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How we travel full time for FREE!

find us on instagram @travelsandtantrums

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start
house sitting
here

It's FREE to join and have a good look around at everything that is currently available.

Use code

'TRAVELS25'

for 25% off membership

Our Story

We are a family of 4 from the UK with 2 children aged 6.5 and 8.

Last year we sold everything we owned and left our rented house of 7 years to embark on an

experiment to see how long we could live for FREE! 

We are 8 months into our house sitting experiment and have so far visited Switzerland, The French Alps, Paris, The Netherlands, The Scottish Highlands (favourite!) and numerous locations in England. We could have travelled much further but our end goal is to see how much money we can save in 1 year by doing this.

If you are fed up with being stuck in the endless cycle of wanting to travel but not having enough money, wanting to save but having to pay ever increasing utility bills or just thinking you want to take your kids on some adventures but have no money... House sitting could be the answer. 

It has changed our lives incredibly over the past 8 months and I wish we had done it sooner.

FAQ's

Click the question to skip to the answer:

Let's get the most common question done first...

How do you earn money to pay for travel and food if you are not getting paid to house sit? 

We live VERY cheaply... for clarity, our outgoings are 2 x mobile phones, food, car insurance and petrol, amazon subscription (bleurgh but it's handy for getting things delivered that we need at various house sits), my business associated costs (website, etc) and that is literally it. We are on a money saving mission whilst we are house sitting so living a pretty frugal lifestyle.

Additional costs depend on where we are. We do also have medical insurance that covers us in any european country which i think was about £80 for the year or if we decide to take the kids to any clubs etc during our housesit. It is important for us to keep our costs low to reduce our essential income and take the stress off of earning.

We don't own anything but we also have no debt.

 

Our income currently comes from a small business I started about 10 months ago www.blossomandstardust.com (if you have any questions about how i started it, or how i have made it work without any start up investment, just message me, happy to share info). The key, in my eyes, to creating an online income that is not just selling other peoples shit and doing something making the world an even worse place than it already is, is to stick to something you are passionate about and something that is meaningful to you and others. I am passionate about educational freedom and creating connection with nature so I opted to throw my energy into producing nature based educational resources for schools, HE famillies and Forest Schools.

Because we are house sitting and have such low outgoings, this gave me plenty of time without the financial pressures of having to generate high income immediately to slowly grow this business. I am 10 months in and it now produces enough for us to live on and save a little additionally.

 

There are a lot of quick fix income promises out there but I would recommend always exhausting every opportunity to start something yourself born of passion and that will not only bring money but also enjoyment and fulfillment. 

Is it possible to do this with kids?
Yes, absolutely! We have 2 children aged 6.5 & 8 and never have a problem being accepted for house sits. When you are registered on the site there is a filter at the top, so when you are searching for your housesit you can select 'family friendly' ones so you know you will only be applying for house sits that are open to accepting a family. We have actually been chosen BECAUSE we have children for one house sit as they really wanted to the hustle and bustle of a family. 

 

Our children are well travelled and used to moving around so it is fairly normal for them. They get incredibly excited about the new animals and a little sad when we leave them to move on to the next. We are lucky that because of the way we have lived since they were really little, they make new friends very easily and are excited to meet new people and explore new places. 
 

...But im scared my kids will just wreck everything!? 
Try to select houses that have children there of a similar or younger age than your own child(ren), that way, they understand what children can be like, plus, there will be lots of toys and things for them to play with and that makes life very easy for you! 

What do you bring with you?

We, ironically, have the smallest car we have ever had the 14 years we have been together at a time when a bigger car would be pretty damn handy!? so we travel light. We sold almost everything we own and anything worth keeping is stored in a garage in our home town so we don't have too much. We can't even fit a suitcase in our car and find we can fit the most amount in by packing in supermarket 'bags for life' (no joke). We have 1 bag for life each for clothes plus coats and shoes (one pair of trainers and some walking boots each, might treat ourselves to flip flops in the summer!) plus a bag of toys for the kids (lego, magnet tiles, selection of playmobil people & other small figures, art & craft stuff and a few books), 2 x laptops, a bag with toiletries and other random stuff and 1-2 bags of food. 

Our luxury item is a printer lol which seems like it takes up an unreasonable amount of space but i need it for work and we use it a lot for printing bits out for the kids if they want to do a project or something.

Can you get housesits for more than just a few days?
Yes! In the filter you can adjust the duration of days so that it only shows available housesits for the minimum amount of time you want to stay. So, if you dont want to stay in one house for less than a week, you just change the filter to show sits that are all 'longer than one week'. So far we have accepted housesits from 5 nights up to 6 weeks but we also see them pop up for 3-6 months or even longer if you want something more settled. 

How do you book your house sits in? Do you have everything in place in advance?
We are what you might describe as 'commitment phobes' haha, so we tend to remain flexible and free for as long as we can. We book in 1-2 house sits in advance as a general rule but it really depends on if we see one we know we really want to do or one that fits our dates perfectly that we know will work for us. So, as an example, we are now at the end of January, currently in Kent and going to Durham next week for 6 weeks. After that we will come back to visit some family for 2 weeks and then we are booked in for 2 weeks in Guildford and then 4 weeks back in Kent. This takes us up to mid May. I will keep a look out on the site to see if anything super exciting comes up but we aren't sure what we would like to do yet for the summer months so we are keeping our options open. 

Is it hard to find sits that match the dates to go from one to the other?

This completely depends on how set you are on certain locations. We have entered into this under no illusion that that part may be tricky but, to counteract it, we remain completely flexible on location and look for dates that match within a certain radius only. In the past 8 months we have paid for 2 nights in a very cheap travelodge between sits but that has been because we didnt want to do 12 hours of driving in one day with the kids and not because we didnt find a sit. I don't know if we have been lucky or if we haven't had issues because we are so flexible on the location. 

Can I do this without giving up my home base?
Absolutely! You can do as many or as few house sits as you wish to book yourself in for from a weekend visiting Christmas markets in December to a 2 week stay France or even just use it as a means to explore new places for 'holidays'. 

Do you get paid?

No. It is built on a mutual exchange of free accommodation for taking care of a home/pet. There is no money exchanged.

Do you pay for travel expenses?

Yes. We get free accommodation and do not pay any living costs you would usually associate with a house but we do pay for travel expenses. So far, we have only driven in our car to keep the costs down and having the option to bring our stuff with us and have transport when we are at the destination to explore - we prefer it like that. Flying is completely feasible too, especially if you are not doing this as a full time way of living and do not need to travel with everything you own. 

 

Can I house sit for shorter periods

Our children are Home Educated so we can travel as we wish. Whilst it is an ideal way to explore longer term as a home educating family, it is also a brilliant way to visit new places in the impossibly expensive school holidays with children who attend school. The school holidays is actually an amazing time to utilise the house sitting site as so many people all over the world use this time to take their holidays and to visit family but cannot take their pets with them. I have seen houses with pools in France, a month in Alaska, a weekend in a castle in Scotland... opportunities are endless.


How do you spend your days? 
We usually arrive at our new housesit and chill on arrival day. We go food shopping and get stocked up the next day. The rest of the time we usually hunt out the local home ed community and see what activities/meet ups we can attend so the kids can make some friends and go to a few clubs whilst we are there. We visit castles (we have an english heritage membership that we got with our tesco points and a history obsessed child), we walk a lot and generally explore. The rest of the time, I work on my own oniline business, the kids play with toys, pets or do some project work they might be into, etc. Nothing too special, this is life for us and we are trying to save money so we make ourselves at home and pretty much do what we would do in our own home. If we were doing this shorter term or not trying to budget so strictly then we would likely go for more days out to local attractions and eat out a bit more, as if we were on a little holiday I guess... but we aren't haha.

Can you take your own Dog?
We don't have pets ourselves and i think it would make it much more difficult to find BUT absolutely not impossible. I have now met 2 people that both full time house sit through the same site with their dog. 


What if you're not a dog person?
There is a filter in the search so you can deselect any partical animal you do not feel comfortable with taking care of. This if course decreases your available opportunities but we have come accross many that have one cat or one dog... or some with only plants that need watering! Your perfect house sit is out there!

How long will you live like this for?

Honestly, we would actually quite like to settle down on a little bit of land with a veg patch and some chickens... but we don't have any money and we are sick of paying rent. Our main motivation is to save money by house sitting to open up our options at the end of this year. BUT, we are genuinely having a great time living like we are and everytime I say i'll book up until a certain time... i then find another super cool house sit and book that in. So, in answer to that, I have no idea... until we don't enjoy it anymore or have enough money to buy a bit of land. Whichever comes first.

 

Who would have thought saving money could be so fun eh?

 

If you have any other questions please drop me a message on our instagram page @travelsandtantrums where we document

our house sitting experiences.

Nikki x

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start
house sitting
here

It's FREE to join and have a good look around at everything that is currently available.

Use code

'TRAVELS25'

for 25% off membership

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