House Sitting: Preparatory Measures
Preparatory Measures: We’ve got a match
Hot diggity dog!
The House Sitting Interviews went well and now we have a match, looks like everyone’s going to be traveling.
Homeowners and House Sitters alike have high hopes that this will all go off without a hitch.
However, it’s not a simple as packing your bags and hopping on a plane.
Both sides have preparatory measures to put in place to ensure a smooth ride.
Let’s have a look at what needs to be addressed before you finally meet face to face.
Preparatory Measures: The Homeowner’s side of the coin
You know your flight dates, but when exactly do you want your House Sitters to show up?
Ideally, we recommend you spend a day or two all together so that you can bond. It makes it easier to integrate the House Sitters with your pets and show them how everything works around the house. It’s also a great opportunity to introduce your Sitters to your neighbors and show them where things are around town, such as groceries and good hangout spots.
The same question should be discussed regarding the end-of-assignment date, as perhaps you’d like to discuss each other’s experience over a nice meal and a few drinks? Or would both parties rather get back to their respective routines?
While your time together overlaps, ask yourself: Where will the House Sitters be staying? Do you have room for all of you there at once? Can a friend or family member accommodate them during that time?
How about when your House Sitters arrive from the airport? How are they getting to your place? Are you picking them up or must they make their way to your home?
It may sound trivial but it’s getting little logistical details like this right that ensures everything goes really well.
So If you haven’t already, please discuss this with your House Sitters prior to them purchasing flight tickets, of course.
And while you’re at it, get a copy of their flight itinerary once the plane tickets are booked.
Besides your own preparations toward your upcoming trip, there are a few things that need to be in place before you hand over the keys to your House Sitters and wave goodbye to your furry loved ones, most importantly the Homeowners’ guide provided by the House Sitting platform you advertised your House Sitting assignment on.
There is no better way to set the whole experience up to fail than not putting key information down in writing.
These guides are thorough and comprehensive and take some time to fill out but are too important to skip over.
With this in hand, your House Sitter will know exactly how to care properly for your pet, your home and fulfill any reasonable expectations you have from them. Not withstanding what to do and who to contact in case of emergency.
Once completed, print a copy for your home and send one electronically in advance to your House Sitter.
LET EVERYONE IN ON IT
If you are leaving your car for your House Sitters to use, advise your insurance company for coverage in case of an accident or theft during your absence. Ditto for your home insurance.
Also, let your immediate family members know, as well as your close neighbors, when your House Sitters will arriving.
On past House Sitting assignments we found that getting to experience local living by hanging out with the Homeowner’s family and friends was often the highlight of our assignment.
Lastly, be sure to leave written instructions with your veterinarian in case your pet requires care during your absence.
Preparatory Measures: The House Sitters’ side of the coin
Before you start looking for flights, confirm with the Homeowners which dates you are expected to arrive and leave on.
Are you all hanging out a day or two prior to the Homeowner’s departure and arrival?
We surely recommend it, as bonding with the people and the pets you meet are at the core of House Sitting. Regardless if you will or not, it would be wise to leave a day or two buffer in case of flight delays.
Even if that means having to stay somewhere else prior or after the sit, there are always options out there, such as a Nomador stopover. These are listed Homeowners willing to great House Sitters in transit for a day or two, free of charge, because you know… they’re awesome like that.
Once you do have your flight tickets at hand, send the itinerary to the Homeowners.
Once your plane lands, how are you getting to your House Sitting assignment? Are the Homeowners picking you up? Are you renting a car? Using public transportation? Taking a bit of time to look into it can make a difference between paying for a $60CAD cab ride or a $3.00 public bus ride.
Travel insurance. Please don’t hop on a plane without some type of coverage.
Some credit cards offer travel insurance coverage, depending on the length of your trip. For long-haul trips, we personally use World Nomads travel insurance. Take the time and look into this.
Another thing worth mentioning is looking into visa regulations for the country you’ll be House Sitting in.
A little caveat: Although House Sitting is not monetized, Border Officials might still consider it as work, therefore expecting you to produce a working visa. If required, stick with a travel visa and say you’re travelling or visiting friends.
If available, ask the Homeowners to send you a copy of their Homeowner’s guide, or at the very least contact information and home address. Thumbing through it in advance will help you prepare more effectively and provide you with a clear understanding of what your soon-to-be House Sitting assignment will require from you, from a Home and Pet care point of view.
Lastly, be sure to advise you financial institution that you’ll be using your credit cards abroad prior to leaving and make a pit-stop at an exchange bureau to acquire a small quantity of foreign currency.
ON A LIGHTER SIDE
A side note (and this is entirely up to you), we usually ask the Homeowners if they want us to bring something from our country for them. Being from Canada, we usually get a request to bring them maple syrup. Yummy!!
Preparatory Measures: Huddle up everyone
Alright everyone… Homeowners, House Sitters, let’s gather up.
You’re all on the same team now.
Each one of you depends on one another to make this a success.
Here are some last minute tips before the handover:
Keep each other informed of any developments prior to the sit. Communication is key!
No question is too silly to ask. If in doubt, ask away. The old adage of ask for forgiveness instead of permission is NOT true when it comes to House Sitting!
Above all else, commit to your agreement. Illness or death in the family withstanding.
Preparatory Measures: Counting the clock down
I am proud of every single one of you.
You’ve put in the time and effort to read every House Sitting article in preparedness for your House Sitting Journey.
Everyone has packed their bags and it’s now time to hand over the keys.
Are you nervous?
Don’t worry… The Amazing Stroll has your back.
Just head on over to your next article:
In this one we’ll go over House Sitting assignment best practices.
Tag, your it!
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