Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to Travel During Your Teacher Holidays for Practically Free

So you're teaching & you realize that you have lots of holidays, but don't want to spend all your money on the costs of travel.  What do you do besides camp, or stay in hostels (which all add up when you're really trying to save money)? 

Pet Sit or House Sit or both!

I've recently discovered house sitting websites, where you can create a profile highlighting your amazing skills at taking care of animals (especially if you have experience with dogs &/or cats as these are the most common pets), and showing your availability.  You can then search for assignments that match your dates, or get alerts daily that show what assignments are available. 

Some of these will pay (I get paid about $25/night for one pet, more if they require more care but it really varies on the location & the need for each family), but many will just give you an amazing opportunity to stay somewhere cool for free, just like a local.  Instead of coughing up lots of cash eating out at restaurants, staying in hotels & not quite knowing what to do otherwise, you can save that money and live like a local would.

Most homes have wifi & you can literally house sit all over the world.  I'm heading down to California for January, since I can do my work from virtually anywhere in the world provided there is decent wifi.  After living in England & British Columbia for the past 8 years, I'm ready for some January sunshine in California!

A few of our teachers stayed in a farm house in the south of France, taking care of goats, chickens & the like and had an absolute blast.  What better way to get to know an area of the world that you might not otherwise discover at all?

On the sites, you will find other house sitters profiles, and most are retired couples.  As a teacher, you can make yourself stand out by highlighting how responsible you are and that you want to teach & travel the world. If you're a Canadian living in London, then they might find that intriguing and want to discuss their homes with you.  Afterall, the French farm house family was super keen on having 3 Canadian teachers care for their animals. 

There are plenty of sites to check out and from what I can tell, most charge a small fee (from $10 - $45/year for the house sitters and they seem to all be free for the home owners).  If you do take it on, please let me know about your experiences  & if you'd recommend this as a way to save cash while traveling the world. 

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Thanks for sharing your two pence!


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