House sitting is one of the fastest growing travel trends, and it isn’t hard to see why: getting free accommodation (and often really nice accommodation) in return for looking after someone else’s pets is definitely a good deal.
Ignoring the money saving aspect for a second, house sitting can also be a lot of fun. It’s not only fun looking after other people’s pets when you travel, but it’s also nice to meet the homeowners as well and people often develop lasting friendships from housesitting.
But, the big question is: which house sitting website should you use? There are lots of different house sitting sites out there, and (hopefully) this article will make it easy to pick the one that’s just right for you.
How much does a membership cost?
House sitting website membership costs vary from as little as $20 a year to around $120 per year.
$120 or even $50 might sell like a lot, but it’s not if you consider how much travel accommodation normally costs. It’s hard to find a hotel room for less than $120 for just one night in places like London, New York, and Sydney. Accommodation is cheaper in Portugal and other parts of the world, but $120 is only going to cover 1 or 2 days accommodation in a cheap hotel.
|Mind My House||$20||MindMyHouse.com|
|House Sit Match||£49-79||Housesitmatch.com|
Which sites is right for you?
For most people, that’s the site with the right house sitting jobs: Trusted Housesitters.
If you specifically want to house sit in one particular country, like Australia for example, it may make sense to focus on the websites that have a lot of house sitting jobs there. In this example, that would be House Carers, Trusted Housesitters again, and also country-specific sites like Aussie Housesitters.
Is it a good idea to join more than one site? Definitely, although you may want to dip your toes in the water with just one site initially. More websites = more house sitting opportunities. You’ll get more opportunities from some sites than others, but as long as you get just 1 house sitting job per year per site then that site is worth it.
If you were to join all 5 of the top house sitting sites, it would cost you roughly $380. That’s a lot of money upfront obviously, but nothing compared to the amount you could save on accommodation.
The top 5 house sitting websites
Price: $119 per year | Website: trustedhousesitters.com
Trusted Housesitters is the largest of the house sitting sites. It posts roughly 3-4 times as many house sits as the next site (which is normally Housecarers). Trusted Housesitters posts house sitting assignments from all over the world, but is particularly strong in Europe (especially the UK and France), Australia, and the USA. If you want to housesit in any of those locations, this is a good site to join.
The annual fee is much more expensive than most other house sitting websites, but get accepted for just one house sitting assignment, even for a few days, and Trusted Housesitters will have more than paid for itself.
If you’re new to house sitting this is a good site to join, and here’s why: when you’re new to house sitting, you have to apply for a lot of house sits in order to get accepted for just one. It makes sense to be a member of the site that posts the most opportunities.
How it compares:
- Trusted Housesitters has more house sitting opportunities than any other house sitting website (at least 3-4 times as many as the next site).
- It has lots of house sits in locations where hotels are expensive (e.g. UK, Australia, USA, Canada, etc.)
- The team at Trusted Housesitters are constantly improving the site and finding new homeowners to list their homes. Most house sitting sites are just run by one or two people, and support can be poor with a lot of sites.
- Much more expensive than most other house sitting sites (You could get 1 year with Trusted Housesitters OR 2 year with Housecarers + 1 year with Mind My House). Of course, you get what you pay for.
Price: $50 per year | Website: housecarers.com
Housecarers is one of the longest running house sitting sites (since 2000). It tends to mainly have house sits in Australia and the US, but it’s not limited to those countries.
Although Housecarers doesn’t have a team working on improving the site, support tends to be very good.
How it compares:
- Lots of house sitting opportunities in Australia and the USA.
- When you’re searching for house sits, it’s easy to filter by the length of assignment you’re looking for (e.g. 1 week, 2 months etc)
- Isn’t always the easiest site to use (although the site is constantly being improved).
Price: $20 per year | Website: mindmyhouse.com
Given the extremely low membership cost, this site is always popular with house sitters. As it’s only $20 a year, many house sitters join this site and one or two others (usually Trusted Housesitters or Housecarers) to increase the number of opportunities available to them.
The main complaint people have with MindMyHouse is that old assignments aren’t always taken off the site and so it’s very easy to end up applying for a house sit that’s already been filled. To get around this, it’s best to apply for house sits as and when they go live (you’ll get an email when this happens).
Customer support also tends to be very poor, and that’s something a lot of people mention in the MindMyHouse reviews. Still, only it’s $20 which is why a lot of people are willing to take a risk on it.
How it compares:
- Pretty design.
- Nice messaging system.
- Old assignments often aren’t marked as filled.
- A lot of homeowners select ‘variable dates’ rather than giving specific dates or even rough dates of when the house sit is.
- Poor customer support.
- Less house sitting assignments than other sites.
Price: $89 per year | Website: Nomador.com
Launched in 2014, Nomador has quickly made a name for itself, particularly in France and other French-speaking countries like Switzerland where it has a lot of house sitting opportunities.
How it compares:
- Nice design
- Good number of house sits in France
House Sit Match
Price: From £49 (British Pounds) per year to £79| Website: housesitmatch.com
Housesitmatch.com is a newcomer to the house sitting scene. Initially House Sit Match focused on house sitting jobs in the UK and Australia, but now there tends to be house sits from quite a few other locations as well like Spain.
How it compares:
- Is doing quite well for a new site.
- Membership expensive given the number of house sits.
Other House Sitting Sites
Those sites aren’t the only house sitting sites: they’re just the top 5. If you’re already a member of them, and you’re looking for other places to find house sitting jobs, take a look at these websites.
Aussie Housesitters & Co.
This is a group of several country-specific websites that focus on Australia, America, New Zealand, the UK, and Canada. If you’re looking for house sits in these countries, it’s worth joining 1 or all of them.
Happy Housesitters – (AUD65 per year) Happy Housesitters focuses solely on Australia. If you’re looking for house sitting opportunities down under, this is a site to consider.
Caretaker Gazette costs $29.95 per year for an online subscription, which is definitely very affordable.
Caretaker Jobs ($29 per year) – This is an untried and untested website that has a handful of caretaker jobs (paid and unpaid), mainly in the US.
Luxury House Sitting
Luxury House Sitting ($25 per year) – Another untried and untested website. Has a handful of opportunities in the USA.
FAQs about house sitting
How many sites should I join?
It depends on how much house sitting you’re planning on doing. If you’re planning on house sitting full-time you’ll probably end up joining several, although you might just start with one in the beginning.
Which site is the best value for money?
Usually the one with the most house sitting opportunities. House sitters, especially those just starting out, often have to apply for several house sits in order to get accepted for one. Joining a site with a lot of opportunities to apply for gives you a much better chance of kick-starting your house sitting ‘career’.
Have you used any of the house sitting sites above? Share your thoughts and reviews, or ask a question, by leaving a comment below.
Spot a mistake? If you notice a mistake, or would like to suggest improvements to the article, please get in touch. This article was last updated in December 2018.
Advertising & Funding Portugalist is funded by advertising and partnerships. This doesn't influence the articles in any way, and it helps to cover the site's running costs.
Newsletter & Social Media
Want to get notified when there's a new article on Portugalist? Subscribe to the Portugalist Newsletter or follow Portugalist on Facebook or Twitter. I'm also on Instagram and Pinterest.