First post! Mixed in with my own musings and stories, I'm going to post articles from others about alternative travel. I spent a month in this lovely Yucatan home caring for the owners 5 rescued dogs... on the beach!
Here's an article from Ian White who lives in Australia and why house sitting is a cool alternative to traditional travel... read on.
It's true, people need to escape the burdens of daily life for awhile--from things like mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, painting, gardening, remodeling, home repairs, pet care, checking the mail, and paying their bills. Even a break from nosy neighbors is reason enough to get away for a while.
But weeds don't pull themselves. Bills don't pay themselves.Most pets won't feed themselves. Yet, the grass keeps growing beneath their feet. Ironically, people become tied to their homes by the same responsibilities that they are trying to escape. And, since the families that play together, stay together; people are not likely to leave a sibling or spouse at home to keep up on these tasks. It's a really discouraging circle.
For homeowners, the solution seems clear: find somebody to stay at their house, and take care of everything while they're gone.The challenge, however, is finding somebody they can trust. Friends? Perhaps. But most people feel uncomfortable asking their friends to shoulder such a tremendous burden. Relatives? Possibly, but many homeowners don't like the thought of leaving their homes in the care of their crazy cousin, Eddie. Or worse.
What homeowners need are honest people to occupy their homes. People who desire a change of scenery, for example, or save for homes of their own. People who wish to be closer to their own families; writers seeking peace, quiet, and inspiration. And they definitely need people who understand their specific requirements, and someone they can trust. Enter www.housecarers.com, an online search and screen database for house sitters and homeowners to share information. The introduction of Housecarers.com allows people to leave their troubles behind. Literally.
At Housecarers.com, a unique search utility allows users to screen thousands of registered house sitters according to age, location, occupation, and just about any other requirements that they select. From short to long term, and from yard to garden, people can find a perfect match, including a house sitter who will manage all lawn and garden needs, pet care (no boarding fees), mail collection, bill payment, utilities, and any other issues that may arise.
And the service is very easy to use. For instance, when a homeowner registers with the system (a free service), they will be notified by e-mail any time a new house sitter matching their criteria signs up with the program. House sitters, in turn, are motivated to register because of the fast and reliable way in which they can find free accommodations in exchange for housesitting.
According to Jim Hale, who used Housecarers to find a house sitter, the system works remarkably well. Says Hale, "I looked on the Internet, found the HouseCarers web site, and registered our information. Within a couple of days, we had many responses -- some as far away as New Zealand! We got in touch with a couple in their 50s, and they turned out to be some of the nicest people we've ever met! The whole thing worked out very well -- they stayed with us a few days before our trip, they did a great jobof watching over our house and our pets, and they even emailed usevery day to let us know everything was ok! The amazing thing is that we didn't have to spend a penny to have these great people take care of things!"