Published by M'sitting on : 06/10/2019
House sitters: tips for choosing the right holiday destination
When you consult the offers of the owners do not rush to select your stay.
Take the time to read the whole description of the advertisement. An offer that seems interesting at first glance will not necessarily correspond to you.
If you are afraid of hot weather, choosing a destination where the temperature is high is not a wise choice.
If you have to walk a dog, maintain a garden or if the house doesn't have air conditioning, you could suffer.
Conversely, if you're afraid of the cold, don't keep a dog in Canada in the middle of winter.
Choosing a destination with high humidity can be a concern if you have breathing problems.
For foreign countries, please check the usual climate corresponding to the time of the year when you wish to go house sitting.
Take all these characteristics into consideration so that you do not regret your choice.
Apartment or house?
If an owner offers accommodation in an apartment :
Remember to check which floor it is on and whether there is an elevator or not. If you have recently had knee surgery you may not be able to walk up 4 floors, especially if you have a dog to take out, you will have to do it several times a day.
If you like to have your meals outdoors, prefer an apartment with a terrace or balcony.
Ask the landlord if the neighbours are quiet or noisy because you may not be able to tolerate children running and screaming in the neighbouring apartments, especially if it is an old building with poor soundproofing.
Please also ask about parking spaces. Is there a private car park, a garage or is it necessary to park on the street with the risk of having difficulty to find a place or having the vehicle vandalized.
The apartment is the ideal solution if you don't like everything concerning the maintenance of the outside such as garden, lawn...
If an owner offers accommodation in a house :
If you are of a certain age, avoid choosing a house that is too big with a large exterior to maintain, as this could quickly become a chore for you.
If the duration of the stay is only one week, it is still possible, but if the owners have planned to be away for several weeks or even months, you will be responsible for the maintenance.
If the house has a large surface area, cleaning can be tedious and take too much time at the expense of your leisure activities.
Over a long period of time, the lawn will grow, so it will need to be mowed regularly.
If your choice is to guard a house during the summer period, you will have the chance to enjoy the outdoor life, meals on the terrace, barbecues, swimming pool if there is one, deckchair...
Most of the time you won't have any parking problems because in the house there is often a garage or a parking space for your car.
If there are one or more dogs in the house, most of the time they stay in the yard and it is not necessarily necessary to take them out to relieve themselves. Nevertheless, they may be used to go for walks.
If you live in an apartment you might want to live in a house for a while and enjoy the benefits.
On the other hand, if you live in a house, you might be tempted to try a stay in an apartment.
In all cases, choose the type of accommodation that is best suited to you, taking into account certain parameters such as your age, abilities, tastes and needs. This will facilitate your adaptation and the well being of your stay.
Making the right choice is very important, especially if you are committing for a relatively long period of time.
If you want to take advantage of your stay to visit museums, exhibitions, concerts, theatre, shopping in department stores, it is obvious that you must choose an owner who offers a stay in a city.
You could go to Rio de Janeiro for the carnival, to Paris to visit its monuments and famous districts, to Strasbourg for its Christmas markets, to discover New York, to Lisbon to see the Belem Tower, to Rome to see the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, in Barcelona visit the Sagrada Familia, in Saint Petersburg see the Winter Palace, the Hermitage Museum, the Saint-Sauveur Cathedral, in Lyon see the district of the trompe l'oeil painted walls and many other destinations that you dream of discovering.
In the city you will also have the opportunity to go out in the evening, to go to restaurants, to the cinema, to eat at the terrace of cafés.
If you don't have a means of transport on site, the metro, buses, bicycles for hire will be very useful for your travels.
In the city all the shops necessary for daily life are within easy reach such as food shops, doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, veterinarians, hairdressers, beauty centres, sports and cultural facilities...
If you appreciate peace, quiet, fresh air and space, a stay in the countryside will be more appropriate for you.
If you yourself live in the city, this may be an opportunity for you to radically change your daily life by forgetting the stress generated by city life.
The stay in the countryside will be for you the opportunity to make beautiful walks in the nature, in forest or in the surrounding paths, to make picnics, fishing days with lunch at the water's edge.
Depending on the season you can pick blackberries, lily of the valley, wild flowers, pick mushrooms...
On the other hand, it can happen that some owners who live in the country have animals other than those we are used to having in the city.
They can be horses, ponies, donkeys, backyard animals.
We must take all this into account and make sure that we have all the necessary skills to provide daily care for all these animals.
If you are a winter sports enthusiast, the ideal would be for you to choose an owner who lives in the mountains close to a ski resort.
You'll make huge savings on accommodation costs which are relatively expensive at these times of the year.
Your budget will therefore be larger for ski passes, ski hire, to enjoy good raclettes in the restaurant, to warm yourself up with a mulled wine on the terrace, to go shopping...
This will allow you to make the most of all the joys of snow and holidays without restricting yourself.
You can also appreciate the mountain in spring or summer for its calm, its pure air, to admire its landscapes.
If you are sporty, you can take your backpack and go hiking or mountain biking, particularly pleasant on the mountain paths.
You can also go climbing, hang gliding, paragliding, canyoning, summer tobogganing...
Depending on the season, you can attend summer transhumance or winter transhumance. This seasonal movement of herds will be for you the opportunity to participate in these festivals anchored in traditions and whose success is not denied over the years.
There are two types of stays at the seaside: stays focused on idleness and stays focused on activities.
Stays focused on idleness:
If you are depressed by the dreariness and cold of winter, you can choose a warm country as a destination that will be the best solution for :
bathing in temperate water
sunbathing on sandy beaches
enjoy all the pleasures of the seaside
go diving to admire the underwater fauna and flora
enjoy fresh fish dishes
If you live in France and you are not interested in far away destinations, it is preferable to leave during the summer period in the south or in the hot regions of the bordering countries.
You will be able to enjoy swimming, lazing on the beach, beach games, and the pleasures of the seaside.
Wherever you live, if you don't want to go too far away, choose an owner to do house sitting in the region or country closest to you where the sea and the heat are at the rendezvous.
Stays focused on activities:
In general, activity stays are in areas where the water temperature is cooler. As swimming attracts fewer people, holidaymakers are more inclined to take up other activities.
If there are tides, at low tide or in shallow water you will have the joy of fishing on foot. You will be able to capture by hand or with tools crustaceans, cephalopods, shells in the sand or in the crevices between the rocks.
You'll be able to angling.
Hiking or biking.
Visit all the surroundings of the house you will be keeping.
If you do house sitting at certain times of the year, you may be able to enjoy the spectacle of the high tides.
You must remember that you should not contact just any owner for any destination. Do not rush and study the ad point by point.
Examples of errors to avoid :
- Keeping a dream home can be complicated for you:
If it is located in a region, a country whose climate does not suit you.
If you don't like the environment.
In this case, it is better to choose a more modest home that will better suit your tastes. Your stay will be much more pleasant
- Choose a stay in a very beautiful apartment but with the big flaw of not having an elevator
- Choose a destination that you would like but the owners have pets that you are not used to and do not have the necessary skills to take care of them
- Choose owners who do not speak the same language as you. This will be very complicated when exchanging messages. (There are, however, instant voice translation devices available). These few examples will surely help you to make the best possible choice so that your stay will go as smoothly as possible and that you will want to repeat the experience