New on the blog! Interviews with experienced house sitters. We can give you a lot of information on the subject, but isn’t it always best to hear stories from people that have done this already a few times? Yeah, we thought so. In this first interview you can read about the house sit adventures from Adriana and Matěj, two experienced house sitters. Enjoy!
1. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? Who you are, where you live, etc.
We are Adriana and Matěj - a couple and travel bloggers from the Czech Republic writing on Czechtheworld. We really love traveling, so the last years we lived for at least a few months in New Zealand, USA - Yellowstone, Alaska, South Korea, Malaysia, Crete, and Finland.
2. How many house sits have you done and where?
9 house sits, all of them in New Zealand!
3. What was the first time you did your first house sit? Where was it? What kind of animals were you taking care of? What was your 'first timer' experience?
When we came to New Zealand, we have found out that house sitting is very popular over there. So we decided to register to KiwiHouseSitters and try it out. It’s much harder to find a house sit without the first reference, therefore we tried to search for some offer with less demand. Our first house sit was for only a weekend and we took care of 2 dogs. House owners were so excited that they invited us for another 4 days in the following weeks. In the end we also came for the 3rd time while they were on their 2 weeks holiday. We became friends, they invited us for dinner - it was such a nice ‘first time’ experience! After this first reference, we also started receiving messages from owners who contacted us directly, asking if we are available to house sit for them.
4. What was your most remarkable house sit and why?
It was on a little farm outside of Auckland. The owners had 3 horses and they took us for a horse ride. The house was in a super-lovely location - on the hill, with a beautiful view of meadows and forests. The most special thing, which we enjoyed a lot, was an outdoor spa on the terrace, which we could use anytime.
5. Have you had anything bad happen to you or a pet while you were house sitting?
Luckily not! We only had to take one dog to vet because he needed to take the stitches off after the operation. We were also taking care of one blind dog but he was quite fine! And another dog had some kind of infection, so we just had to watch out that he didn’t scratch it.
6. What have you learned from this that could help future home owners/house sitters?
I think it is always good if owners will write you down a vet’s number and some person (neighbor or friends) who you can call in case of need.
7. Why would you recommend house sitting?
We would recommend it because it is a fun way to save money for accommodation while meeting locals and exploring real local life.
8. When you look at an ad from a home owner, what is the thing you pay attention to?
As we wanted a subsequent house sits, the most important was the date and time period. Longer is better. Another important thing is replying as soon as the ad pop up - so we set up alerts and we always try to be quick. Last but not least are the care requirements. There was only one ad we skipped so far: they required an hour walk twice a day with a dog, shower their cat every day, clean the parrot cage daily and interacting with him most of the day. That was simply too much because we needed to work.
9. What is the question you ALWAYS ask the home owner before you start sitting their pets/house?
Well, we always let house owners ask first about us and they usually tell us a lot by themselves. Here are a couple of questions
How often and how they wish to be informed about their darlings?
How do they feed them?
How long and where they go for a walk with their dogs?
How they manage rubbish, recycling and composting?
What are the emergency contacts?
What kind of dishes can we put in the dishwasher and which not?
10. What do you tell about yourself in your application? Any specific things?
We try to find something that we have in common with house owners. Either it is the breed of cat which we always had at home or similar things. What we mention every time is that we work from home, that’s a thing the house owners like to hear. As we are in the area of Auckland, we also offer personal visits. That is the best for both sides - you can talk to each other face to face, meet their fluffy friends and clarify expectations of both sides.
11. What is your favourite animal to take care of and why?
Adriana is a genuine cat lover, so cats are the no. 1 pick. Matěj prefers dogs a little bit more. We both also like horses, so whenever there is a horse house sit offer, we are in!
12. Anything else you want to share with us?
It is a great experience and we can recommend it to every pet lover! We have written this guide to house sitting, which has a lot of useful information.