Canada is my dream country. It has everything that an outdoorsy (horse)girl like me could wish for. There is just one downside, it is incredibly expensive. Especially accommodations. I wanted to go for a couple of months, while working remotely for my own business. Camping full-time was therefore not an option. Now what? Shorten or even cancel the trip? No way! I’ve found the best life hack for animal lovers who want to travel and would love to share it with you: house- and pet sitting!
As an animal-lover you know how hard it is to leave your furry-friends behind when going away. Leaving them in the caring hands of a reliable person will give you a care free holiday. These persons are just sometimes hard to find. Especially when you live in a huge country, such as Canada! Relatives and family usually live far away, or they all have a fur-family of their own to take care of.
This is where I came in! It’s the perfect win-win situation. Having a free stay, while surrounded by animals ánd being able to properly work for my company Market Your Brand. And it worked! I only paid for a couple of nights in between house-sits during my 3,5 months stay. This is how I did it:
I created a post on Facebook letting people know me and my boyfriend were available for taking care of people’s pets, horses, and other farm-animals throughout British Columbia in Canada. Of course, I’ve added some pictures that showcased our love for animals.
In 2016 I’ve volunteered on several horse ranches throughout the province and made some friends along the way. Almost all of them shared my post. Besides that I have an aunt who lives in Vancouver who was willing to help and started asking around if anybody needed a house-sit.
And with result! Within a couple of days I got in touch with a friend of my aunt who has two kittens and an acquaintance of a girl I met in 2016 for just 3 days, who was looking for someone to take care of her 2 dogs. That gave us free accommodation in two very popular towns for 4,5 weeks!
This was great, but we needed extra addresses to be able to complete our trip. That’s why we signed up for the website www.trustedhousesitters.com. With the free plan you can see all the listings available, but you are not able to apply. For that you need a paid plan. This will cost you €120 per year. A small investment if you compare it to the amount of money you will save.
Once you’ve signed up for the website, you need to apply for the places you want to go. Make sure your profile looks very good.
Our journey started with taking care of two horses, two cats and one dog at a beautiful property right at the Okanagan Lake. This was our first house-sit in Canada and it was also the first time these people used Trusted House Sitters. We came one night in advance, so they could show us around and get to know us a little bit. The lady took me out riding, which was amazing! Besides that, they made us dinner and stocked up the pantry so we had some food during our stay.
The first house-sit you are doing is important as it will give you a review coming from within the community.
This is how you will get a good review:
Besides free accommodations, house-sitting gives you a unique experience. People are happy to connect you with their friends who will take you out on adventures. These are the activities we've done so far and most of them were offered to us for free!
But the best of it all is that you make really good friends along the way. People are incredibly grateful that you took good care of their fur-babies. This means that you will always have a place to go back to!
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