Service offers travelers free places to stay in exchange for pet sitting

Posted at 3:28 PM, Mar 07, 2019

Andrea Sachs is a travel reporter for the Washington Post. She's been all over the world, but it was a recent trip to South America that gave her a unique experience.

“It combined my two great loves, which would be travel and animals,” Sachs says. “So, as travel writer and growing up travelling, that's what I love to do, and when I’m not traveling, I take care of other people's pets. Because I travel so much, I can't have my own.”

Sachs flew all the way to Ecuador to watch a someone's dog, Fischer. She watched him for free, and in exchange, they let her stay at their home at no cost.

“I thought, ‘You're really gonna let me travel anywhere in the world and take care of your animal?’”

Sachs used a service called TrustedHousesitters .

“Not only do the owners get the care for their pet that they want to, the sitters have a unique experience,” says Angela Laws with TrustedHousesitters. “They get to visit a place and get to see and explore that place.”

The company lets people travel to 130 countries, and the pets can be just as diverse.

“Horses, chickens, dogs, cats, bird and anything,” Laws says. “Like I said, if it lives and breathes and it's a pet and it has an owner then we will look at it.”

Both the pet owners and sitters have to pay yearly membership fee of $119.

Pet sitters also have to pay for their own travel, food and all other costs, except for a place to stay.

Sachs is already thinking about her next travel plans.

“I have been looking at Australia, Barcelona, maybe do a weekend in London with a Pomeranian, because you can!” she says.

Pet owners and sitters can meet through video chat beforehand, and the site offers different levels of background checks.