House and Pet Sitting: Joy to Travel and Serve

Do you experience Joy when traveling ? Do you enjoy being of service to others? Why not combine both? Traveling the world as a house and pet sitter? Read on…

Today, I am interviewing Jean about his and his wife Kate’s personal experience with international house and pet sitting. Jean is presently retired in the south of France with his wife Kate. He is French and Kate is English. I met Jean through the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Click here if you would like to read my review of Wealthy Affiliate.

After you read this interview, let me know what you think of this life style. Are you going to give it a try? Or at least read the books Jean recommends? Let me know below. I look forward to reading your comments! 🙂

House and pet sitting

Jean, Can You Tell us about Yourself?

Jean: I was born in Vietnam of French parents, Kate was born in the UK. We met and got married in Lesotho (southern Africa). I/we lived in Liberia, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, South Africa (farm owners), England, Florida, South America, Australia (house sitting, where we often go back because we have children and grandchildren there) Tasmania (house sitting), New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Malta then finally France, my home country where I practically never lived till I retired at age 65, and I am not listing the countries we are visiting while house sitting worldwide, or while Kate was lecturing and teaching bead work on the QE2 cruise liner, which took us from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) through the Panama Canal and all along the west coast of South America down to Chili, or along the west coast of Africa down to Capetown, then to Mauritius.

In 2001, we were drowned in credit card debts and loans, no jobs and no qualifications to back me in my search for a job. As I have hardly been to school I developed a strong thirst for knowledge and became totally self-taught early on in life.

As the Internet became available to everyone I thought that it would be an excellent tool for gaining skills and perhaps earning a living off it, and it became my passion.

Since then, I have done just about everything that is legally possible online, sometimes made a lot of money, lost a lot too, and picked myself up more times than I can think of. But hey, as Thomas A. Edison said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”… don’t panic, I have not failed that many times yet!

I have become an expert in social media marketing and I am running several very profitable online businesses. I came across Wealthy Affiliate as I wanted to add other streams of income to my portfolio and what convinced me to join and upgrade immediately was that I have created many, many websites and blogs in the past but they never have been very profitable and I found out that at WA I could find the missing link. I read a lot of positive reviews about WA, so I decided to join to see for myself, and here I am. [Click here if you would like to read my review of Wealthy Affiliate.]


Can you Tell us about your House and Pet Sitting Experience?

Jean: Kate and myself have been lucky enough to have traveled the world from North to South and East to West as we have nearly never had a boss.

We are International house and pet sitters which enables us to travel the world, Where We Want, When We Want, and in Luxury as we do chose only high standard country properties. We form a perfect team, Kate takes care of the bookings (and makes sure that we have the best) and I, with my laptop, provide the income. This is FREEDOM at its best! As Kate likes to say: “We are the most upmarket Gypsies in the world.” She is also a published writer, her books are available on Amazon Kindle (look for Kate Fagalde).

We did two things early on:

  • I created a blog on blogspot: Caring For Your Property and Pets
  • We joined several specialized sites that put home and pet owners in contact with house and pet sitters.

We are now only registered with one (which is the best): “Trusted House Sitters“.


What about the Money?

Jean: Trusted House Sitters is a bit expensive but you can find sits where you want and when you want (close to home or abroad). And think that if you spend a winter in a very comfortable home and don’t pay for winter bills, you are way ahead of the game.

A couple of years or so ago “Trusted House Sitters” decided to mention that their sitters sit for free which is not fair, because we charge depending on how it suits us. Fortunately, we have our own regular clientele and they know that we charge and they are more than happy to pay.

For example, just to be a presence on the property we might not charge if it is in the middle of winter and we don’t pay any bills, or in the middle of summer if they have aircon and a swimming pool. If we go abroad we don’t charge but we require a car to use for free (only pay gas). In France, we charge per day $15 for a dog or two, $10 for a cat or two, $10 even if it is just to sit. Keep in mind that this is very, very cheap and you could easily try to double that, especially once you have a reputation.

Each case is negotiated at the moment. We charge for traveling expenses (gas and wear and tears) if it is more that an hour away from home. We must have a proper Internet connection, as I work online, as you know.


Are there any Good Books that you Can Recommend?

Jean: Sure! There are two good books on the subject that I can recommend where you will find all the details: House Sitting: Travel The World Living Rent Free [18/04/20 note: this book is no longer available] and Endless Holidays – A Guide to House and Pet Sitting Around the World

What Final Words would you Like to Share with our Readers?

Jean: House sitting is a way of life that is quite special but doesn’t appeal to everyone, but nothing stops you from trying. One thing that is quite important is that you must like it. You don’t have to do the pet sitting bit if you don’t want to, but people with pets don’t like to put their pets in kennels, so they need people like us.

We LOVE this lifestyle. Imagine that it has been already 10 years that we have not paid a rent, any electricity or water bills, plus we get paid and I work online… do the maths!


And now?

Well, dear readers, what do you think? Are you going to give it a try? Or at least read the books Jean recommends? Let me know below. I look forward to reading your comments! 🙂

To our Joy and Happiness,


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26 thoughts on “House and Pet Sitting: Joy to Travel and Serve”

  1. I never thought about pet sitting as an international business. That’s pretty cool. I have to admit, I don’t think it’s for me. I like having a home and a community. But I do have pets (7 in fact). So having good pet sitters is important to us. We usually find a friend or neighbor to feed and take care of kitty litter boxes when we go away. The dog always comes with us. It’s good to know that there are services like this out there.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment here, Nicole.

      Wow! You have 7 pets?! Amazing!! Glad to hear that you have already found pet sitting solutions for them. I’m sure your dog loves going with you when you go away. Cats are more independent.

      Best wishes to you and your loved ones for 2019,


  2. I never thought of doing this!  I already sit for pets in my home.  Why not travel abroad and do it?  I absolutely love this idea!  Like they say, then there are no bills, no AC bills and no heating bills.  I am most definitely going to check this website out and give it a try.  I am retired after all, so I can be anywhere  🙂

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      It’s nice that you already sit for pets in your home. With your experience, I’m sure it would be pretty easy to find a place to do this abroad.

      It’s so nice that you are retired and can be anywhere! Enjoy!

      And please do let me know if you do go somewhere. It would feel very exciting to me to know that I played a little role in that. 🙂

      Best wishes to you and your loved ones for 2019,


  3. This is awesome!

    I have just returned to the Philippines after a 7 month vacation in Thailand and we were talking about how we can go back and then I saw your site…

    Divine intervention!

    I have heard of house sitting and it sounds like a great idea.

    We are really interested in this for next year.

    How easy is it for first timers to get a place?

    I am 55 and my wife is 28 and we have been traveling together around Asia for almost 7 years.

    I love this concept.


    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment here, Tim.

      Wow! I love divine intervention! 🙂 Thank you for sharing this!

      I’m not sure how easy it is for first timers to get a place. I would recommend you check out Jean and Kate’s blog and see what they have there that could inspire you. You can also contact Jean, also through his blog, and ask him your question. I’m sure he would be happy to help you where he can.

      Wow! You’ve been travelling around Asia with your wife for almost 7 years? Sounds amazing! Do you have a blog about your experience?

      Best wishes to you and your loved ones for 2019,


  4. wow!  Mr jean and his wife are very well travelled I can’t imagine what the experience is living in somany countries pet sitting sounds new and exciting ;i appreciate and respect their creativity in earning money with their time doing what they love.

    Just like you rightly identified pet sitting is not for everyone, it requires a special kind of attitude and an open mind that allows one to travel to a completely strange destination and live in someone’s house while taking care of their pet. So much adventure for one trip!

    1. Hello Zuchii,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment here.

      Yes, I agree! This is a very creative way to earn money doing what they love. 🙂

      Best wishes to you and your loved ones for 2019,


  5. Hi Nathalie,

    It is always a struggle to find someone to watch the house and pets when going away. It’s also for many people difficult to travel. Either because they don’t have enough money or they don’t know where to go or where to stay. It seems like you found the perfect balance. Combine travel with looking after someones house and pets. The locations are unlimited.

    I’ll check out Trusted House Sitters, it sounds like a great way to travel and see the places like they actually are, not from a hotel room.


    1. Hi Phillip,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment here.

      This was not about me but about Jean and his wife Kate… I understand there could have been some confusion so I added a few things in my post to make it more obvious. Thank you for your feedback. 🙂

      Best wishes to you and your loved ones for 2019,


  6. Dear Nathalie,

    Thanks for the great interview with Jean.

    Wow, this is an amazing life style. I never ever thought about it. Information is wealth! I got great insights from this interview. Thanks for sharing this. And I enjoyed reading it.

    Turning your passion into profits is what taught at Wealthy Affiliate and I am proud to say I am also a Wealthy Affiliate member. To make the long story short… By implementing what I learned from WA I am now a full-time blogger credit goes to WA.

    Really amazed at the life style Jean and Kate living.

    Wishing you Much Success!


    1. Dear Paul,

      Thank you for your kind words of appreciation.

      Yes! Turning our passion into profits is a great way to live. And Wealthy Affiliate is definitely the best platform I have experienced so far for this. I’m glad to hear that your experience with Wealthy Affiliate has also been a good one and that you are now a full-time blogger.

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to leave your comment here.

      Best wishes to you and your loved ones for 2019,


  7. Good afternoon Nathalie,

    When one goes on holiday it is always a worry what to do with our furfriends. We live on a farm in the south of Spain and have pets. We sadly lost Cindy and Missu in the summer but still have 3 cats. We have a very strusted gardener since 1981 who takes care of everything but Miguel is reaching retirement age so one has to think about alternatives.

    Jean and Kate look like a nice couple, they have travelled the world and will be open minded. It is important to find people who love animals and know what to do in case of an emergency. I will discuss this possiblitily with my better half. 

    Thank you for this helpful post, the information might be really needed in the near future.

    Regards, Taetske

    1. Hello Taetske,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment here.

      Wow! You live on a farm in the South of Spain? Sounds beautiful! Near which town are you?

      Sorry to hear that you lost Cindy and Missu in the summer.

      I completely understand that you have to be looking for trustworthy alternatives for when Miguel retires. Yes, maybe Jean and Kate could help? Feel free to contact them on their blog.

      Best wishes to you and your loved ones for 2019.



  8. Let me start by saying – what a wonderful way to earn money and live out your traveller’s dreams at the same time. I’m full of envy for Jean and Kate (in a good way!). 

    I also love the Edison quote that Jean mentioned in the interview – “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Definitely a new quote to stick above the PC in my studio! 

    1. Thanks a lot for taking the time to leave your comment here, Chris.

      Yes! I love that Edison quote too!! 🙂

      Best wishes to you and your loved ones for 2019.


  9. Interesting blog and niche in the pet sitting and traveling the world. Theoretically, I think this is a great idea. You could actually be a mobile pet sitter and bring all kinds of toys and treats, leashes and water with you. And of course a doggy bag. I think you have explained in good detail something that many are passionate about. I think it’s awesome that you have found a niche that many haven’t really explored but would be interested in using. And you could definitely benefit by travelling around the world and doing this. Plus make decent money. Have you been at this and for how long? Have you found any pitfalls to being a travelling pet sitter? Your blog is well written and very informative. Well done!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment here, Dave!

      Hahaha! Yes! A doggy bag too! 🙂

      This was about John’s and his wife’s experience, not mine, although I have done a little house and pet sitting myself too in Belgium. I understand that this may have not been clear in the way I first wrote this article so now I have added a few things that can make it easier to understand.

      Thank you for your input.

      Many blessings,


  10. I am planning to take a few months off next year (finally) to do some traveling and have been thinking about house/petting sitting to ease my travel budget. My research has all pointed me towards Trusted House Sitters and I like the kind of support that they have on the platform, although I’ve yet to sign up. I actually do some pet sitting locally. Is there a way I can include those testimonials on my profile on Trusted House Sitters to increase the chances of being selected? Thanks.  

    1. Thank you very much for taking the time to leave your comment here, Cathy.

      It’s very exciting to hear that you are planning to do some travelling next year. Yes! House/pet sitting would be a great way to ease your travel budget. And it’s great that the information on this post is confirming what you had already discovered yourself about Trusted House Sitters.

      I am not sure if you can include testimonials on your profile on Trusted House Sitters. In case they don’t let you do that, you could do like Jean and Kate and set up your own blog and put those testimonials there, maybe? Do you know how to start a blog? If you need help, you can have a look here:

      Let me know how it goes and if there is anything else I can do for you, okay?



  11. Hi Nathalie,

    I enjoyed reading this story and your blog in general. What a wonderful life it must be to be house and pet sitters. I guess it is a way of life that one must get used to, but also, it must be like going on a holiday one after the other.

    I hope that you are going to write more about it and I will look out for your other articles.

    Thanks for sharing.


    1. Hello John,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article and leave your comment here. 🙂

      Thank you also for your kind words about my blog.

      Yes, look out for my other articles on this subject. 🙂

      Many blessings,


  12. Hey there,

    what an interesting story of Jean and Kate, thanks for sharing it.  Certainly they are living an amazing life.  I would certainly read the books on House sitting and pet sitting. 

    A quiet different topic, at least in India, so would like to discover more about it.   It seems quiet interesting how both of them manages their business.


    1. Hey Shubhangi,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment here.

      Do you mean that there are no opportunities for house and pet sitting in India?



  13. Wow! That I never would have known existed.  International House and Pet sitting.  It sounds crazy but really interesting at the same time.

    I suppose if I was a big traveler and retired and my wife was too it might be something to try for a while.  

    Obviously you don’t make a lot of money but these people don’t seem to do it for the money which is very commendable

    1. Hello Stew,

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to leave your comment here.

      Indeed, they don’t make a lot of money from it but Jean has some successful online business, so it’s all good for them. 🙂

      Yes, maybe something to try out with your wife when you are retired, right? It opens up new possibilities… Or maybe for your next vacation?



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