. Especially if you don’t have experience with house sitting and pet sitting, it’s a risk because you could discover it’s not for you.
However, the protection that membership offers is worth it for many. And even if you only complete one stay, membership costs are still less than standard accommodations.
Nomador is somewhat similar to Trusted Housesitters. Both companies match available house and pet sitting opportunities with interested travelers. However, you can check out some of Nomador’s listings without having to create a paid account. That’s nice if you’re not ready to commit.
Membership and Pricing
Nomador makes its money primarily through fees. They charge hosts, and they may charge you booking fees, and you might need to pay them for insurance and other add-ons.
For 29 Euros (3-month membership), you can sign up for the Confidence Option. This simple selection offers you a range of small accommodations that may come in handy at some point. The membership will renew automatically, but there’s no commitment so you can cancel anytime.
There’s a lot to like from Nomador. While you will eventually pay Nomador if you book a housesitting job, you can create an account and profile and browse listings for free.
You can customize your profile and apply for jobs. You will likely have to go through an interview process before a host and pet owner hires you. However, because you can also meet face-to-face on video chat and communicate, you get a better sense of whether it’s a good fit. You’ll be comfortable with the job before you even arrive.
Finally, Nomador has a program they call Nomador Stopover. If you have an extra room in your home, you can earn money by opening it up to members for short stays, often when they’re between jobs. For globe-trotting house and petsitters, finding affordable, safe accommodations with like-minded people can be a lifesaver.
One of the biggest complaints from Nomador users is that–while the website and marketing showcase fantastic house sitters around the world–the best listings are really competitive. That’s the biggest downside to Nomador: you’ll have a lot of other newbie housesitters wanting the same or similar jobs.
Mind My House
Mind My House is unique both because it offers traditional house-sitting (no pets involved) and because they’ve been around since 2005. That means they’ve seen the online community and their clientele change quite a bit and have proven that they can adapt to the changing needs of their customers–hosts and sitters.
Through all of that, though, they’ve remained focused on their clients. They don’t charge high fees to pay for advertising or social media marketing of any kind. They keep it simple: it’s just about making safe connections between people around the world.
Membership and Pricing
While homeowners and pet owners can join and post their jobs free, potential sitters must register and pay. Their fees are reasonable, though: only $20 for an entire year’s membership. Some home-sitting and pet-sitting jobs may come with fees, tasks, or both.
Mind My House is simple and easy to use. It’s also inexpensive to create a membership. Once you do, it works a little bit like other booking sites. You can save your favorites, set up alerts, and more.
Holidays stays are also free with Mind My House, which is terrific if you want to travel for a celebration. However, other stays aren’t always free.
The biggest downside to Mind My House is that it’s often not free for sitters. You may have to pay for accommodations, especially if you do not pet sit.
Homeowners can also assign tasks. You should know about these ahead of time and be able to turn them down, but not completing them can bring extra fees and other penalties.
Many of the most significant advantages of working with House Carers are for homeowners or pet owners who need care for their property. However, they’re also applicable to sitters in some ways.
As a sitter, you’ll see postings and can apply for jobs. But the host may not see your application. House Carers filters applications, and the host only considers those that are the best fit.
Membership and Pricing
House Carers is free for homeowners and hosts. Membership for sitters costs $50 per year for a standard membership. You can upgrade to Premium for an additional $25. A premium membership boosts your profile and increases the likelihood that you’ll catch the eye of a host.
It is a bit of a bummer that hosts aren’t guaranteed to see your application or messages. But it may also save everyone a lot of time, including potential sitters. You won’t spend much time responding to messages and chatting with people who aren’t a good match. You’ll find a perfect fit faster.
It’s up to sitters and travelers to market themselves, not only to hosts but also to House Carers’ algorithms. However, there are simple (albeit paid) ways to boost your profile. You can add a background check, references, and more. Of course, the Premium Membership upgrade is one of the best ways.
Pawshake is a mobile application, and although it hasn’t taken off in the United States, it’s prevalent in Canada, Europe, Australia, and other places. It has over 97% 5-star ratings from both hosts and sitters.
Pawshake is different from the other sites on this list. It isn’t exclusively home and pet sitting but also includes other pet services.
Membership and Pricing
Pawshake works a little bit differently. Since it isn’t exclusively homestays, sitters and owners set their own prices. Pawshake builds its fees into those.
That means you only pay for Pawshake when you use it, which is excellent news for people who don’t have regular nine-to-five jobs.
One of the benefits and downsides of Pawshake is that they are choosy. Before you can register, you have to apply. They only accept 15% of applicants. While those aren’t great odds, if you are accepted, you’ll have good bookings immediately.
You’ll also have the peace of mind of knowing that you’re qualified for the jobs you accept on Pawshake. Confidence helps you do a better job, too.
Because Pawshake accommodates a range of services (not just in-home pet sitting), specific types of jobs in particular parts of Europe may be challenging to find. However, it’s also a convenient way to earn a little income on the side if there’s a dog who needs walks in your vicinity.
Is Housesitting in Europe Right for You?
Housesitting in Europe is a tremendous opportunity to see the continent on a budget. It’s also an excellent way to see places on the continent that you wouldn’t otherwise think to visit. You get to experience major cities, small towns, and everything between like a local.
However, it also comes with responsibilities, especially if you’ll be caring for someone’s beloved pet. Explore the sites above to learn more and make the best decision for your next globetrotting adventure.