House sitting

House sitting                        staying in someone’s house to care for it

Caravan                                 a small home on wheels

Camping ground                a place where people live in tents for a short time for a holiday

Requirements                     things you must have


House sitting.

In many countries of the world people do what is called house sitting. It means that if you are going away, you want someone to come into your own home and look after the house and maybe pets while you are away.


The dog we cared for at one house sit.

In Australia, many people travel. We have a group of people here that are called ‘The grey nomads’. Grey, because they usually have grey hair, meaning they are older.  We use the word nomad, because this word means a wanderer. So in Australia, often after people retire, they might buy a caravan and travel all over the country. Thousands of people do this all the time. Australia is a very big country, the roads are usually good, and there are thousands of ‘camping grounds’ all around the country where people go for holidays.


Camping in a tent. In the background you can see little cottages that people can rent for a holiday. This camping ground is right beside the ocean.

So if someone wants to travel or go away for some reason, they might want someone in their home to care for it and keep the gardens tidy by mowing the lawns.

Mowing the lawns to keep the grass tidy. This house had large lawns and gardens for us to care for.

House sitters might have to care for pets. Also, quite a few people have swimming pools in their back yards and they need cleaning. If you leave a swimming pool for very long the water can get very dirty.

When we were house sitting here there was a lovely swimming pool.

I have done house sitting often. It is a great way of seeing the country, because you go and stay in a new city, get to meet new people, and have time to go sightseeing in a new area.


Sight seeing. One time when we were house sitting in a town called Tamworth, we went for a day trip to a place called Nundle. This is the hotel in this small town. We had lunch here.

Generally it does not cost anything to go house sitting. There are websites where you find the advertisements by people who want to travel, and by replying to the advertisement, you can make arrangements to go and look after their home.


We cared for this house for a few weeks whlie the owners went on holiday.

There are some requirements to be a house sitter. You must be a trusted person, so that the home owner knows you will not steal anything. You must be able to go when the house owner wants you to go, so you need lots of free time. You must have a good car, so you can travel to different parts of the country. You need to be good with pets, able to care for cats and dogs, or other pets they may have.

Some house sitting jobs are just for a few days or a couple of weeks while the home owner has a short holiday. Sometimes it is for much longer. We have had one house sit for six months, while the home owner travelled to Europe.


In the picture above you can see two King Parrots. In one house we cared for there were many very colourful birds that came every day for food. We would put out seeds for them to eat. These birds can be found in many parts of Australia. They are not in cages, they fly free in our trees and come to our gardens to find food.

It is also possible to do house sitting in other countries, so you can travel to many different countries and stay there. One of the important things to get are references from the home owners where you have stayed. A reference is a written letter to say that you are trustworthy and have looked after their home well. You can show these letters to prospective house sitting jobs and they know they can let you care for their home and you will do a good job.

Here are some websites for house sitting. Check them out and see what is available.



Questions for review.


  1. What does it mean to go house sitting?
  2. What are some of the advantages of house sitting?
  3. Who needs to have house sitters in their home?
  4. What is a reference?
  5. Who are ‘Gray Nomads’?
  6. Describe a camping ground.
  7. Have you ever been camping in a tent? Was it fun?
  8. Can you do house sitting in different countries?
  9. Can you do house sitting in China?

10. What are some of the requirements for house sitting?



©Lana Kerr 

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