House Sitting VS Backpacking
Travelling within a budget can be limiting when it comes to selecting travel destinations.
Most of our lives, Sophie and I avoided almost entirely travelling to Europe, deeming it too expensive, spending the bulk of our travels backpacking in South East Asia.
Bare in mind we LOVE that part of the world... the excellent food, relaxed lifestyle and wonderful cultures, so it’s not like we felt like we were missing out.
But what if we, as travellers, can have access to a bigger part of the geography pie when it comes to potential travel destinations, all the while staying within our financial comfort zone?
Because you know, it’s nice to have options.
In 2016, we did three months of House Sitting in Europe and three months of backpacking in South East Asia, back to back, tracking diligently all of our daily expenses using the financial app Andromoney.
Well… you already know the outcome. This article’s poster is a dead giveaway:
Note to self: Don’t ever write a murder mystery book…
Imagine our reaction when we looked at our financial data and realized that House Sitting made our travels more affordable by far and large.
We felt compelled to share this discovery with you as it brings us great pleasure to be able to contribute to your travels and open up a whole new world for you, all thanks to House Sitting.
Let’s dive into the numbers, shall we?
House Sitting VS Backpacking: Disclaimer
Before we dive in, let’s be clear about something: We’ll be looking at daily living expenses.
This means that expenses such as flights, insurance coverage and travel day costs are not factored in.
Also, we’re comparing apples with apples, meaning we’re looking at similar lifestyle and comfort. While in South East Asia, we stayed in mid-range places such as this:
If you’re willing to stay in dorms, you might be able to even best our numbers.
House Sitting VS Backpacking: Financial breakdown
Enough talking, let’s look at the summary:
Ain’t that surprising?!
And we didn’t hold back on any activities while on the road for any of these destinations. Restaurants, entertainment, massages… you name it!
We don’t want to bore you to death with too much data, however here’s where the bulk of our expenses went toward each destination:
My God… we spend way too much on food!
Oh! Sorry… back to the article.
House Sitting VS Backpacking: Game changers
As you can see, free accommodations with House Sitting played a big part in lowering our overall travel costs.
Even with a great find at a hostel at let’s say $30 a night, a traveller would be looking at roughly $900 a month in accommodation costs!
Another big factor that makes House Sitting more affordable is having the ability to cook at home as opposed to eating all your meals at the restaurant. Heck, just having to buy a coffee or two each per day quickly adds up when backpacking.
We found that backpacking was also pricey when it came to long haul transportation costs as we would often switch places every three to five days as opposed to staying put in one spot for a while when House Sitting.
House Sitting also allowed us to save on laundry, internet, transportation costs and have more opportunities to take advantage of free activities, such as free museum days.
House Sitting VS Backpacking: Looking past the numbers
Comparing these two types of travels isn’t just about overall costs, it also has to do with lifestyle.
Every time we do a House Sitting assignment, we easily make real connections with the locals and get a feel for the country’s culture as the Homeowners we House Sit for introduces us to their family, friends and neighbors. All of which we spend quality time with.
And let’s not forget all the great times we get to spend with their pets.
The old adage is true: “A home is not a home without a pet”
House Sitting VS Backpacking: To each our own
With all this being said, House Sitting isn’t always a viable option, or even a sought after one.
Sometimes we only have a few weeks vacation and just want to unwind on a beach off the coast of Thailand or something.
Responsibility free R&R.
Even ourselves. We don’t house sit every single time we hit the road.
We just wanted to open your eyes to some of the other travel options that exist and consider House Sitting the next time you get the itch to pack your bags and head somewhere.
Just don’t forget to track your expenses.
House Sitting VS Backpacking: Getting started
If you believe House Sitting would be a good fit for you then by all means, have a look at our introductory article on the subject and go from there:
Happy travels everyone!
Bonus section: Budget revisited
For those of you who might have been doubting our numbers because they’re from 2016, here’s our numbers from our 2018 House Sitting assignment in Sweden’s countryside:
Found this informative? Enjoyable to read? Disappointing?? Share your thoughts by adding a comment down below!