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How Housesitting helped us live a dream!

My family lives a different lifestyle; we don’t own a house or a car and have very little in the way of worldly possessions. We live with less so we can travel the world full time for as long as we want to. With the help of housesitting websites like HousesitMatch.com, that bring together housesitters like us with home owners needing property and pet-care.

How housesitting helped us reinvent and live our dream

When we boarded the plane to embark on our travel adventure we had no idea how far we would roam! The plane taxied toward the runway, and our hearts swelled with all of the emotions one experiences when they finally realize a dream. Eyes wide and pulses racing the plane’s engines roared as we surged into the great unknown.
The idea for our travel lifestyle was inspired by the birth of our Son. The goal in living this way is to find a place in the world where we can live well on less income, experience a new culture, and give Makai a more global perspective in his growing years.

Initially, we had targeted South and Central America because the cost of living in those areas is much cheaper than at home in Canada so, that’s where our adventure began. We had no plans to travel anywhere beyond those two areas and destinations we perceived to be expensive like Europe, never even entered our minds as possibilities.
For all of the time and effort, we put into researching places we never imagined how one thing, house sitting could open our minds, expand our travel choices, and help us gain the broader perspective we needed to find the best place to settle down. It helped us learn there are affordable places all over the world even in Europe!
Here’s a snapshot of some of what we spent for one year of our 500 days travelling so far. And how house sitting affected our living costs to help us sustain our travel lifestyle for much longer than we anticipated.

Housesitting in Panama- surprisingly low-cost living

Our first job house sitting in Panama was a six-month assignment in a mountain community close to Panama City in Panama. We had read about the benefits of living in Panama and were so excited to have an opportunity to really get to know a place we had been curious about for many years. Panama is a popular retirement destination for Canadian and U.S. citizens. It offers warm weather year round, low cost of living compared to many countries around the world, and great health care. Panama appeals to many people because it is much more developed than other countries in Central America.

Panama Monkey

Living in Panama- Average Monthly Expenses

All prices are in U.S.D.
• Accommodation costs (a spacious home in the mountains)- $0.00 (housesitting)
• Utility costs- $0.00 (included)
• Cooking gas- $6
• Wi-Fi /Internet- $0.00 (included)
• Vehicle (included)- $80 for petrol
• Groceries (including beer and wine)- $1200
.  Entertainment and eating out- $110
• Water- $0.00 (tap water was safe to drink)
• Medications- $15.00
• Total Costs- $1411 a month

Housesitting in Spain- a very affordable lifestyle

We spent two months living in a housesit in Southern Spain in a small community called Fuente Mar. Living there our costs were extremely low for a couple of reasons, free accommodation with housesitting and a terrific location. Everything we wanted or needed was within walking distance. Fuente Mar is right between two towns, Garrucha and Vera on the coast in the Almeria Province. The area is a popular tourist destination but stunningly affordable at the same time. We bought the most specialty foods, good wine, eating out regularly and still managed to live off $25 U.S.D a day for a family of three!

SPAN2883 1

Living in Spain- Average Monthly Expenses

All prices are in U.S.D
• Accommodation costs (a lovely villa walking distance from the sea)- $0.00 (housesitting)
• Utility costs- $0.00 (included)
• Wi-Fi/Internet- $0.00 (included)
• Transportation- $90
• Laundry- $20
• Groceries (including beer and wine)- $365
• Entertainment and eating out- $272
• Water- $0.00 (tap water was safe to drink)
• Medications- $10
• Total costs- $747 a month.

Housesitting in Turkey- enjoying the Riviera for a song

We had never heard of the Turkish Riviera before a housesitting opportunity popped up for us on the Southwest coast of Turkey! Our three-week housesitting assignment was in a small town called Ovacik, right between two popular tourist destinations Fethiye and Oludeniz. It was a shorter assignment than we usually accept, but the cost to rent Airbnb rentals in the area were so reasonable, it still was a very affordable stay. When our homeowner returned, we rented a small apartment for a week in Marmaris, another town further up the coast.

housesitting in this beautiful villa

Living in Turkey- Average Monthly Expenses

All prices in U.S.D.
• Accommodation costs- $235
• Utility costs- Included
• Wi-Fi/Internet- Included
• Transportation- $170
• Groceries (including beer and wine)- $600
• Entertainment and eating out- $160
• Water- $20
• Medications- $15
• Total costs- $1200 a month.

Housesitting in England- the housesits made it affordable

It’s no secret that the U.K. is expensive. It wasn’t a place we considered spending a lot of time, as we have a modest travel budget. However, when an opportunity to housesit for a homeowner we had helped before just outside of London came about we couldn’t resist applying! We landed the two-week job and managed to coordinate six more weeks housesitting throughout the U.K as well! We spend a few nights in hotels and there were more costs associated with getting from assignment to assignment but we were able to visit cities in three counties for a fraction of what it would have cost without housesitting! We spent eight weeks in the U.K. visiting Bury Saint Edmunds, Sheffield, Manchester, and Liverpool in England; Cardiff in Wales; and Belfast in Northern Ireland.

SPAN2953_4_tonemapped

Living in the U.K.- Average Monthly Expenses

All prices in U.S.D
• Accommodation costs- $280
• Utility costs-$0.00 (included)
• Wi-Fi/Internet- $0.00 (included)
• Transportation-$ 375
• Groceries (including beer and wine)- $926
• Entertainment and eating out- $120
• Water- $ 0.00 (tap water was safe to drink)
• Total costs- $1701 a month
These examples account for average monthly costs in the cities we spent time house sitting. We’ve managed to housesit 11 months of 18 months total time travelling! Free accommodation made travelling further affordable for us and staying in local neighborhoods helped us gain a local perspective you just can’t get staying in tourist areas.
Housesitting has become part of regular life on the road for us, but I wish we had tried doing some sooner! There were many places we wanted to vacation when we lived and worked in Canada that were out of reach for us financially because of high accommodation costs. You don’t need to be a full-time traveler to reap the benefits of housesitting. It’s a great way to lower costs travelling long or short term and could make visiting a dream destination a real possibility for you.

your housesitting solution register with HouseSitMatch:

To register as a House-sitter follow this link

To register as a Homeowner follow this link

 

Expat Experiment
Travelling professionals (a retail manager and a financial advisor) Tracey and Rob took extended sabbaticals to see the world with their young son. Registered as house-sitters on HouseSit Match calling themselves the Expat Experiment they document their journey and experiences from country to country by blogging.

2 comments

  1. Ita always said that the people who actually work in your garden or your neighbours are the one’s who know where you are and when you plan to get back and so forth……so they can plan to break into your home ..I’m not sure about other countries but this is what mostly happens in South Africa.
    CSo hiring a house sitter or both house and pet sitter to look after your pets and home is probably the best thing you can do for yourself, home and for your pets.
    So you can enjoy your holiday without worry

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