Planning a holiday? Plan a housesitter first

Lately, I’ve been buying a lot of beer but not drinking any of it. Instead, it’s a naked bribe to encourage my next-door neighbour to look after my three, extremely fussy, cats while I’m away. Seeing as I can’t return the favour and that’s usually why I pop round to see him, I have to visit carrying ever-larger bribes. Next time, I’m thinking about a keg. What would solve my problem of being the neighbour who always wants something, is a house-sitting service, and I think I might have just found one.

Not my pampered cat but might as well be

Any excuse for a cat picture. Not mine but might as well be

HouseSit Match is a bit like a social networking website, except that it links homeowners with reliable housesitters – people who not only relish looking after your pampered pets but who are happy to look after your home in general. Meaning there’s someone home if awful things happen, such as burst pipes, and someone keeping an eye on things generally, from tidying away your post to keeping your home safe and secure.

The difference comes with HouseSit Match’s contracts – agree beforehand what the housesitters’ duties are and go off on holiday with full peace of mind. Most sitters come with references or a background check too.

While it might be tricky getting past the idea of a stranger in your house, the beauty of the site is that it lets you get to know the sitters in advance – some even post video and pics so you can have complete peace of mind. And if you’re still not convinced, take it from some of the experienced sitters and owners on HouseSit Match’s blog – a little light browse and I guarantee you’ll be a convert. No beer, no bother.

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