House Sitting in Scotland, The UK and Europe – Interview With Sara

Recently, we had a chat with Sara who is originally from New Zealand (a place we love!).

However Sara has been living in Scotland for almost a year house sitting!

Find out how she got started and how she has managed to book over 10 house sits for the coming year!

Tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you, where are you from, for, do you do it full-time or sporadically

My name is Sara, and I am originally from New Zealand.  I have been living in beautiful Scotland since April ’22 and I have been house sitting since May and while they have been sporadic. My aim is to fill my calendar up with house sits in the UK till the end of June and then from July they will be based in Europe.

Why did you do petsitting? What is the primary motivation?

I house sit for a few reasons.  One its free accommodation and I am working towards doing this full time, so I will have no outgoing accommodation costs.

It enables me to meet new people and their pets and provide a service that enables the people to get away and not worry about their pets or home. 

Finally, being in a new place allows me to see and experience new environments that I may not ordinarily have gone to or that I have wanted to spend time in but not until a house-sitting opportunity comes up.

How many housesits have you had and where?

So far, I have completed three house sits, two in Scotland, Alexandria and Uddingston and one in London.  I am doing a house sit as I write this in Mid Calder, Scotland.

Was it hard for you to secure your first housesitting gig? How many applications did you have to send before you got accepted for your first assignment?

Surprisingly, it was not hard!  I sent one application and got it!  I think key to getting accepted is having good profile outlining your experience with animals and having people that know you well providing personal references, especially if they can describe how you are with your home and animals, whether your own or theirs. 

Have you had any funny housesitting experiences? 

Weirdest one was looking after a corgi who would eat anything and everything when she was out on her walks, including other dogs’ poop.  Only if I let her of course, which I did not! 

How did you find out about housesitting?

I found out about house sitting from friends in New Zealand who did it for over a year full time when they were in the UK and Europe.

What’s been the biggest adventure so far?

The two weeks I spent in London over Christmas was awesome!  Got to be a ‘tourist’ and saw and experienced so much, including eight west end shows!

How do you decide on a destination?

I decide based on ease of getting to them.  I rely on public transport, so its important that I can get to the destination or that the people I am house sitting for are able to pick me up from the public transport. 

I also base my applications on when the sit is and that it will fit in with the other house sits I have booked.

How much luggage do you travel with?

One 40L backpack – room enough for clothes and my laptop, so I can work remotely from the house sit I am doing.

What was your favorite housesitting experience to date and why?

Would have to be the two weeks I spent in London over Christmas.  It provided such an awesome opportunity to be a ‘tourist’ and see and experience so much, including eight west end shows and a night time Christmas light bus tour.  It was great learning how to use the London underground – it gets you anywhere and everywhere. 

Pros of House Sitting?

Pets of all kinds, shapes, sizes, and personalities. 

Free accommodation.

Some people provide food and drink for me as a sitter – so no or reduced food and drink costs.

Seeing and experiencing new places and meeting new people.

Cons of House Sitting?

I personally do not think there are any.  For some people living out of a suitcase and moving around may not be for them, but I love it! 

Did you ever have any unusual pets to take care of or responsibilities that were out of the norm?

Not yet!  Cats and dogs to date, but some of them have ‘quirks’!

Tips for others wanting to get started?

Great authentic profile.  Photos of you with animals.  Personal references.  If you have used something like Air BnB, link to your page, where people can see comments from the homeowners, shows you take care and respect of other people’s homes or if you have your home on Airbnb a link to your listing.

Where to next (when you can)

Edinburgh and then onto Portrush, Northern Ireland.  I have now got another seven house sits in the UK and three in Europe, two in Switzerland and one in Germany

Author: Britt

I am Britt. I have been house-sitting and pet-sitting for the past seven years. I have cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats one turtle, and one rabbit over 80+ houses in 15 countries.

The opportunity to experience different homes, cultures, and communities has been extraordinary.

I’ve connected with homeowners seeking reliable sitters through house-sitting platforms like Aussie House Sitters and Trusted House Sitters. This unique way of living has allowed me to save money on accommodation, explore new cultures, and meet new people.

Being a member of these platforms has broadened my horizons and opened doors to short- and long-term house-sitting jobs. I’ve found joy in providing excellent pet care and ensuring the home is well-maintained.

I get many questions about how to start as a housesitter, so please reach out if you have any questions! I want everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!

You can read more about Jay and me here!

Or connect with me on Facebook or in our house-sitting community on Facebook.

House Sitting in Salon-de-Provence
Me (Britt) House Sitting in Salon-de-Provence, France

Want to try House Sitting As Well?
There are thousands of opportunities to house sit around the world!
Check out the resources for getting started as a house sitter here.

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