Couple reveals the easy way they holiday for free – and have been all across Europe | The Sun
A COUPLE have travelled the world on a shoestring budget by using one simple method.
Instead of splashing out on hotels or holiday homes, the pair have been received free lodging in exchange for pet sitting.
Nicki Grihault and her partner Nick Luft left London in 2013 to go travelling.
Because money was tight, the couple found creative ways to travel the world, which included using the website Trusted House Sitters.
In an article in the Guardian, they revealed how they paid the £99 membership fee and created a profile that included details about their experiences with pets, gardening and other domestic duties.
Once they'd arrived at their first house sit in Country Wicklow, Ireland, they were greeted by sheepdogs, chickens, ducks, sheep and a tabby cat called Bruiser.
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After their first trip, the pair have since stayed in a three-storey townhouse in London, a lakeside pad in Montreux in Switzerland, and a home on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.
A decade on and they're still travelling through Trusted House Sitters.
Nicki said: "Nick retrained as a teacher, and we housesit in the UK, and sometimes abroad, in the school holidays, when accommodation is most expensive (and the need for housesitters highest)."
In the UK, the pair have looked after a smallholding in Sussex, a 12-bedroom Edwardian manor in Devon that doubled as a wedding venue, and a stone cottage on a private estate near Marlborough in Wiltshire.
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Nicki added: "We have done weekends and month-long stints, and looked after pets from a budgie to an adorable pair of rescue donkeys, but mostly dogs and cats.
"With constant attractive profiles coming online, housesitting can become addictive.
"I still get a buzz, when we land a free stay in an incredible place."
Despite all the perks, becoming a trusted housesitter is competitive.
Nicki told the Sun Online Travel team: "Pet sitting is an important responsibility because for many people their pet is their child."
The house sitting expert also mentioned the constraints around perk including, which included having to build days around the schedules of individual animals.
She added: "You're not always free to simply explore the area because of your responsibility as a pet sitter."
To swerve too much pet sitting pressure, Nicki recommended sifting through profiles and working out the demands you feel comfortable with as a house sitter.
In order to bag the best stays, you'll need to earn five star reviews by going the extra mile, including leaving behind an immaculate home, flowers, thank you cards and a homecooked meal in the fridge.
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Meanwhile, this couple in the US have used Trusted House Sitters to travel Germany, Gibraltar, Grenada, and the United States.
Meanwhile an Australian woman has claimed she was deported from the United States shortly after arriving, because of the type of accommodation she was using.
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