This may never happen, but I figured it makes for an interesting thread in any case.
We may have the chance to leave our home and animals behind and travel, mostly around the US, for 6 months to a year. We will likely take some of this time to stay for extended periods in places we might want to retire, but we may also just go to some fun places. We will drive to many places, but may fly some too.
Has anyone done this? If so, suggestions?
Are there sites where you can find out about house-sitting gigs in interesting places?
Any sites for renting short-term, but by the month instead of by the year?
Anyone aware of any bloggers who’ve done things like this?
This may never happen, but I figured it makes for an interesting thread in any case.
A younger family but…they are also on Instagram. I loved following their 18 month trip
Their goal was visiting all 59 US National parks
I remembered this article…
There is a CC poster who does this… forgot her screen name. Hope she chimes in!
@BunsenBurner is right! I can’t remember her name! Starts with an “N”…??? Maybe her son was living in her original home but that was also being sold? She always worked remotely so would choose different new places to hunker down for months at a time.
I think the lady may have had Ohio in her name? I thought of her as I typed this. She got rid of most everything she had and was traveling.
Found her - @OHMomof2. Looks like she hasn’t been on in about a year.
I cannot see the article, but many people I know use TrustedHousesitters.com to have people stay in their homes.
The longest we’ve traveled is 5 weeks at a time. We were very glad to return home. Being away for months is just a long time for us.
I started researching a smaller-scale empty nest option, fulfilling my dream of becoming a ski bum for a season, which will include renting a place in the Salt Lake City area for a month. While AirBnb turned out to be hopelessly expensive for that purpose (even places with significant monthly discounts), I found several short-time rental portals on the web where 1 month was the shortest period available, and the rent for 1 month was generally equal to about 2 weeks on Airbnb for a similar place.
Yes that is correct because I do remember the profile pic!!!
I have been moving around for 5 years now. But not in the way you anticipate. The rental market in my area is so bad that I get the nicest places at the best prices by doing seasonal rentals. My winter rental has been the same for 5 years but I go different places in the summer.
Right now, at least in the coastal Northeast, short term rentals, including airbnb, are not plentiful, partly I think due to people leaving the city to work at home, and also many are selling houses in this market and jumping to short term in order to wait to buy for lower prices.
I have found mine on craigslist and zillow.
Another option is inns and motels who have weekly or monthly rates. Many do. The rates are even better if you don’t care about cleaning services or charcuterie breakfasts.
I am caregiver for an elderly parent with dementia, who is in assisted living but needy. When I started this short term business, after selling my house, it was because she was on hospice. Five years later I am still renting short term. When she is gone I may continue but spend part of the year in a different state each year.
Our old dog sitter did this. She dog/house sat for an agency full time and then did a house swap with a family in Portugal. She loved it so much that she moved there permanently.
Another friend bought a giant RV and drove around the country for two years. They rented out their house and hired a service to take care of any issues. Helped that they had family local to oversee things. They had two dogs and so they could take them with.
My D is house sitting currently for a family that went away for 2 months. Some things to consider -
Mail. The post office won’t do a mail hold for that long so you need to figure out mail forwarding or have someone go through your mail regularly. Plus there are those annoying flyers and free papers that can accumulate.
Yard. D is watering their yard and plants. When we travel in the winter we pay one of our landscapers who has a snow plowing business to clear the walks/drive.
Dehumidifiers/sump pumps/and other house hold stuff. Neighbor’s dehumidifier needs to be emptied every two days. We had flooding rains last month and there were some issues in their backyard. Other neighbor had water in the basement.
Pest control - empty houses can have issues if no one is going in and out. (One of our neighbors had a family of raccoons take up residence in their attic).
Just a question - how will you leave your animals behind for that long?
IF we do this, we will have someone staying in our house during the time we are gone. They will take care of the pets, mail, etc. They are at a time in their life where they can be flexible, and it will save them a substantial amount of money.
I’m not on CC much but I did get an email when you mentioned me. I’m alive, still on the move
Any tips for someone thinking about doing this for 6 months to a year? It’s OK if we are home for some of the time, but want to take advantage of the ability to travel without worrying about the animals, or what’s going on with the house.
Howdy @OHMomof2 ! Hope all is well!
Hi @BunsenBurner !
@1214mom - funny, when i started this not so many people were doing it but since covid TONS of people are working wherever, including my college grad '19, for the past year or so.
I do not have pets anymore, my kids are living in different cities, so for me, none of those concerns. I do have a home base/mailing address with a family member, and that is very valuable. I leave my car there when I’ve traveled to a not-drivable destination, that also works well.
Trustedhousesitter has a good reputation so if you don’t have a personal connection to watch your house and pets, you might start there.
Nah, never gonna happen. Dear wife’s limit is 2 weeks away from home. Tried to pitch a 3 week trip, got soundly rejected!!!
We have someone to watch our house, but part of our travels could include house-sitting for others (may be out of my comfort zone, unless I know the people, but it’s interesting to think about).
This is just an idea for now, but it does sound good. We’ve said we want to travel a lot while we are still fairly young and mobile, so I am seriously thinking about it.
We enjoy wandering and have done up to two months at one time. We have a farm sitter watch our animals, plants, farm, go through our mail - including opening anything H might need for his work and taking pictures so he can see it. He also deposits checks now from the pictures they send vs having to wait for us to return home. These folks have a farm/critters of their own, so they’re well versed in anything from water going out to fixing fence after rounding up critters. I tried it once using a high school student I thought would be trustworthy and was sorely disappointed.
We use a mix of where we stay from hotels.com which also has many AirBnB, Vrbo, and other places on it to camping sites pending what we are doing/where we are going/what our whims are. For camping check national, state, and county for better rates than camping chains offer - unless you want amenities. Chains can be good with those, but we don’t need them.
Hotels.com remains a favorite because they give you one free night for every 10 you pay for (the free night is the average cost of the ten). I’ve compared booking the same place on other sites and directly from the provider and not once found anything less expensive. They’re usually within pennies of each other, and then factor in the free night. They also allow cancellation options later. AirBnB says they do, but then says “except for the first 30 days.” Uh, when you’re staying for a month, the first 30 days is what you are paying, rendering it meaningless. We don’t use them for longer trips now - just short ones when we’re pretty sure we’re going.
Make sure you compare right at the point where they want payment or things like taxes/fees won’t necessarily be factored in. Vrbo is a big offender with that. That said, hotels.com doesn’t have every place listed with them, so I still compare. I’ll also just do plain google searches. I used to use craigslist, but there have been quite a few scams on the one leading me to drop it.
We’ve stayed with people occasionally - friends or with my study abroad son’s host family - but often we like to be on our own so I haven’t really investigated that option as much. Hostels are on my radar though if we’re in the mood.
For us each trip is different and I figure out a lot as I go along considering what I see available, prices, and whims of the day. Road trips are different from our Feb’s “in the south.” Spending a week or two in an area is also different from meandering along stopping when we see something interesting.
Usually we can find something, but there was one night we spent at a Steak & Shake because we didn’t plan far enough out and didn’t realize local events would have literally everything booked for hours/miles around… things like that make fun stories afterward.