There’s four main types of house sitting jobs in the UK that might be suitable for you, depending on whether you want to travel, stay locally and take care of animals or not.
House sitting jobs UK
No matter where you live in the UK, there are house sits nearby. We were based in London when we first decided to sign up to TrustedHousesitters, with a view to using the service for long-term travel. The site makes use of reviews, which help home and pet owners make a decision on who sits for them.
Being new users, we applied for local house sits in London. This gave us experience and the chance to build our reviews.
Plus, sitting locally offers a change of scenery and makes it possible to explore new neighbourhoods. Win/win!
If you’re on TrustedHousesitters, you can set up an alert with your availability and preferred location, and apply as new sits are published. Often home owners prefer someone who lives locally, believing them to be more reliable than someone who may be travelling through.
There’s plenty of short term house and pet sitting opportunities available in the UK. This is especially true if you’re around during key holiday times, like Easter, summer (August/September) and Christmas. By short term, we mean about two weeks.
Applying for a short term house sit in the UK means you can take a trip to a different part of the country and not have to worry about accommodation. This is a cost-effective way to travel.
Keep an eye out for daily alerts from TrustedHousesitters and apply for dates and locations that appeal to you as soon as you spot them.
Tip: if a sit already has over ten applicants, feel free to put your hand up for it. But, why not take it as a sign and apply for somewhere else instead? Go with the flow and be open to new experiences and destinations.
We consider long term to be over two weeks. There are house and pet sits in the UK (and beyond, of course – house sitting Ireland is on our itinerary) that range anywhere from two weeks to a month, two months and even six months. Over the next few months, Cooper and I plan to ‘slow travel’ and explore the digital nomad lifestyle. We want to take our time in destinations. With that in mind, we specifically applied for longer term sits.
For us, long term sits are an excellent opportunity to ‘live’ somewhere new, and we can get into a routine for working and setting up our digital business. It’s also more cost-effective for us to stay in one place for two to four weeks.
There’s a wide range of sits in the UK, from country to city house sits, some that require a car, and others where you’re fine to walk everywhere (our preference). Our first long stay UK sit was in Northampton, which was ideal for our needs.
Before you commit to a long term sit, make sure you’re comfortable that all the facilities at the sit fit your needs, along with transport being appropriate for you, and that you have supermarkets or other preferred amenities around. You should also be certain that you will happily stay there for that long. Outside of an actual family emergency like a death in the family, you should never back out of a sit you’ve committed to because that majorly upsets the plans of the people you’ve agreed to sit for.
With animals or without
The best part of TrustedHousesitters for us is the opportunity to travel and take care of dogs. We LOVE dogs and are happy to spend all our time with our little charges, ensuring they’re as happy with us as they are with their own family.
If you’re using TrustedHousesitters, or any similar sites, you can filter searches by animal, to look for cat sits, horse sits, reptile sits… the list is endless. You can also opt to sit without any animals.
Only ever commit to a sit that you have experience for or that you’re willing to give a loving go to, especially if animals are involved.
Our experience so far has been that anyone using a service like TrustedHousesitters has the same attitude as us: they’re loving animal people, kind and open to meeting new friends from all walks of life.
Hopefully this has inspired you to get out and travel, whether it’s in your own backyard, or further afield. Comments and questions always appreciated – drop us a line below.
Cooper and I have signed up to TrustedHousesitters – click the link if you’d like to know more or join the service too.
Working, travelling, and staying fit: how to manage wellbeing for self employed? It is possible, but you need to be mindful about it.
For digital nomads with wanderlust in their veins, health sometimes takes the backseat as we try to wrangle our lifestyle and stay on top of career goals. There’s constant challenges – where to stay and work, and how to make money!
Wellbeing for self employed: the simple trick
Being exposed to different climates and environments can take its toll if we aren’t careful. Wellbeing for self employed and digital nomads means keeping fit. But, this can be hard because we usually don’t stick to one place long enough to invest in a gym membership.
What can we do if we want a toned, healthy body that we’re proud of?
It’s simple, we can walk.
Walking burns a ton of calories
According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, we need least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. If you break this up into small chunks, it means you can exercise for 30 minutes five times a week and get the full benefits. But you need moderate to high-intensity kind of aerobics to pull it off.
Walking offers just the kind of cardio you need — easy to do, and even easier to modify depending on your time and level of physical fitness. If you keep a leisurely pace, you can burn around 70 calories per mile. The more you increase your speed, the more you can burn. If you walk at a brisk pace, you can burn anywhere from 300-400 calories an hour.
Here’s a calculator that can help you count the calories. If you want more accurate results, you can always use a pedometer or a Fitbit bracelet that will measure everything.
If you’re quite out of shape right now, walking is a great idea because it allows you to start things at your own pace. You can then slowly increase intensity as you grow stronger and get more stamina. You might even be forced into walking as you globe-trot if you choose a style of travel like house and pet sitting.
Walking has a lot of health benefits
Walking doesn’t just burn calories, it also speeds up your metabolism. Even your passive metabolic rate can rise. This means that when you’re resting, you’re still using more energy than before, and your body starts melting fat quicker.
Hiking destinations are perfect for digital nomads
Want a surefire way to make yourself stick to an exercise regimen and finally get in shape? Take a hiking trip.
For a digital nomad, this can be a great experience that provides the perfect opportunity to blog about something extremely interesting. It also means you’re taking a big step for your health and you won’t be making any more excuses.
There are plenty of options to choose from, like the short and fun Inca Trail, to the memorable Camino de Santiago that can take up to a month to finish. The Camino is renowned for being a deeply transformative experience that lets you experience Spain the way you never have before. It’s very good for people who plan to work the entire time because you’ll generally have internet access for most of the hike.
If you really aren’t a fan of hiking, city breaks are the next best alternative. Sightseeing often means you have to cover a lot of ground on foot. Since you are too busy looking at said sights, you will not even notice how many miles you are covering.
If the main reason you’re not in good shape is that you find the whole idea of exercise kind of dull, then walking is a great choice for you.
It’s easy to multitask as you stroll. Put headphones on and listen to your favourite soundtrack, audiobook, or podcast, or take your camera with you and get some work done for your blog. You can take some stunning photos while you explore the city you’re currently in.
This option is perfect for a digital nomad or the self-employed who need unique and interesting ways to capture a journey, whether it’s in your backyard or further afield.
If your life is too hectic, organising a specific time when you can go and take a walk each day can help immensely. If you want, you can use a walking exercise as a rest from work. Determine a schedule that lets you work a few hours non-stop, but then take a half an hour hike to clear your head, get your focus back, and get inspired again.
Enjoy the ease of walking! This simple aerobic exercise can help you get in shape, and if you’re a digital nomad who craves to be inspired, it also offers you the opportunity to further indulge your wanderlust by exploring every destination on foot.
About the author:
Rebecca Brown is a translator by day, and a traveller mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft.
As I write, I’m house sitting in London. I’m in the loveliest of places we could never afford in the north of the city. A few minutes up the road is Alexandra Palace!
I’m gazing upon the prettiest of gardens that you’d not imagine to be in central London. Rain is coming down hard outside, and all is quiet. Well, except for Alexa pumping out choice House tunes, perfect for a Friday after lunch.
There’s a sleeping dog next to me. His name is Blue, and he’s a short-haired lurcher. Blue’s family are on the other side of the country for a special wedding, and chose us for their London house and dog sit this weekend.
House sitting London: how did we get here?
Let’s rewind to the beginning of the year for a bit of context. Cooper and I decided to pursue a different direction which you’ll be reading a lot about from August 2019. Some hints were given on the blog when we started posting about digital nomad tips and tricks.
In fact, we are taking off on an epic nomad, dog-loving adventure – house and pet sitting across the UK and Europe while we work on this blog and other freelance projects.
We joined TrustedHousesitters, which requires its users to have reviews based on things like reliability and trustworthiness. (We’ll share more about these house sitting services in future posts.)
In order to increase our reviews before we travel long-term, we chose to apply for house sitting London gigs.
House sitting in London (that is, locally to where we live), meant we could:
improve our rating on the house sitting service for London and beyond, and increase our chances of being chosen for sits
gain more house sitting experience that we can take on the road
spend time with dogs (most importantly!) 💛
In March our house sitting London journey began. I meant to write more about it because it’s not so much the places we stay that’s appealing, but the dogs we meet. Time has escaped me up until now. Still, better late than never 🐕
Dog sitting: the best part about house sitting!
We chose to embark upon this new style of travel, starting with our house sitting London experience, because it is certainly a cost-effective way of securing accommodation.
But the bonus for us – if not the driving motivator – is the fact we get to spend time with dogs 💕 I say to people that we’re turning from ‘crazy dog people’ into ‘craziER dog people’. We’re totally going to own it.
For dog-lovers, this lifestyle is the ultimate, especially if you’re not in a position to have a dog yourself, and you’re keen to travel as we are.
House and dog sitting has given us the chance to experience different types of dogs and their personalities.
For the love of dogs
Our first dog sit
Our ‘first’ were Polly and Darcy, two cheeky Westies. Darcy is an old soul and a gentleman of 11 years young. Polly is two years old, and the ring-leader in all things barking and chasing. Gosh we loved them. We’re heading back for a second sit for these little pooches soon which is pawesome.
This pair have such funny characteristics – one being the race out to the backyard every couple of hours to ‘check for a fox’ (that was there once). Polly will rouse Darcy from slumber to pursue this task, and next thing their little paws are racing along the wooden floor boards and the dance at the back door begins until Cooper or I let them outside.
They were great off the lead at the parklands up the road, and showed me that most dogs are happy to come back even if they’re not yours!
During TV time, we were surprised to learn the lengths of their affection, as Darcy jumped up onto the sofa and then up again onto the back of it, to sit leaning into our shoulders. Polly would make herself comfortable between Cooper and I on the couch. One big happy (temporary) family. 😂
But then came George and Milly. Yes, we fell in love with these two as well, but for different reasons. George is an old soul who certainly still loves adventures but his back legs have had enough and so Cooper learnt to walk George on a harness. We’d take he and his younger adopted mate, Milly, over to beautiful Hampstead Heath for a walk around the path that they’re familiar with. People would stop to make way for George, and the dog-lovers would give us a smile as if to say, ‘how lovely, bless his little cottons socks’.
Milly had a tough time when she was a baby, being mistreated by her original owners. Don’t get us started. She won the lottery with the mums she ended up with though, two inspiring women who it was an absolute privilege to meet!
This sit helped us grow as dog carers. When Milly and George’s parents left for their travels, there was an hour or two where we needed to get acquainted. Usually we’d take a dog on a walk to help them settle with us as new humans in their space. I was on my own for the first few hours of this sit and couldn’t walk George. It was Milly, George and me, sussing each other out. Milly seemed a little anxious without her mums, and I was a bit anxious worrying that the dogs seemed worried.
Cooper arrived though, we went on an adventure to the park, had some food and everyone settled. By the end of this weekend sit, we got an understanding of George’s barks and sounds telling us what he wanted. Milly would demand to be massaged on her head by pawing our legs and insisting we ‘continue’. How amazing to communicate with dogs like this.
Anxiety, walks and weather
Now I’m with Blue, waiting for Cooper to get in from his day at work. Blue was super happy to welcome me into his home. However, about an hour into the sit, he disappeared. I thought I’d lost him! He was hiding in the laundry room in the dark.
Fortunately I figured out it wasn’t due to me, but rather, his mum had said he is fearful of storms. There was one overhead, so we waited it out together. Blue isn’t fond of rain, or the heat, but I discovered Blue likes hugs and treats, which will do us until things are better outside and we can find adventure together.
He also likes sleeping. And he’s been doing just that while I write this piece.
Five dogs in, and I’m in love with each one – all with their different sizes, quirks, personalities, sounds, interests, affectionate traits and backgrounds.
House sitting – what’s next?
In mid-August we’re heading off on our own adventure, and we’re going to share it with you here! We’ve been asked by so many people how we got into house sitting – it seems like something you’d only see in a movie. We’re going to test it out though, and share everything with you, so you can do it too.
This lifestyle is ideal for us right now because we:
Want to travel and see new places and don’t really mind where we end up
Intend to work on our digital business so we just need to be somewhere there’s good WiFi
Enjoy meeting new people, learning new stories and cultures, and this seems like a perfect opportunity to do all that!
We hope you’ll join us for more stories as the months go by. If you’re interested to find out more about how to travel the world house-sitting, drop us a line in the comments.
As mentioned, Cooper and I have signed up to TrustedHousesitters – click the link if you’d like to know more or join the service too!
The lifestyle of working nomads seems enviable, especially if you answer ‘yes’ to these questions:
Do you have a good job, but being stuck in the same office space every day makes you feel suffocated?
Are you keen to see the world without worrying about how many vacation days you have left?
In this case, have you thought seriously about how to join other working nomads, travelling and making money? ‘Digital nomad’ is probably the most recognised term for this, and it’s not so far out of your reach!
This way of living not only gives you the chance to travel a lot, but saves the money, time and hassle of regular work commutes, not to mention the stress of office politics. Working nomads enjoy the flexibility of location independence.
Is it the dream we think it may be though?
There are some things you have to think of before you make such a decision. If you are not sure about it, continue reading this article and find out a few secrets of working nomads.
How do working nomads survive?
You probably already know that digital nomads survive thanks to technology and the internet. The online world offers a great number of freelance jobs and opportunities, and all you need is to be proficient in a skill that allows you to work completely remotely.
If you’re an engineer in construction for example, you might consider changing your career and becoming a web designer, or even a blogger if you feel you’re a creative person. But of course, these are just two of the options available out there.
You don’t necessarily need to become a freelancer, because there are more and more companies that offer remote jobs. All you need to do is begin searching and apply for the ones that are suitable.
After this, you need a laptop, a handle on time management and you’re on your way.
Choosing where to work from as a digital nomad
All people who dream about becoming digital nomads wonder if they can make money while they travel. Yes, of course, you can. And there are so many people who are doing it right now. However, it depends on where you travel and on your abilities to plan your budget, find affordable accommodation, and search for cheap plane tickets.
For instance, if you travel and live in places like Indonesia, Chiang Mai, or Bali, you will end up paying less on rent, transportation and groceries because these places are less expensive than in many European countries.
Or, you can choose to house and pet sit and secure free accommodation in return for taking good care of someone else’s place and beloved animal friends.
This doesn’t mean you can’t find other good deals in Europe. If you don’t want to live too far from your home country, you can always choose smaller cities and even villages that are cheaper than the busy European capitals.
Some of our favourite working nomads hot spots include Lisbon and Amsterdam. Click the links for a taste of these excellent cities.
Examples for consideration
Let’s say you want to live in Scotland and explore its beauty for a while. Edinburgh and Glasgow are amazing cities, but you might want to settle in a smaller, less touristy place where prices are friendlier. This way, you can you live well and have enough money to travel around. You don’t want to stay in such a beautiful place without learning about its history and seeing its natural wonders, especially since Scotland is full of beautiful hiking paths that blow every visitor’s mind.
The Ayrshire Coastal Path, declared one of Scotland’s Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage is a great place to get closer to the country, see its beauty, and learn about its past.
If you’re looking to settle and work for a while in a more remote place, you should check which of the villages and accommodations surrounding the area offer a great internet connection. Internet and appropriate technology are the first thing to worry about when you are a digital nomad looking for a place to work on the road.
Scotland is just an example. Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and other European countries are great places for digital nomads, as long as you avoid the bigger, more expensive cities or find economical ways to live and stay for a while.
Does the life of a working nomad get lonely?
The truth is that sometimes digital nomads get lonely, especially if you’re travelling solo. But you’re never lonely for long. There are so many people who work while travelling that making new buddies is never difficult.
Yes, sometimes you will have to work instead of exploring the surroundings with your new friends. But this is something normal, isn’t it?
Also, to avoid loneliness, you can always join some of the many Facebook groupsdedicated to digital nomads, make an account on Meetup, as well as try to do your job from coffee shops or even coworking spaces. Europe is full of such places where you can rent your desk, work, and mingle with other people just like you. Do keep in mind that these specially created places are not free of charge.
Now you know some of the secrets of digital nomad life. Before deciding to quit your job, make sure you have the right skills for a remote job and try to get in touch with as many digital nomads as possible to find out different stories from different places. It is an important change, after all.
We’d love to hear from you in the comments – are you a digital nomad or would you like to be? Do you have recommendations on the best places to be a working nomad? Or any questions, let us know…
About the author:
Rebecca Brown is a translator by day, and a traveller mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft.
Daniel Brown shares five of his best tips for the adventurous lone traveller. If you’re heading off on a solo journey soon, read on. Here we cover trip planning, keeping your important documents and valuables safe, battery power and tech, dining solo and more…
Even though the trend of solo travelling is becoming more popular, it is agreeable that venturing alone without a companion is daunting. Luckily, there are clever tricks anyone yearning to be a lone traveller can make use of to feel more comfortable along the way.
I believe everyone can benefit from trying on the ‘lone traveller’ hat at some point in life.
Many swear that travelling solo can be likened to experiencing religious enlightenment!
Not only are you able to fully rely on your own judgements and ideas, but as a lone traveller, you can do whatever you please all throughout your journey.
A pretty liberating thought!
Of course, with all the freedoms of being a lone traveller, come the drawbacks. Some of these, concern safety and overall wellbeing.
To make things easier, following are my practical tips which will empower you to book your solo trip.
You might also enjoy our feature in Get it Magazine on how to choose your own solo adventure, including interviews with two of our fave bloggers. Read it here
The very first tip after you have decided to venture out solo, is to remember to take some time and extra effort to plan the whole trip as thoroughly as possible.
Spontaneous travel is great, but when a co-pilot is not there to help you out, you will want to have a plan to fall back on.
Make a list of all the must-have items you cannot travel without. But remember, you’ll need to pack light. Heavy bags and luggage will slow you down, and it may be uncomfortable to carry extra through a crowded airport or bus station.
Next, double check the bookings, such as the taxi, the means of transportation and accommodation.
Something I was taught is to try and memorise maps as accurately as possible. It’s helpful so you don’t have to be reading a map in public (potentially looking lost), or if Google Maps fails, as sometimes it does.
Plan, book, and get ready for the time of your life. You inevitably make friends, whether you’re heading off on long term travel, a wellbeing retreat or city tours.
Make copies of your documents
The most important thing you should bring with you when travelling is a case which contains all your personal documents. These will include your passport and photo ID. It is certain that there is nothing as stressful as getting your documents lost or stolen.
To make sure that your most important documents are safe and easily accessible, it is recommended to scan them before leaving home. The best way to do this is to make copies and store them online, for example, in Dropbox. Make sure your connections are safe though. In another article we talk about using a VPN to make sure your privacy is protected when travelling, surfing the web and accessing personal files.
If you know where document back-ups are, you can rest assured that in the worst-case, there is a quick solution to save the day.
It’s important to invest in quality equipment to keep you connected and safe on your journey. Don’t forget local power adaptors for the places your’e visiting, a portable WiFi hub can be helpful, and back-up battery power is essential.
A new favourite of ours is the slim and sleek Zippo HeatBank that doubles as a hand warmer in cold weather. Pretty neat, and lasts for ages (choose three or six hour packs).
Keep your valuables safe
Another common fear when travelling alone is getting your belongings stolen. No one can fully relax and enjoy time swimming, for example, without letting go of the fear that a stranger will slip away with your personal possessions.
You could carry with you quality waterproof containers that can go into water. These double as food containers when you’re travelling and saving on buying out all the time. Alternatively, you can leave your money and valuables in the hotel room, but use a safety deposit box if possible.
With hotels, it is important to take extra precautions. It is not uncommon for things to be lost even when they are in the drawers, seemingly safe. A smart tip to ward off thieves from your room is to hang up a “do not disturb” sign after leaving your room.
Also, by leaving the television turned on, anyone is able to trick potential thieves into thinking that you have not left in the first place.
The best bet to keep your money and fancy jewellery safe is to only carry enough money with you for food, taxi, accommodation and tours. Leave all the luxurious bling-bling behind.
As a matter of fact, it is best to not put on fancy necklaces, rings and earrings. Don’t attract unnecessary attention – better safe than sorry.
Do not be afraid of solo dining
Many people are anxious to dine alone. It’s common to feel like sitting solo in a restaurant makes you seem desperate or ‘sad’. But, it’s not uncommon to witness people sitting by themselves, enjoying a coffee or a meal and reading a book.
We’ve previously talked about great attributes coworking cafes have. As freelancers and digital nomads ourselves, we’re always on the lookout for coworking cafes that offer key ingredients we need for a productive day away from the home office.
The best coworking cafes we frequent all look great and offer a nice, comfortable space to work in, the sound is just right, as is the vibe. And of course a coworking cafe needs decent WiFi and power outlets.
Cooper and I have always mostly hung out in north / east London, and we’ve got a few of our favourite coworking cafes in this part of the city to share with you here. Of course, if you suggest others, please do let us know in the comments.
Our favourite coworking cafes in east / north London
Mare Street Market, E8 4RU (London Fields)
My cool friend Rosie introduced us to this lovely east London destination. I’ve never seen anything like it! Mare Street Market is nothing short of what you’d expect from the excellent area that is Broadway Market and London Fields. The space here is huge, with a stylish bar in the centre of it all, and smaller counters or stores around the edge of the space, including a podcast studio, florist, record store and café.
Mare Street Market offers long benches for working on, and an ambient outdoor area. The food and drink selection is great.
Downsides of this coworking cafe space is that it can get very busy later in the day on weekends or when the sun is shining, and there’s not easy access to power supply. For an hour or two full of good cheer and stylish environment though, we love this place.
Tip: time your trip here with breakfast on Saturday morning, and a wander around Broadway Market, our favourite London market.
The Last Crumb, N16 0AS (Stoke Newington)
This is a lovely little coffee shop – bright, airy, dog friendly, and conveniently positioned in the heart of Church Street, Stoke Newington. The Last Crumb is a reasonable size and has spacious tables to work out, with some access to power sockets. The coffee and snacks here are good too.
They offer the space up for events too, so keep an eye out for networking opportunities or local activities that may inspire further creativity.
Barber & Parlour, E2 7DP (Shoreditch)
This is typically cool Shoreditch, with a delicious menu and great energy always. We’ve spent hours working at Barber & Parlour, mostly on Sundays. The vibe is relaxed, there’s plenty of space and different options for seating. Cooper and I have always found a spot by a wall with a power socket, and there’s internet here.
As for most good places, it does get very busy as the day draws on, so we usually get here early, do a bit of work and head off around lunchtime.
Barber & Parlour is positioned in the middle of Shoreditch, not very far from Spitalfields Market, so there’s plenty to see and do in the area, including the graffiti walk if you want to fill your Instagram feed.
Dudleys Organic Bakehouse, E8 2LQ (Dalston);
We’re sorry this wasn’t around when we lived in Dalston – Dudleys is a new addition to the high street, not far to walk from Dalston Kingsland overground. It’s a fabulous space with excellent snacks, coffee, tea, Wifi and nice atmosphere.
We love the vibe here. Sometimes the music could be turned down just a smidge, but as far as coworking cafes go, this is one of our new favourites!
UPDATE: now also a lovely little cafe on Stoke Newington High Street, open Monday to Sunday 8am to 5pm, right near The White Hart pub.
Google Campus London, EC2A 4BX (Old Street)
We discovered Campus Londona good few years ago, prior to moving over here. This is a fabulous place for start-ups, freelancers, solopreneurs, tech and creative minds who want to learn, network and develop ideas together.
Campus London has a huge cafe dedicated to remote working. The whole place is pretty inspiring, and while I’ve not been there for a while, it’s always in my mind. You can sign up to access the facilities and their events. Find out more here. The slogan, ‘come start something’ says it all – so if you’re in the same frame of mind as us, let’s have a coffee here and make things happen.
Husk Coffee and Creative Space, E14 7LW (opposite Limehouse station)
This is a lovely, spacious spot, designed as a coworking cafe. Husk offers a variety of seating options including couches, small tables and benches. Food and beverages are aplenty; there’s an events calendar here too, and they host English practice get-togethers. A hive of creative energy!
Really keen to know what you think makes a great coworking cafe, and importantly where do you suggest, in London or the world? Let us know in the comments…
Welcome to Travel Live learn, where we are passionate about living a life full of great adventures. We are Sarah + Cooper, and here we share our advice and stories about expat living in the UK; pet and house sitting around the world; wellness travel and creative living, no matter where on the planet you are. We have worked in media, communication and creative roles for 20 years, and have spent over 10 years living and working abroad. We hope you find value in our content. Please do connect by leaving a comment or find us on social media.