12 Benefits of House Sitting Abroad with Workaway

A quick online search for “house sitting abroad” reveals dozens and dozens of websites, so how do you know who to sign up with? In this guide we’ve covered 12 benefits of house sitting abroad with Workaway to showcase why we’re the perfect platform to find your home away from home all over the world.

solo traveller workawaying as house sitter with swimming pool and dog

What is House Sitting?

Before we dive into the benefits of house sitting abroad, you’re maybe wondering what house sitting actually involves. When you volunteer with Workaway you stay with a host who provides accommodation and meals in exchange for your time and skills. With house sitting however, there is no host. 

Instead, you look after their home - and usually pets - while they are out of town. Similar to volunteering, it offers an authentic way to experience life as a local abroad. It also offers the opportunity to travel for free in a new destination. Win, win! 

There are many reasons to try house sitting abroad. Some would say it is the ultimate travel hack for budget-savvy globetrotters (like you!) Say adios to expensive hotels or crowded hostels, and hello to free accommodations in dreamy destinations. Unleash your inner adventurer, cuddle with adorable furry friends, and find your haven - for less than the price of a night in a hostel! 

Thanks to these 12 benefits, you’ll discover why house sitting is the ultimate game-changer for the budget conscious and simply curious. So let’s dive into why it can help you travel slower and more responsibly and most importantly, offer a cultural insight like no other!

female housesitting solo traveller looking out of a window while surrounded by houseplants

12 Benefits of House Sitting Abroad with Workaway

1. Live like a local

While some house sitting sites like to focus on the free digs only, here at Workaway, cultural exchange is at the heart of what we do. While it’s different from volunteering, house sitting abroad still gives you a taste of the local lifestyle. 

Why stay in impersonal hotels or noisy hostels when you could be in a cosy home, exploring hidden gems, and becoming part of the community. If you crave an experience off the beaten track then house sitting is ideal. Still undecided? Check out our guide to house sitting vs volunteering to help you decide your next adventure! 
solo woman workawayer walking cattle in the mountains

2. Save those precious pennies

While there are many ways Workaway can save you money, house sitting is the ultimate budget traveller's dream. Forget about spending a fortune on accommodation. With house sitting, you get to stay in incredible homes for free, keeping your adventure funds intact for more travels. 

drone picture of group house sitting and waving

3. All about the animals

House sitting usually involves looking after pets. This means it's the perfect gig for animal lovers. From playful puppies to cute cats, these cuddly companions will keep you entertained and feeling part of the family, even when you’re miles from home. 

For years I battled with my love of dogs and my love of travel. With house sitting, it’s the perfect solution. You can make fluffy friends all over the world, without the commitment of (or restriction) of having your own pet. Although did you know we also welcome Workawayers travelling with pets?

man house sitting and playing with cats

4. Try before you buy

Talking of commitments, buying a house is probably up there with one of the biggest. House sitting abroad is the perfect way to “test” out a lifestyle or destination before the commitment of moving there.

I found it’s also a great way of testing your travel buddy too. While my partner and I had travelled together extensively, we’d never actually lived together, just us, until house sitting. It allowed us to test if we were ready to settle down without the commitment of signing a lease or saving for a deposit. 

If you want to experience running a home (with someone or solo) before investing in your own, or setting up life in a new country, then housesitting is a great place to start. You will be able to cook, clean, keep a home safe, water plants and look after pets as if it was your own place. All while safe in the knowledge it isn’t permanent. You can hand those keys back and move on to your next adventure.

woman swimming in pool housesitting enjoying mountain views

5. Skip the tourist traps

For those who crave those off-the-beaten-path adventures and detest the crowded tourist spots, house sitting with Workaway is for you! It allows you to explore lesser-known areas, secret beaches, and charming local hangouts that only the insiders know about.

You can shop in the local markets, enjoy beers in the village pub and join local community events and celebrations. No queues, no overpriced tours, no filter. Simply authentic, culturally rich experiences. 

solo woman walking through market in Marrakesh

6. Make lifelong connections

While your host may not be present, that doesn’t mean you won’t make friends and connections. Many hosts and house sitters become lifelong friends and even get invited back year after year. 

It’s also easier to make friends with your neighbours, local shop owners or in the community in general when you’re staying for a while and not a tourist there for a night or two.

woman travellers sitting in backyard surrounded by house plants

7. Work and play

Do you dream of the digital nomad lifestyle but struggle working from a coffee shop or finding peace and quiet in a hostel? House sitting is the perfect solution.

 Although some of our hosts accept those who also work remotely (use the filter “digital nomad friendly.” when searching for opportunities) most hosts are usually looking for people to socialise and explore in their free time, not work.

With house sitting on the other hand, there is a little more freedom and flexibility. Once your tasks for the day are ticked off, you can embrace the tranquillity of your host's home, with no distractions to get your work done.  It’s far cheaper than finding co-working spaces and you usually have furry friends for company - the dream office set up! 

remote working with mountain view

8. Go alow, stay awhile

As a leading community for conscious travellers, we want to encourage slow and responsible travel. House sitting enables you to slow down, immerse yourself in the destination, and truly experience the rhythm of local life

With longer stays, you can go beyond the typical tourist itinerary and truly understand why the locals are proud to call it home. Better yet, with the opportunity to stay longer you have more time to make an impact, forge stronger connections and ultimately find somewhere to call a home away from home.  

solo woman practicing yoga in nature backyard

9. Perfect for the planners among us

Just because you enjoy travelling, doesn’t mean you enjoy being spontaneous. Some of us love logistics. We need plans, itineraries and locked-in dates to make the dream a reality. Sounds like you? Then listen up.

With house sitting, you generally need to work around the homeowners dates as this is when the property is empty. The dates are usually organised well in advance with limited wiggle room as they’re relying on you to care for their home and pets when they’re not there. 

Volunteering is usually the other way round - you let your host know when you’re in the area, they let you know if they can accommodate. Best of all, with Workaway all hosts have a colour coded calendar on their profile so you can check at a quick glance if your dates match up.

With housesitting you are also then also in charge of your routine, meal times and tasks. Your host will let you know what needs done, but won’t be on hand as easily for support. This means you have the freedom to plan your day, free time and exploring however you wish. 

solo woman on balcony journaling in vietnam and looking at mountains

10. Home sweet home, anywhere

Some of us simply need warm showers and Wifi. Or a room to ourselves and not 6 bunk beds. With house sitting, you can enjoy home comforts but in faraway lands. This means a sense of belonging and that feeling of coming home at the end of the day which is always a blessing. 

solo woman working remotely in nature

11. Best of both worlds for one fee

Thanks to the rising popularity of the sharing economy, there are house sitting sites popping up all over. When I first tried housesitting, I used one of these sites but realised the annual membership fee was double the cost of the Workaway membership fee. Not to mention, I only had access to house sitting opportunities - not volunteering.

With Workaway, you have the best of both worlds. For a small annual fee, you have access to 50,0000 opportunities in 170 countries. You are not restricted to only house sitting, but other opportunities too.

Head to “find a host section” for volunteering opportunities or, filter the “host type” to specifically housesitting to browse hundreds of house sitting opportunities around the world.

With a Workaway membershipthere is no limit on the number of trips, hosts, or projects you’re involved with. You can do both housesitting and volunteering to maximise your skills, experience and travel funds.

men practicing photography in backyard

12. Be a part of something bigger

Finally, one of the main benefits I’ve found from house sitting abroad is that I feel I’m genuinely part of something. By house sitting, you're not just enjoying the perks of free accommodation; you're also helping homeowners travel with peace of mind, knowing that their beloved home and cherished pets are in good hands. It's a win-win situation that showcases the kindness of humans and trust within our travel community. Which is what we’re all about here at Workaway!

solo woman and dog playing in pool housesitting
Embarking on a house-sitting adventure abroad is like unlocking a treasure chest full of unforgettable experiences. It's a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, make lifelong friendships with adorable pets (and people!) all while creating cherished memories.

So why not seize the opportunity to live like a local, and become a temporary guardian of extraordinary homes? Whether you dream of strolling through cobblestone streets in Europe, or lounging on tropical beaches, who knows where you’ll next call home. 


About Lauren

Growing up in a small coastal village in Scotland inspired Lauren to seek adventure and challenge the norm. Armed with just her backpack and trusty travel companion Darren, she quit her day job to liv... show more...

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