Whether for pleasure or for work, travel can be an entertaining and edifying way to spend your time. What’s less enjoyable, however, is the process of finding someone you trust to care for your things while you’re away. Choosing the right house sitter can mean the difference between a relaxing trip and biting your nails until you return home. To make sure your home is getting the very best care while you’re away, follow these simple tips:
Go through a reputable site
While there was once a short list of reputable travel sites you could rely on to help you plan a trip, there are now a seemingly endless number of online booking concierges, bidding sites, and travel marketplaces to choose from when you’re heading away from home. When you’re choosing a house sitter, the selection is similarly staggering, with countless sites offering their services, many of which provide little to no guarantee that you’ll find your home in the shape you left it up on your return. Luckily, there just as many, like MindMyHouse and Nomador that require house sitters to sign a contract, helping to protect you and your home during your travels.
If you wouldn’t leave your children with a babysitter you had no references for, why would you leave your home in a complete stranger’s care? Before you decide on a house sitter, make sure you’ve gotten in contact with at least three character or professional references in advance of their visit.
Make sure your needs are understood
There’s nothing more disheartening than returning home after a relaxing vacation only to find that the things you’ve asked your house sitter to do while you’re away haven’t been done — your plants look parched, your pets seem starved for affection, or your floors look far dingier than you remembered. While, for those living in full-service luxury buildings like Missoni Baia, much of the work that you’d need a house sitter to take care of, from valet parking to pet spa services, are taken care of by on-site staff, for those whose buildings aren’t quite as amenity-rich, those needs must be articulated in advance. Before you leave for your trip, make a dated list with information about what needs to be done and on what schedule.
Introduce everyone in advance
If someone new is coming and going from your home, that might set off alarm bells for those who know you best. To ensure that everything runs smoothly while you’re away, let your doorman, valet, or dog walker know that someone else will be taking care of things for you in your absence and that no crime is being committed if they see a stranger picking up your mail or taking a stroll with your four-legged friend.
There’s no better way to ensure that everything is going to plan than checking in with your house sitter while you’re away. While you don’t need to have extensive correspondence with your house sitter, a phone call or text once or twice a week should be enough to make sure everything’s going according to plan and fix anything that isn’t.
Hiring a house sitter doesn’t need to be a scary experience — taking just a few precautions before you leave can make your trip as relaxing and painless as possible. Happy travels!