Travel on a dime - House Sit!!

Well, we just finished our first experience house sitting and it was wonderful. At this point in my life, I can't help but say, "What took me so long to try this?!"

Let's consider the facts ...

Staying at an average/fair hotel with a swimming pool with breakfast averages about $95 a night. We house sat for about 20 days (cost us nothing) and here's how this worked out as savings for us ...

HOTEL (approx cost)
20 days at $95 a day = $1,900

HOUSE SITTING (approx cost)
20 days at $0 a day = FREE

But, instead of staying in some cookie cutter hotel, we stayed in in a beautiful home in Florida's countryside. No neighbors in sight, a private swimming pool, lovely comfortable home that was fully equipped for our kids. We sat for a family who had a young child as well so it was exceptionally comfortable for our little ones. An even more awesome perk -- they had a Montessori kid too (like minded mommas connect one way or another,  I suppose!!)

What did we do during out house sit? Well, simply care for their house and the animals who live there. They had 3 cats (two loved us and one was more shy). They also had a lovely fish pond that required feeding (a perfect place to enjoy a drink and hang out!) and they had CHICKENS! That meant FRESH EGGS EVERY DAY!!!!! 

I didn't have any chicken experience but the owners gave us the rundown when we got there. It was such an adventure getting to feed the chickens and collect the eggs. I think it was also an amazing experience for our daughter to learn about caring for animals we only knew about in books and movies.

To make it even sweeter, we didn't even have to hop on an airplane for this house sit. We drove a few hours from home and made our way to our retreat in the country. Not too shabby! (Okay, if our youngest daughter liked the car, it would have been a more pleasant drive .,, but it was manageable nonetheless.

Anyway, if you are looking to travel on a dime, consider TrustedHouseSitters (here's a code to use so you get a discount via referral). I also know that you can currently get additional cash back if you go through Ebates and then TrustedHouseSitters. I paid $90 (I think) for a year membership and it already paid for itself.

The trip was absolutely fantastic. Here are a few photos of our stay ...

My daughter helping feed the fish and chickens - every day.
Teaching her responsibility and fostering a love of animals. 

We visited a horse rescue farm - a sanctuary where horses who were abused, neglected or abandond end up -- if they are lucky enough. this place is beautiful. Cost of entry is only a couple of carrots. We loved it so much that we went back twice! 

My daughter petting one of the baby chicks we cared for. 

This was such a treat! We live by the ocean and hadn't visited Springs before. Who knew Florida had such beautiful water inland? Honestly, I saw some pics on instagram here and there but had never realized how nice they were for swimming. 

Having daily fresh eggs was amazing. I also hadn't realized how much variety is found in backyard chick's eggs. Some were large, some were small and some were lighter in color and some were dark. 

House sitting is easy if you love pets. This cat loved sitting on my legs while I drank my morning coffee. 

Two things here ... (1) they brilliantly used a painted magnetic wall for their spices. I reorganized them to spell the word LOVE. (2) The jar in front was a sauce I made from their fresh veggies -- it was fresh and delicious!!! 

More pics from the horse farm, more from walking in nature, one of the pool and more of the awesome daily eggs we got from the chickens. 

I absolutely feel fortunate for this experience and look forward to our next house sitting adventure. If you are responsible, love animals, know how to treat people's things and property with respect ... I definitely recommend house sitting. It's a truly cheap way to explore the world (or even your own home state!). Plus, who wants to waste money on a hotel when you can live comfortably in a house? Perhaps pay for an airplane ticket or rental car but completely cut the cost of hotel lodging.

I do know that some people are particular about welcoming families - and I understand their trepidation because not everyone likes kids (I'm cool with that. I get it). But there are plenty of families who will welcome families to sit for them while they are traveling. The family we sat for was completely like-minded. If they lived closer, our family would certainly spend more time with them. We lucked out for sure!!

Anyway, just had to share the news in our world. I do that if you give house sitting a try, you end up loving it as much as we do!

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