Petsitting for Free Travel! What?

Did you know that you can travel and find places to stay for free? Yep, but only if you love pets!

This really is a thing! Some websites and platforms facilitate house sitting or pet sitting exchanges, where you offer your services as a pet sitter in exchange for free accommodation. Homeowners who need someone to care for their pets while they’re away let you stay in their home for free. This arrangement allows you to explore new places while taking care of someone else’s pets.

It is a win-win situation for both you and the home/pet owner. They get a trusted person to care for their pets for free while they travel, and you get a free place to stay on your travel.

Ok, so it’s not really free. You do have a job. You are getting to stay in exchange for pet sitting and taking care of the home. You need to keep the schedule of the pets, take care of the house, and be a loving care-giver. The cost for in-home pet sitters ranges from $20 to $200+ per day. The cost for accommodations is in the same range. So basically you are working for your stay. That is, if you consider playing with and taking care of pets work!

I love to pet sit on my travels. I work on my laptop most of the day and having a pet companion rather than an empty hotel room, is well worth the time I put in to care for the pets. Pet sitting provides a secure home to enjoy and relax in, pets to keep me company, and free accommodations.

It’s important to note that it is not like an airbnb or hotel, in that you are staying in a lived in place where the homeowners stuff is typically very apparent. I have stayed in some homes that are immaculate, new and very “model home” like with my own suite that felt very much like my own space. I have also stayed in homes that are very lived in and personal to the homeowner with their photos everywhere, clutter everywhere and not any personal space for my stuff. So when you are petsitting, if this is important to you, ask the homeowner before accepting a sit.

Another important point is food. Homeowners do not clear out the whole fridge and freezer, pantry or food items as they would if they were airbnbing their home. And every home I have stayed at have welcomed me to help myself to any food in the house. Most homeowners ask what I like and fill the fridge and pantry with my favs, probably because I do mostly long-term stays. And some have a freezer so stuffed that I can’t even fit my own food! These are just some things you need to be aware of and prepared for when you petsit, particularly for longer term stays.

When you vacation as a petsitter, you have to keep in mind that you are basically babysitting. You are going to someone elses home and taking care of the home and pets. You are in their space and may not have as much space for your own stuff. You have to be more respectful and kind if things are not exactly perfect for your taste. And you have to commit to providing good loving care for the home and animals who live there. The pets are your priority on this type of vacation and they are welcoming you into their home. You are their invited guest and it is up to you to show respect and appreciation for the exchange of services. This win-win opportunity is a growing trend helping both the pet sitter and the homeowner save money on their travels.

If you want to travel on a budget and love pets, then check out our sponsored websites. and I recommend these because I am a member and they are the best way to connect with available petsits. Sign up for an account, get verified and start traveling on a budget!

About the author

Patti Jewel

Patti Jewel, aka Beach Jewel and Florida Jewel, has been a life-long Florida resident, beach lover, mom to 4 amazing children, and someone who sees the glass as both half empty and half full but in either case, always wants to fill it up.