How to stay anywhere in the world (almost) for free

bainbridge island

 

My boyfriend and I are staying here in a little island off of Seattle in a beautiful house with a lofted bedroom with big windows, a hot tub, garden, waterfalls and hiking nearby. Downtown is within walking distance. We'll be here for the next two and a half weeks.

And aside from an initial $96 membership fee, we're staying fo’ free.

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That's less than a night's stay in most hotels.

According to Bainbridgeisland.com, Bainbridge is ranked the 2nd best city in the United States. The land is home to seven artisan wineries, a brewery and an organic distillery. The vibrant village of Winslow (where we’re staying) is just a short walk from the ferry, features a number of restaurants and one-of-a-kind shops and a waterfront park.

The island is a 25 minute ferry ride to Seattle. It’s remote vibe means it's keep-your door-unlocked-at-night safe.

We have it, like, really, really good right now. You get it.

I’m not here just to brag, but I'm pretty sure I have your attention. So here’s what you need to know: it's completely attainable for you, too.

So how do you live nearly rent free?

We signed up for a house sitting website called Trustedhousesitters.com. People who want to go on vacation will "hire" you to stay in their house and watch Fido or Whiskers while they're gone. In return, you get a vacation too. You choose which sits you apply for. Been dying to see London for years? There’s opportunities ranging from a weekend to a year long stay. Never been to Glasgow? Now’s your chance.

If this isn't a reason to be location independent I don't know what is.

As I sit here and write this, cozy on the chase lounge, I have two chocolate dapple long haired dachshunds sleeping next to/on top of me. 

 It's a dog's life.

It's a dog's life.

But it's not all vacation. Every house sit done right requires a degree of responsibility. The pets come first, vacation is second. We make sure the pups get fed, walked twice a day, and plenty of attention. Oh, and we even feed the fish. And pick up the mail. Aside from those duties, we are free to explore!

 Pups on their morning walk.

Pups on their morning walk.

There are opportunities all over the world to pet sit, if you are willing to fly or are within driving distance.

In this case, our sit came to us late notice so we bought plane tickets. We found a deal for a one way ticket for $94 each and booked them right away.

Why not buy a return flight? Because after we’re through, we’ll move slowly down the coast until we get to California for a new, weeklong house sit not long after this one finishes.

We’ve scheduled to have about two weeks off in between to visit friends in Portland and California along the way.

This is an ideal opportunity for anyone who loves to travel. And while it’s best suited for full time travelers or remote workers, someone who works full time in an office can use this during their vacation time or a long weekend.

 Doing a little sight seeing on our down time.

Doing a little sight seeing on our down time.

 

We are more free than we realize, and this example is only the tip of the iceberg.

The reality is we don't allow ourselves to think big enough, or immediately write off traveling because it's "too expensive". That lack mentality is exactly what gets us stuck in the first place. (Click to tweet)

Of course if this level of responsibility seems like too much, or you have pet allergies, I would not recommend signing up. You can always use Couchsurfing.com to stay anywhere for free and allow yourself more day to day freedom. But if you love pets and are a good caretaker, your next free stay is around the corner.

 

Jen CannonComment