They live for free in different cities around the world. What is sitting at home?

– We have repeatedly used the invitations of different people. If someone says that you should visit us, I take such an invitation very seriously. We had a lot. We were in the United States for half a year, where we drove a trailer, and many people invited us to their places. They fed us and took care of our children – says Ola, who travels the world with her husband Paul and their two children and lives free in other people’s homes. Well, almost in exchange for accommodation, if the owner is not there, the idea is to take the dog out, feed the fish and the hamster, spend a moment with the cat, water the flowers, or just fill the four walls.

Thanks to regular household chores, we can spend some time in a new environment. And it’s not the only advantage of living for free, because instead of a cramped hotel room we have a chance to find an unusual place and feel at home in that part of the world.

– He left his best memories in a huge house in Cyprus, 70 steps away from the sea. Its owner often left the cats. The villa, which has access to a private beach, was located near the airport. The bedroom window faced the open sea. In London, we spent three weeks looking after a small breeding farm and even gave birth to a cat, he adds.

-People who usually share the four corners want to take care of the house in return. This is especially true in Europe. However, including. In Australia, your home should not be vacant for more than a month, as insurance companies will not pay you in the event of an accident or theft. There are institutions that mediate between the two sides. It’s becoming a real business, and homeowners are getting paid – explains Paweł, co-author of the Eight Legs blog.

In the UK, most insurance companies will reject claims if the home is vacant for more than 30 days. Demands are higher in Canada. If your home is vacant for more than four days, your insurer will not be able to cover the costs.

But it turns out that this is not the only solution for those who love change. Home change is more popular in Poland. – Poles prefer to exchange and do not want to leave their homes to strangers for longer. Our main belief is “my home is a pen”. Exchange, on the other hand, is such a safety valve – if I go to someone and someone comes to me, they will be more careful not to destroy anything, ”Ola says.

In the West, on the other hand, there are holiday homes and companies owned by contract workers. – The latter is treated more as a communal place – adds Paweł.

Both sitting at home and changing homes are based on mutual trust from both parties and cannot be a matter of finding free labor. Although a group of Swiss teachers in the mid-20th century came up with the idea of ​​exchanging homes, today we have many sites that mediate the exchange.

One of them is “Trusted Home Sitters” – as intuitive as most sites to book accommodations, including a badge with ratings and comments. The only difference is that we have to pay for its use. The annual subscription costs $ 169 for both the landlord and the person who wants to live in the house temporarily. The combined version costs $ 229 a year. If we spend at least a few days a year sitting at home, the price is still lower than the hotel. However, there are cheaper options. So, if we are not satisfied with any of the available offers, we can check: “HouseSitMatch”, “Nomador”, “HouseCarers” and “MindMyHouse”. And the latter can be a good start, because it is the cheapest – the annual subscription is only $ 20. The website offers more than 3.5 thousand. “caregivers” and more than 5.5 thousand. homeowners. The site’s statistics show that most people come from Anglo-Saxon countries.

Once inside, we can choose from dozens of options – from a small cottage in Portland, a mansion in the south of England, or a villa with a swimming pool in Spain, which ends with an apartment in one of the skyscrapers of Dubai.

Although it may not be easy the first time, the more persuasively we encourage homeowners to choose us, the better our chances. Therefore, when creating a profile, it is necessary to sincerely write who we are, in what composition we travel, our experiences and expectations. It is also worth noting what we can do.

– To increase the chances of being accepted under the roof, I strongly recommend that you write that we know cats, even if we do not know them. When an animal gets sick or is afraid of not having an owner, the truth can come quickly and we will not know how to deal with it, says Paweł.

The authors of the “Eight Legs” blog created a profile at MindMyHouse in late November, hoping to find a beautiful place for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Although they could not find a place to live in Barcelona, ​​a few days later, an English woman named Helen, who lives in Istanbul, contacted them. After a short Skype conversation, they decided to buy plane tickets.

The possibilities do not end there, because there is a group on Facebook called Housesitting and Houseswapping Polska, which uses the whole world, as well as local advertising. So, if we want to stay in another city for a few days, we will definitely find something for ourselves. The popularity of “Sitting in a Polish House” is evidenced by the number of community members who recently surpassed 11,000.

“My wife and I have a house in Peru on a sunny ocean 365 days a year. We are looking for two people who are ready to take care of the house for about three months or more from March or April. The house now operates as a hostel / hotel, so the opportunity If someone wants to earn extra money, let them use the hostel even more, ”user Ola writes.

If we are not planning to travel to another continent, Agnieszka offers a house in Hungary. What awaits in return? “We are looking for a place in the mountains or nearby – we have no concrete plans, we just want to leave – explains Agnieszka.” We have already become homes, and in this group – we have only positive experiences, so ask and write boldly, “he added.

“We are looking for someone to take care of our cats. The apartment is located in Uster (Switzerland) and on Lake Grayffensee. The Alps are 40 minutes by car,” said Agatha. Mile offers a house near Paris. “We have a cat that needs to be fed. We would like to go to the Polish mountains, the seaside or Masuria, to the deserts as much as possible,” he added.

It turned out that the pandemic contributed to the development of sitting at home. The closure of hotels meant that some people decided to use this form of travel. “In addition, schools have moved to a remote mode, which has allowed children to travel longer,” Ola says.

As they both claim, travel develops and children learn more than we think. – In the Dominican Republic, we have also heard that parents often give up their dreams in order to make their children’s dreams come true. Children, on the other hand, follow the example of their parents and do not realize their desire to work for their children. We want to show another example. They help us in their own way, because they often open the doors that remain closed to us – they add.

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