With one-third of the country being unable to afford international travel, according to research from Finder, one Aussie couple is advocating for their "creative" approach to travel — which they say has enabled them to visit countries which would otherwise be inaccessible in the current financial climate.
"The biggest cost isn't the airfare but the accomodation. If you can minimise that cost then you're laughing," David and Anne told Yahoo News Australia. "The housing and cost of living situation in Sydney and Melbourne — and the Sunshine Coast is fast catching up — it's frightening."
House sitting opens doors to international travel
The couple from Queensland's Sunshine Coast have been house and pet sitting for many years, exchanging their time for "clean and comfortable" accomodation around the world for free.
"To look after a property and look after it as if it were your own, in return we get to stay in the accomodation with the services provided, like their water, power and WiFi."
From New Zealand to Italy, the couple have cared for countless pets and mowed acres of lawns in exchange for accomodation.
"There's also the added benefit [to this travel approach] of being in a local community. You have some sort of relationship with whoever you are house sitting for, then there's the neighbours, the local pub... It's wonderful. We love it."
How can you start house sitting?
The couple say the best first step is to create a profile on one of the many house sitting platforms online, citing "honesty" as the most crucial trait for a successful house sitter.
"You need to be careful that you can actually deliver on on the needs of the of the owner and their requirements for a connection," the couple said, with factors like the dates and duration of stay, as well as the size of property and pet caring duties all needing to be considered. "It needs to work both ways."
Building a portfolio online of your capabilities and collating references will help build your reputation as a house sitter, and eventually people may even start contacting you for travel opportunities.
"We're really big on inspiring people and encouraging them to give it a go ... Finding out how people live and tasting a bit of that, you know, it changes you."
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