There are plenty of different ways people like to spend their lives. Some spend their lives living in one place, while others like to spend their lives chasing their favourite seasons.
There are many reasons for this. Some people like to spend their retirement staying in warmer climates to escape the cold and this creates a lot of really great house sitting opportunities for those looking for a winter escape.
In our experience house sitting for those looking to escape winter has far less competition and gives you a very unique opportunity. Particularly for those who have come from warmer climates.
In this post, we will go over the pros and cons of house sitting for snowbirds in winter and how you can find house sitting opportunities in winter.
What is a Snowbird?
A snowbird is anyone who travels from the colder northern parts of North America to the warmer southern parts of the continent during the winter. The Sun Belt and Hawaii in the United States, as well as Mexico and the Caribbean, are among the southern destinations. Snowbirds used to be mostly elderly or older people, but now they come in all ages.
Why House Sit in Winter?
House sitting for snowbirds in winter has lots of pros.
- First and foremost there is a lot less competition. Usually, most house sitters go for warmer locations in more touristy areas.
- Learn about different ways of life, learn different skills, and sports.
- Sometimes homeowners get desperate for house sitters and offer to cover transportation costs or pay for house sitting.
- You have the opportunity to live in a completely different climate and experience a true ‘white Christmas’.
- Look after unique aminals and houses.
- Winter can be the perfect time to get work done. Being in a cosy home with snow around can be the perfect work environment. Let your creativity flow!
The Best Locations For Winter House Sitting Opportunities
The best winter house sitting opportunities are mainly found in Canada, North America, New Zealand and Japan.
This is because these locations have great summer months, but in winter get very, very cold. There are a lot of retirees and remote workers who don’t like the cold and would prefer to head to cheaper, warmer climates for the winter months.
There are a lot of homeowners who rent out their homes or apartments to the ski bunnies who flock to the snow, however, for those who live in colder areas who are not near a ski resort this can be hard. So typically they find it’s easier to get in a house sitter.
Cons and Things to Think About Before Applying for Winter House Sitting Jobs
House sitting in winter does have its challenges, especially for those who are not from colder climates.
- When house sitting in winter (particularly in Canada and Japan) temperatures can get very cold. Depending on your exact location we are talking anywhere from -10 to -25 celsius. This can present unique challenges you might not be used to. This can be difficult for those from warmer climates and is worth doing a smaller ‘test sit’ or trip to make sure you will be able to live in such temperatures.
- Driving and getting around can be hard for someone who has never lived in snow before. Driving in snow can be very dangerous and is something that should be taken very seriously, particularly if you are using the homeowner’s vehicle or you have the homeowners pet with you. In a lot of smaller towns they don’t have very good public transport and that can make it difficult for you to get groceries or see the local area.
- Living in winter can be expensive. This is because a lot of winter locations are winter destinations for skiers and snowboarders. These locations usually come with a big price hike, just like any tourist destination. This can also be because in winter it can cost a lot more to get items to certain destinations because of snow.
- The day to day tasks might be a little out of your comfort zone. Living in winter can make day to day tasks a little hard. While looking after home in snowy locations we have had daily tasks that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. We have cleared snow, chopped wood, had to unfreeze pipes, walked dogs in knee-deep snow and had to dig out various household services.
- Heating in winter is very expensive and sometimes some homeowners will ask you to chip in or pay for heating expenses while you are house sitting.
How to Find House Sits in Winter
We have found there are a couple of websites that are better than the other for finding winter house sitting opportunities.
Another great place to find winter house sitting opportunities is in local Facebook groups where you are looking to house sit. This can be at the country, state or even town level.
Things to do While House Sitting in Winter
While house-sitting in winter there are lots of activities you can get into or watch. This is one of the main reasons
- Snowboarding and skiing
- Ice hockey
- Ice fishing
- Cross country skiing
- Winter bird hunting
- Dog sledding
- Winter fat biking
- Ice hiking