Did you manage to go on holiday during the holidays? Trying to find a fun-filled getaway for the whole family for the School break is a challenging task alone, then factor in all expenses that will leave your stress levels and bank account soaring.

Travel, food and activities are only a few things you have to account for when budgeting your family holiday but what really digs deep into the pocket is the money you’re forced to spend on accommodation- whether this might be a hotel, motel or AirBnb.

We’ve discovered a new way of travelling on a budget, where you can stay in accommodation for FREE. All you need to do is take care of the owner’s beloved pet. It’s a genius concept, we think. If you’re a pet-owner, you know only too well that it’s not that simple just to go on holiday. You either need to find a friend or family member to care for your pet or find someone to stay in your house and pet-sit. So this site matches pet-loving travellers who are looking for accommodation with home-owners who need a pet-sitter – it’s a win-win!

There is a global network of animal lovers, called TrustedHousesitters, that connects people looking for accommodation on their travels with homeowners who need a caring, verified pet-sitter, who offer their pet and house sitting services for free in return for accommodation. The only cost involved is an annual fee of $129 a year (half the average price of one night’s stay in a hotel)!

We’ve taken a look to see what kind of places we could pick:

Farm House in France

Has your daughter always begged you for a pony for her birthday? Then this charming farmhouse in rural France is just for you. Recently renovated to include all the insular modern amenities you need, but still retaining an outward idyllic charm – this French getaway is situated in the Lot Valley and quite close to the border of Dordogne (perfect for a date night getaway to take in some wine tastings).
All that’s required of you is to take care of two friendly cats and two horses.


Getaway in The Blue Mountains

Looking for the ultimate getaway but want to keep it within local borders? Look no further than this stunning Katoomba lodge in The Blue Mountains, New South Wales.
You will be charged with looking after two adorable, low-maintenance cats in this spacious home – perfect for a larger family with its four bedrooms and adjoining cottage surrounded by plenty of nature.
Scenic World, Leura and Medlow Bath are all a moment’s throw for you to take the family sightseeing, not to mention the famed and historic rock formation – The Three Sisters – in Echo Point.

Villa in Thailand

Why not take advantage of bargain flights to Thailand and live in the lap of luxury for a few weeks? This stunning Thai villa within a Bangkok compound is home to ‘Foxy’, ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Black & White’, which as you can see from the accompanying photo are the cuddliest of cats there ever were.

Modern Seattle Home

Looking for a city escape to take the family? Then this 3,000 square foot property in Seattle, Washington is the perfect getaway for you. Situated in the Ravenna neighbourhood and close to public transport, Whole Foods and plenty of restaurants (three of which are Seattle’s finest) this housesit will be the perfect cityscape for those who are in no mood to ‘rough it’ on their holiday.
The kids will be entertained with Yellow Labrador ‘Gus’ and his side-cat ‘Tedis’, not to mention all the fun and games that come with the house. There are both ping pong and foosball tables, as well as basketball hoops and video games with a stellar sound system.
The home’s interior is bathed with light thanks to the large windows throughout and the outdoor courtyard is decked out with a grill, firepit and heater. 
With amenities this comfortably modern, you most certainly won’t be sleepless in Seattle.


English Countryside Abode

Situated in an idyllic countryside village just North of Eastbourne, this English abode is home to two dogs and a parrot who is apparently quite fond of tea.

The majestic South Downs National Park is easily accessible, as are the beaches of Eastbourne, ensuring no shortage of outdoor activities for yourself and the family to enjoy.
The picturesque property might transport you to a different time with its walled garden, well-stocked library and fireplaces galore but its been fully kitted out will all the modern creature comforts – Netflix and Amazon Prime, high speed wifi and heated floors! Escape to the country we say!

We love this idea! Now we need to decide where in the world we’re going to go.

  • For an animal lover lie me, this sounds like the most wonderful idea! I would love to do this one day!


  • Id love to do this and I love animals too.


  • I would love to travel and meet peoples pets and enjoy the new surroundings. I will have to look into this.


  • This is a fantastic concept. Studies have showed people with pets are happier creatures.


  • what a great idea for those wishing to travel overseas – I love the french villa with the horses!


  • Had never thought of this! Definitely something to look into when planning our next holiday!


  • A great idea and certainly makes it less expensive to travel further afield!


  • Fantastic ideas I love the French house it’s so beautiful and the house in the blue mountains is breathtaking


  • A fantastic idea for many. We have a pet, so we need someone to look after ours. I think this is a great opportunity for the younger generation to travel and see the sights on a budget.


  • That’s pretty cool – I must say though membership fees can be a little daunting as I am not sure on any given year if we will travel – there’s still the expense of flying. There is actually another site as well called houseswapholidays.com.au I have done 2 house swaps through there.


  • I don’t think I could get someone I don’t know to look after our pets, but I would be more than happy to look after someone else’s


  • An interesting article, thanks for sharing.


  • Sounds wonderful and I hope the screening process is comprehensive.


  • I love this concept ! Renting our house ourselves, to great disappointment to our kids, we can’t have inside pets (although we do have guinea pigs and chickens). This would be a great opportunity giving my kids a greater pet experience, they so would love this.


  • Have a friend who is regularly on the move minding peoples pets. He loves this sort of nomadic life.


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