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Episode summary

Have you ever fantasized about living in other people's homes, maybe in exotic places, and experiencing life just as they do? We got to live out that fantasy, vicariously though, with Kyla - a finance professional, avid traveler, and an absolute wizard when it comes to juggling her work and wanderlust. She's mastered the art of part-time travel, all while keeping her full-time job intact.

Kyla's endeavors stretch from the East to the West, but there's something about the West that captivates her. She's got a treasure trove of experiences ranging from house sitting in various local neighborhoods to exploring the winter wonderland of Alaska. Hear her share some delightful stories about her traveling companions who bark and purr, and the added layer of joy they bring to her trips.

Strap in as we discuss the nitty-gritty of house sitting – from choosing the right platforms, paying for premium memberships for added security, to the potential of international house sitting. Kyla also shares some valuable tips for first-time house sitters and her insights on building lasting relationships with homeowners. Her exciting journey is nothing short of inspiring, and it might just ignite your own desire for flexible travel.

Follow Kyla

Instagram: ⁠@curatedbykyla⁠⁠

Tiktok: ⁠@curatedbykyla⁠

Website: ⁠https://ugcbykyla.com/

Follow Chris and Sara

Youtube: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.youtube.com/chrisandsara

⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.instagram.com/chrisandsara_⁠⁠⁠⁠ | @chrisandsara_

Website: ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.chrisandsara.com⁠⁠⁠⁠

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🎙What No One Tells You

Get inspired by world travelers Chris and Sara with "What No One Tells You," their conversational podcast. Each episode is a fun chat with friends sharing personal experiences, insider tips, and riveting stories. The show is elevated by amazing guests from Youtubers, ultra marathoners, bloggers, and adventurers who bring their unique energy and perspectives to the table. With Chris and Sara, you're sure to feel a part of the group, ready to embark on a new adventure. Explore the world one story at a time and join the conversation today.


👫🏼 Who are Chris and Sara?

Hey y'all! We're Chris + Sara (or as you know us, Let’s Be Us), a husband and wife digital nomad travel duo currently working and traveling full time with our pup, Kramer. We've always dreamed of traveling full time, and in May of 2018 we took the leap and made it happen! Today we're balancing work and fun everywhere between the Pacific and Atlantic. From hiking and cycling to tacos and coffee, we're trying to see and experience as much of this world as we can! While our home is currently on wheels in our DIY Sprinter van, our travels take us all around the world.Be sure to hit subscribe here on Youtube and follow along on Instagram for more daily fun! Oh, and be sure to say hi while you're here. :)


📝 Transcript

NOTE: There were 3 speakers identified in this transcript. Speaker separation errors can arise when multiple speakers speak simultaneously.

0:00:00 - Sara

So last week we talked with our friends the Dangers, Brian and Jen, and if you haven't listened to that conversation it was really great. But one of the biggest takeaways from that conversation was people need an entry point if they want to travel. You can't, just you can, but you're more likely to fail if you just jump in head first. You know, say I'm gonna live 10 years on a sailboat. I mean, that's pretty drastic. 

0:00:22 - Kyla

But it just doesn't work. Typically it doesn't work. 

0:00:24 - Sara

Typically, and that's typically when we see people who like, for example, they are working at 9 to 5. They've been doing it for 40 years, they're retiring and they want to live in a van for five years after they're retired. Those are the people who usually give up first, not because they're retired, but just because they went from something, from one lifestyle to another so quickly. And we talked a lot about that point of entry and I'm really glad that this conversation is coming right on the heels of that one, because this conversation today is such a great point of entry for travel. 

0:00:54 - Kyla

And if you've ever wanted to visit somewhere with a low risk barrier, I think that this episode is for you, because Kyla has been able to travel and stay at these amazing places because she's house sitting or dog sitting. 

0:01:08 - Sara

Yeah, it's an amazing way just to get your foot in the door and start traveling without having to pay for hotels. I mean, you have to get there somehow, but I love the idea of house sitting and we'll talk about this a little bit. We've house sat before Not anything as cool as what Kyla does, but we have house sat before. And another thing I want to talk about with her today is the idea of slower travel. You know she gets to be in these places for longer periods of time but not just that. 

She gets to live in a real neighborhood or in a real house and kind of get that what is it like to live here? Experience, which is something we love. 

0:01:39 - Kyla

Yeah, yeah, so she gets to know what it's like and if she actually does like living there or she wants to peace out and go somewhere else. 

0:01:45 - Sara

Yeah, so we're just going to jump right into it. This is our conversation with, curated by Kyla Alright. Kyla, thank you so much for being here with us today. We are so excited to talk to you about house sitting and all of your various travel adventures and how you have made this lifestyle work. It's an unusual one and it's something that we're very interested in. The whole house sitting gig idea as a way to travel. I mean, we've done a tiny bit of it. 

0:02:11 - Kyla

Yeah, we liked it. We did a little bit in Hawaii. 

0:02:14 - Sara

A little bit in Seattle too. 

0:02:16 - Kyla

Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

0:02:17 - Sara

But we're just going to jump right into letting you introduce yourself. Tell us who you are, where you're from. All that good stuff. 

0:02:23 - Chris

Well, hello. Thanks so much for having me. You guys, I'm super excited to be here. My name is Kyla I feel like the best way to describe myself nine to five girlie, with the ultimate travel act, because I do work full time, but I kind of I would call myself a part-time traveler, part-time kind of slower travel, and figured out, like I said, the ultimate way to have the best of both worlds. Yeah, that's pretty much me. I am Dallas, texas-based, but somehow end up all over the place. 

0:03:04 - Sara

I love it. 

0:03:04 - Kyla

I don't really want to get necessarily into your job, but like just to like for clarification. Like are you, are you taking time off from your job or are you able to work remotely, or how does that work? 

0:03:14 - Chris

So my schedule is hybrid. So as long as I'm in office one week out of the month, the rest of the time I kind of can travel however I like. Sometimes I will take time off. You know, especially in a location you're like, I don't necessarily want to every single day that I'm there. You know have to work, so I will try to take some time off, but I am still fully employed as a hybrid worker. 

0:03:42 - Sara

That's a great setup. 

0:03:44 - Chris

That's a great setup. Yeah, that's so nice. 

0:03:45 - Sara

I mean, the whole working from home thing is nice. But you get to have that little best of both worlds there too, where you get to still have like a community in the office, you know, like you have a real network, and then you get to go off and say bye, see you in three weeks. 

0:03:58 - Chris

So kind of where are you at this? You know, like even you know, on camera we do our zoom, like where are you at? I'm like, well, I'm here there, but I'll see you guys in three weeks. I'll be in office when you need me. 

0:04:14 - Sara

I love it. That is such a life. 

0:04:16 - Kyla

That's amazing and they're okay with it. They're just like cool. You do your work done. 

0:04:20 - Sara

Yeah, that's exactly how it works. So, kyla, how long have you been doing this? You house it while also having a home base. How long have you been doing this? Ultimate travel hack. 

0:04:30 - Chris

So I actually started last year, the tellin of the summer, I would say so the fall. So last fall is when I really started and it kind of came about because I was wanting to move to Alaska of all places. 

I know and everyone's like, how do you know if you're going to like Alaska, like I mean, I, you know, I traveled there before but never lived. It's totally different when you live in a location. And so I was trying to brainstorm how can I experience Alaska in the winter? Because that's what everyone's telling you? You got to go in the winter, if you know, if you like it. 

And I was brainstorming with my mom and we were just how can you, you know, go there without necessarily, like, paying for a hotel or an Airbnb in a car? And I remembered and said I remember it and kind of that I'd seen a website about how sitting, oh bingo, it's like you can hang out with pets. I'm never alone, you know, like I'm a solo traveler, but never truly solo, because I'm with with pets and I'm in a community versus staying at a hotel, you know sometimes. So I, you know, I took the plunge, I joined the site and realized I love Alaska. I mean, who knows, I could probably get up there. But that was, um, that was kind of how I got started was to figure out how to live somewhere and if I would like the location. 

0:06:00 - Sara

Yeah, so how long were you in Alaska then? 

0:06:02 - Chris

So I was in Alaska five weeks in the winter and had the best time. I was like Alaska winter Absolutely. 

0:06:11 - Sara

You liked it. 

0:06:14 - Chris

I loved it. 

0:06:16 - Sara

You're a Southern or two says not like you're used to snow or anything. 

0:06:20 - Chris

I mean Texas girl, you know we get, we get ice, but like actual, you know, wake up in the morning there's snow all the time, like I wasn't used to that and it's completely. You know, for me from Texas it's other worldly because we don't have mountains here. Yeah, we've been to Dallas we know Dallas, we got, you know, skyscrapers and towels and stuff. 

0:06:48 - Sara

Yeah, that's about that. 

0:06:50 - Kyla

That's really funny. 

0:06:51 - Sara

So that's about as different as you can get, as like Dallas to Alaska. Like where did your intrigue for Alaska start? You just did you. Do you love the mountains, do you love outdoors, or what was it about it? 

0:06:59 - Chris

So I actually. So currently I work in finance, but before that I worked for an airline and so I kind of had that little bit of travel ability and went to Alaska in the summer actually. So I'd never experienced Alaska in the winter, went to Alaska in the summer. I was like this place is kind of cool no pun intended, you know, it was kind of awesome and I just, you know, kind of kept going or kept thinking about wanting to go back, and then I left the airline industry in finance and then, like I said, same thing I still had the itching to like maybe I want to experience Alaska, but that's how it's. That's why I first got out. There was through the airline. 

0:07:46 - Sara

Wow. So where in Alaska was the house sitting job? Were you like close to like Anchorage? I mean, anchorage is pretty much the only city. I suppose Fairbanks, yeah. 

0:07:55 - Chris

Well, I was in. I was in a, to say, a suburb of because there's not a lot of towns, but yeah, I guess a suburb of Anchorage, so about an hour north, in a town called Wasilla, and it's beautiful, like the drive. So you have Anchorage, you know, but then you drive north and you're just driving off. I think it's highway one. There's one highway, you know, all the way up to Fairbanks and this, that drive, is absolutely beautiful. It's like small town living, but you still have you're still have access to Anchorage. 

0:08:30 - Kyla

So you get online, you see this house like you're like, hey, these people need a house sitter. You apply for it. You get on a plane, you fly to Alaska. It's a place that you haven't been to, I mean, I mean you went in the summer but you really haven't been to this location. You don't know the people, you don't know the suburb, you don't know. I mean, you don't know anything. So, first of all, my first question is is it easy for you to make friends Like you seem like you have a really like contagious personality or personality and you just wanna, like it seems easy to talk to you. But too, like you get there like what does that look like? What does like how did this go down? 

0:09:08 - Chris

So previous, I will say previously you do interview. So I did interview with the couple via I think it was FaceTime FaceTime Zoom depends on you know some sort of video chat to see if we're a good match for each other. And that after that I like said yeah, flew to Alaska, they picked me up from the airport, they take me to their house. They had a separate like a guest house, like a completely. So I stayed at the guest house for the night and then the next day we kind of kind of go over the lay of the land of how everything works and then we do the handoff because you know they're traveling, so I take them to the airport, come back to their house at that point, move in and, you know, taking care of their pets. So I'm we're basically like switching off and then same thing when they come home, picking them up from the airport and doing the whole switch as well and, yeah, pretty much continuing daily life with their pets. 

0:10:16 - Sara

Wow. So how many pets do they have? Are you a pet person, or is it just like oh, take care of one. Do this be okay? 

0:10:22 - Chris

You have to be. I feel like you absolutely have to be because for this anyway, like you, there are other situations that you could not have pets. But I will say that the the exchange is usually for howl-ooms with pets and I I'm a dog person through and through. I don't have one currently, so that's why it worked out perfectly. You get to hang out with pets and I get to hang out in a cool place at the same time. But yeah, they had. So two houses in Alaska. One had two dogs and a chameleon, so that was cool. 

0:10:56 - Sara

That four thing in Alaska. 

0:10:58 - Kyla

I know. 

0:10:59 - Chris

Yeah, so it could be any fish. They had like little little fish. I forgot about that Little fish. And then the second house had two dogs as well. 

0:11:08 - Sara

Oh, I'm a dog. We're both dog people too, and we do have a dog when that makes traveling so much harder I know I love you. 

0:11:14 - Kyla


0:11:15 - Sara

He's great, but he makes traveling a lot harder. We always have to take that extra step, but you also found, like I feel like you really have mastered travel, especially solo, like you can just bop around wherever you want, you get the companionship of a dog without actually having the responsibility of a long-term relationship with one. 

0:11:30 - Kyla

Yeah, this is like you've mastered it All right. All right. You get into this person's house. You take care of their dog. Is there money exchanging hands for your time there? Or is it more like hey, no, you're staying here for free and thanks for taking care of our dog, but you get a free vacation out of this? Like how does what does that look like? 

0:11:48 - Chris

Yeah, so I use trusted house sitters. There are a couple websites and platforms out there and trusted house sitters is strictly in exchange. So my services in exchange for accommodations, everyone, both platforms, the homeowners and, I guess, the house sitters. We pay an annual fee to join the site, to have access to the platform. But as far as like me getting money or, yeah, me getting money for my services, this platform I use, there is none. 

0:12:23 - Sara

That's up still. I mean you're working on the road Like you don't need that income. You get a free place to stay. 

0:12:28 - Kyla

You get a free place to stay, like it's cheaper than a hotel. 

0:12:32 - Chris

And that's the thing, the cost of, like I said, there's an annual membership involved and I like to tell people it's kind of like when you are reselling, like, say, your grandma gave you some weird lamp from like the 1950s, you could take that lamp, you know, like you're like what are we gonna do? 

with this pretty lamp. You could take that lamp down to a local antique shop or some sort of consignment store in your town and you could get eyes of a couple hundred people. Or you can post it on eBay and get eyes on it with thousands of people and you're like, why don't wanna pay eBay? It's like, well, you would probably get it sold much faster and you get more value out of paying just a little bit. So that's why I like to explain trusted house-sitters like, yeah, you could post your services on Facebook for your friend group or that one community and you might get a bite, but if you actually go to a service and pay for it, you're paying for that value of people already want a house sitter. So you don't have to find, you know, like there's not a lot of issues or not a lot of asking, because they already it's right there for you. 

0:13:48 - Sara

That's a really good way of looking at it. And that kind of leads me to my next question of you're going through a platform. Does that going through a platform? Does that give you extra securities, like extra safety or their background checks or anything? Cause that's always, especially as a solo female traveler like you're, I would think safety is always a concern. It would be for me. What does that look like going through a platform versus just like finding a random person on the Facebook, which kind of sounds sketchy, I guess? 

0:14:14 - Chris

Which you and I was. There are people out there that they do like, um, find, you know, like, on like website, facebook, um, like. For me personally, I wanted that security the Outfitters is the biggest platform. They have a um and when you sign up you have different tier levels. There's three different levels Um, but you do have that support. So if something were to happen, um, you know, I can't even thankfully, nothing has happened to me, but you know, and I hope nothing happens to anyone but if, if something were to happen and you need to remove yourself, you have that support versus. Oh, you know, like, I've found this person on Craigslist Facebook you know, I um. 

also, I have a premium membership trip cancellation, so you know if I'm going to. Alaska, that's. That's a couple, that's a couple hours away from here. Um, or are you? 

0:15:14 - Kyla

just a little bit right yeah. 

0:15:16 - Chris

Just just about a seven hour nonstop flight from Texas. 

Oh my gosh, I hope they do but, um, if something were to happen, like the day before they canceled their trip, why have I already planned and bought tickets and whatnot to go out there? The premium membership offers a insurance for trip cancellation so I could still go out there, um, I would be reimbursed. Or for hotel accommodation, I think it's up to like three days, um, so that I can at least figure out what I need to do and then help to get me back, reimburse me to get back to my where I need to be. So I was helping yeah, the premium that's with premium membership, but just the support staff, that's what basic as well. So you still have that support. 

0:16:01 - Sara

You're paying a little bit to eliminate arrest. That's good. I mean, we always buy travel insurance too. It's the same idea Like you never know what's going to happen. I mean, just last week we were both supposed to be in Guatemala. I got sick, and so I mean, thankfully we were, we were okay, we got refunded from my side, but yeah, you never know what's going to happen with traveling especially when you're relying on somebody else's plans. 

0:16:21 - Kyla

Can I ask you how much the oh? What's the different? Do you know the pricing like tiers for that? 

0:16:27 - Chris

It is, I believe, 109, 129. And then the premium was like about 200, 250. There's always a nice promo code floating out, you know somewhere to make it worth a while, but yeah, but if you think about it I mean I looked up the average cost of a hotel and the US is like $200 a night. 

0:16:54 - Sara

Yeah, I was just about to say that. 

0:16:56 - Kyla

I was like. 

0:16:56 - Sara

That's the cost of a hotel for a night and that's like a Motel 8. 

0:16:59 - Kyla

That's not even a nice hotel anymore, you know. 

0:17:02 - Sara

You're right. Oh my gosh, you're from Texas. You'll appreciate this. We have to go to Texas in a few days and Lubbock is on our list. We have to go through Lubbock and I looked up a random Hyatt place in Lubbock and it was going for $500 and something a night. I was like in Lubbock, texas. 

0:17:18 - Kyla

So, hotels are out of control right now we're bringing our tent because we don't have our truck. 

0:17:22 - Sara

Lubbock, texas, lubbock. I've never been to Lubbock, so maybe it's great, but I just saw that I was like this is out of control. We're sleeping in a tent. 

0:17:30 - Kyla

We're never going to get a hotel again. 

0:17:32 - Sara

So $250 doesn't seem that bad to me. No, it doesn't All right, let's go back. 

0:17:38 - Kyla

Let's go back to the scenario. You get on the plane, you're flying, you meet these strange people. They leave, they leave these pets. How Like? At what point? Like now you're alone in this house and you're starting to make a routine and everything. Does it feel awkward or weird to you to be in somebody else's house and be amongst their like living things and try to figure out, or is it pretty immediate, like you get comfortable, you're like, yeah, this isn't bad, let's go. 

0:18:09 - Chris

So for both of the houses in Alaska I was introduced by the homeowners so they kind of give you the lay of the land. So as far as like, oh, like, how does the dishwasher? You know like I knew that and you know gas stove and those kind of things, I would say, if anything, people make their house a home. So it was very homey. Nothing against a hotel. But you know like if I was there I was in one house for three weeks. So like staying in a hotel for three weeks sometimes I guess we get old. So having people it sounds weird, but having people's stuff is almost kind of comforting. You know like they've made their house very comfortable for themselves. So when you are there they make that. You know it's very comfy on very comfy couch. Different foods, you know a lot of. You know they're gone for a long time Like you know a lot of them have food in the fridge You're welcome to. Especially in Alaska everyone has tons of food on stand. 

So, you know, like just having those things like salt and pepper and extra spices that you didn't have to go out and buy, and condiments was cool too to have. And then, like I said, having being in a community, I think being in a neighborhood also can just be different, because it's just very I keep saying homey, because that's the best way to put it it's very homey, so it doesn't make you feel alone. As for me, because, like I said, solo travel. 

0:19:49 - Sara

And my guess would be that you kind of feel, no, slightly more immersed, a little bit faster, like you feel, like you're living, you get to see what life is really like in that place, versus staying in the hotels which are usually in the touristy areas or you know. I mean, we've stayed, we've house that twice now. Once was for a friend in Hawaii, which was amazing, and then the second one was in Washington. It was like in a really nice suburb of. 

Seattle, which we could never have afforded this house, which was a really fun opportunity. But both times it was like we got to experience what it was like to live in an area that one we couldn't afford and two we may never have gotten the chance to even visit. So I don't know, do you feel the same way, like when you show up in Alaska? You get to know, like you get to see the routines, what people you know? 

0:20:34 - Chris

you know I'm going with this. Yeah, like, do you feel like that? And I will say, because you know my, my goal initially when I started was to see if I liked Alaska. So being in a neighborhood versus I was like an anchorage. A lot of the hotels are like city center, so you know, having to shovel snow, that you don't do, that you know at a hotel. So having to shovel snow and just navigating roads in the in the suburbs, navigating grocery store shopping, like things like that in an actual neighborhood was, was eye-opening and like said immersive, and meeting the neighbors was, was, was awesome because For me, like I said, in a hotel people come and go versus you know they see me every morning, they see me with the dogs A lot of times you are introduced to the neighbors anyway because you just want the neighbors to know hey, there's some random person staying in the house. So there's really a lot to help if something happened to you. So that was nice too, that's nice. 

Like I said, really, yeah, I really would say I kind of immersed myself in the culture, culture Alaska. 

0:21:52 - Sara

I feel like Alaska has got its own culture. 

0:21:54 - Kyla

It is, we've been there. 

0:21:56 - Sara

Not in the winter. You're braver than us. We were definitely there in the summer, but Alaska is its own thing. It is a culture. 

0:22:03 - Kyla

I want to bring this up because Sarah hasn't touched on this at all. But we need to bring this up because we, the house that we house set in Washington, we, we were we were in this house for like four months, three months. 

We were in this house for four months. We were introduced via a friend and we talked to them via phone. That was it. We never did zoom, we never Skype or anything. And by the time that we were getting to Seattle, where it was the house was, they were already on their like cross Canadian adventure, like they're going in this RV. And so we pull up to the house and immediately we noticed that there's something different about this house. And they have this giant goofy and Pluto statue hanging over the front door, like life size, like goofy and Pluto life size. And they didn't they. They haven't told us anything about this house. And so we go inside and we see goofy and Pluto like paintings everywhere, goofy and Pluto plates cut like everything is everything. 

The shrubs in the backyard were cut like goofy and Pluto. These people just loved goofy and Pluto. They're so weird. It was so weird so. 

0:23:11 - Sara

I great house other than that. 

0:23:13 - Kyla

Yeah, it was amazing. But I say all this have you been surprised by any of the places that you have been? Like, has there been any like weird things? You're like what is going on here? 

0:23:23 - Chris

That's a good question. I was am been lucky to not be surprised. Um, actually the same thing. The second house that I ended up doing in Anchorage I actually did not get a chance to, like we were just just in the moving and and uh, with all the ins and outs of everything. I didn't also get to see her house, and so I I was pleasantly surprised because it was up in the mountains, and so the view that like that was, um, I think the surprise was like this is your view every morning. Good surprise. 

0:24:06 - Kyla

Yeah, that's a really good surprise. 

0:24:07 - Chris

Like absolutely, that's awesome. So that was more, more of that Um, and then I did, I did two house it's also in Hawaii and I think the same thing was the view, um, the proximity to the ocean. It kind of was, oh, like when you say you're close to the ocean, like you were really close to the ocean, so that kind of it. Those kind of experiences where it's like pleasantly surprised, not really, I guess, shocking surprise. 

0:24:37 - Sara

Okay, yeah, I don't have like no more. 

0:24:40 - Chris

No shocking surprise when I'm like, oh you didn't tell me that. You know, next door to you is like a mountain man. You know his his, his wood and his underwear Right and we, like no one mentioned but no, I didn't have that experience- yeah, sounds like Alaska. 

0:24:59 - Sara

Yeah, that's probably. Yeah, I was going to say that's probably. You probably don't have those like bad shocks yet, or hopefully ever, because you do go through a platform. This was like a friend of a friend and, granted, this was seven years ago, so like even video calling wasn't as big back then. Yeah, yeah, security like going through a platform and this is not sponsored by trusted house. 

0:25:20 - Kyla

That or anything, no yeah. 

0:25:23 - Sara

This is. I've seen them, but I've seen them online and we've looked at it. But since we have a dog like, it's not really possible for us, like we nobody wants our dog coming to their house to stay with their dogs. Our dog wouldn't even like that. But yeah, security is important and I was going to ask where in Hawaii were you? 

0:25:39 - Chris

So I've done, or I did. House two house sits in a Wahoo. Okay, love. I have a love for a Wahoo. I like all the islands, don't get me wrong, but I have a special love for a Wahoo. Okay, so that's yeah, that I've done both on a Wahoo and actually have both in a Wahoo. 

0:26:02 - Sara

We've never been to a, we've only been to Maui and it was just for that house sitting job. But I'm pretty sure if I pulled up onto any Hawaii Island. 

0:26:09 - Kyla

I'd be happy Like just drop me there and I'd be fine. But a Wahoo, that's like the dream one to me. So you've been to Alaska house sitting, and then you've been to Hawaii, have you? Are those the only two locations that you've been to so far? 

0:26:24 - Chris

So far only two. And then I started here in Texas locally to kind of my feet wet to see if I wanted to continue doing it and get reviews. 

That's a good tip that is yeah, like definitely start locally. And then I feel like it builds up your profile because it's harder to let someone that you don't know stay at your house hundreds of miles away versus in your town. You have that security of like hey, by the way, that's how I started. I was like hey, I'm down the street, you know like I don't have any reviews, but I'm down the street, you know that I'm here, I'm not flying on a plane or, you know, a train, a bus, I'm already in your town and we actually met beforehand to be like, hey, I'm real, so that is yeah, but I've done that. 

I do have one in Seattle, so I actually, well, I'll be in Seattle in October, but that's the two places I've been, or three I guess. No-transcript so far. 

0:27:39 - Sara

We love Seattle. That was home for us for a couple years. Yeah, you're gonna get the pretty colors and the moody mountains with the clouds and the rain. 

0:27:47 - Kyla

Yeah, the whole. Thing. 

0:27:48 - Sara

Man, that's really smart, though, like good advice, of start somewhere local so you can meet and build up those reviews, cause I mean that's important. Like we've Airbnb'd our home and you're right, it's weird to have somebody come in your home unless they have reviews. Like we're really picky about that, and same idea. You wanna find that security again. So, okay, you've done some amazing places in the States, I think, probably the best the States have to offer you're doing. Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. 

Like it doesn't get better than that. But is international an option on trusted house sitters? Is that something that you would consider? 

0:28:16 - Chris

So it is an option. The platform was originally a UK platform, so they're very big, very big and actually really three, three places the United States, united Kingdom and Australia. Surprisingly so, there's tons of house sits all over the world. For me personally, I think, as I continue to build my profile and my platform and continue reviews, then I think I'll be ready to go off of United's or, you know, go away. I would love New Zealand, australia. 

0:28:57 - Sara

Like somewhere out there, and they're so expensive. 

0:29:01 - Chris

They are, that's the thing so expensive, and so if you could, figure out how to offset that cost somehow. And the combination is, you know that's a very big part of your, of your trips. So, figuring, out how to how to minimize that with house sitting. That's kind of where I would like to be, so I don't know. 

0:29:23 - Sara

2024 crossover Wow. 

0:29:26 - Chris

The best option on that side of the world. 

0:29:28 - Sara

Oh, that'd be so fun. I'm just yeah, new, zealand, australia would be like that's one of our dream places. New Zealand, especially Australia, looks cool New Zealand looks awesome. 

0:29:37 - Kyla

If somebody has a house in New Zealand and doesn't mind Kramer like, please let us know, because we would love that. 

0:29:44 - Chris

I will say I'm not ashamed to ask why People can house it with their pets. Yeah, I need to look into it again. Yeah, it was like people. There are people on the platform who, you know, I guess, advertise that they're traveling with their pets and you know that's the only way to travel. And there are, you know, I guess you think about it people of all demographics. So there's people who have small children so they don't mind a family coming in to house it because the pets are already used to small children around. There are people whose dogs love other dogs, and if your dog loves other dogs, or if your cat can be around other cats, you could do that Few and far between. But there are times that there are houses with no pets, so they just don't have any, and so I guess there's the option that you be like hey, I have one, is it okay? But there are definitely houses out there where they don't mind you bringing a pet because their dogs already, or cats, whatever kind of pet, are already used to that in the house. 

0:30:55 - Sara

That's good to know. I mean, it's been like four years since I've looked into it, but I was looking into it. I don't remember where we were looking at going, but I remember I was running into it was like no pets, no, don't, you can't have pets. And I was like, oh, so I just kind of gave up on it. But the first house we ever house that was in Seattle and they had zero animals. Like that was the best setup ever because like we had nothing to care for except for their really nice weird house, yeah except for all the goofy Pluto stuff. 

So weird season in our lives. 

0:31:27 - Kyla

So you've talked about how nice it is to kind of travel slow and visit these amazing places. Is there any negative side to this of house sitting for somebody? Is there anything like what? Is there any cons to this? 

0:31:44 - Chris

Yeah, so many pros, but I will say there are cons. The con being at the end of the day versus staying in a hotel or Airbnb or staying away from a house sit is you do have to take care of people's pets. So if one, if you're not into that and you wanna like go explore for 10 hours of the day, you don't have that ability because you still have to come back at some point and you have responsibilities at home. So there could be that. If you don't like that, for me I don't mind that break because sometimes I'm working, so I'm usually at the house for eight hours anyway, the first half of the day take care of the pets and then after work go do my activity for the evening and then come back and finish taking care of responsibilities. 

So I will say that con if you are looking for something where you can just be gone for 10 hours or I guess the flexibility of you do have, so I have to come home every night. So that whole idea of oh, we'll do like a two day this or that, you can't do that. You need to be back home. Even if you house it for like a snake, you still gotta come back. Or fish. You still have to come there right. 

There is a responsibility. There is a responsibility, I will say, kind of like what we touched on earlier. If you don't know what you're getting into, you could be really surprised. So really asking questions during the interview to kind of gauge, is this house it right for me? But I mean, even after all the questions you still could run into something you just didn't expect. So I guess expecting the unexpected could be a con versus showing up at a hotel. You just boom, you're set and you're ready to be made. Every day. There's that. 

0:33:56 - Sara

And that made me think. You said obviously you have the responsibility of taking care of the pets, but are there other responsibilities besides a pet and maybe the stifters from house to house? Like you were in Alaska and you mentioned having to shovel the snow, If you were in Hawaii, do you have to cut the grass? Like, are there other responsibilities? Like do you have to maintain the entire house or do they typically hire out those other things and you're strictly there to take care of the inside of the house and the animal? What does that look like? 

0:34:23 - Chris

So I've not had situations where I've had to do a lot of stuff In Hawaii. It was an apartment, a condo, so not a lot of maintenance. But I see the houses, I've applied to them and I've seen them and from other people heard of different responsibilities and even in the listing. Yeah, you sometimes might have to cut their grass, clean their pool If you're there for extended amount of time, the collecting the mail, simple things like that. But some people have farms so you have to farm around stuff. 

0:35:07 - Sara

Yeah, yeah, that might be more than what I'm really ready to bargain for. But I mean I could pull a melon. I like cutting the grass every now and then. 

0:35:16 - Chris

If it's a cool location. Maybe you're like I don't mind going in the stables if I'm in a really awesome location, but for me, yeah, I'm okay. 

0:35:30 - Sara

Maybe if I were in like Montana or something, but you mentioned like cleaning out the pool and if I'm getting a free pool to use, like, I'll clean that pool out all day. 

0:35:36 - Kyla

Like it's fine by me. Well, and if they've stocked the refrigerator with snacks, I mean that settles my debt. You know, like I'm fine with that, Give me some snacks. 

0:35:45 - Sara

So okay, besides trusted. Oh, actually, one more question before the other one I was gonna ask Okay, so you mentioned you have to do the interview process and you have to build up these reviews. Is it pretty competitive on the platform, Like I mean, I'm assuming that like the more interviews or the more reviews you have, it probably gets easier, but have you been turned down at all? Like, what is how many people are applying for these positions? 

0:36:07 - Chris

Definitely had rejection, especially at the beginning, because I didn't have any reviews and sometimes I feel like I would just like go for some of them, like some beautiful crazy house in California and I was like who are you, you know, with no reviews, wanting to stay there? So definitely had rejection. I say it gets easier the more reviews you have. And I will also say when starting out, you have a better chance of getting the least lesser popular houses, like maybe someone has like an unpopular part of the country or you know, like they're kind of away from the city center, so you have a bigger chance of probably landing a couple of those. But yeah, I would say there's definitely locations, not even just in the US around the world they're very competitive London, new York City, hawaii, those kind of places. 

0:37:12 - Sara

Yeah, I mean you. Even with you know just a few reviews, you've already managed to snag some of the best in America. So, I mean, keep going for that California coast one that you were talking about. But that's good to know that there is competition. So if you get rejected like it's not just you, it's obviously. It's a process, it's a growing thing. You you're building up those reviews, but I think that starting local tip was really smart. 

It's low risk for someone to hire someone who doesn't have new views and it's, you know, low risk for you. Like, do I like that? So that's really good. So, besides trust, besides trusted house sitters, what other platforms are there? Have you used any others or what other resources would you recommend for people who are interested in this? 

0:37:50 - Chris

There are other platforms out there. There are some that are specific to regions, like there's one that's like specific for Australia. I I've not used them because you, like, most of them are paid like a paid annual service, and so if I'm going to pay, I want the one with the most options for me, and that makes a lot of just don't have as many many available and for what I'm looking for, for someone else they could be perfect, and I think I'm not even think I know there are a couple that are completely free to sign up for. 

But, like for me personally, I wanted, I want to see all of it. I want to see a lot of options. I want the, I want the long list of multiple options, multiple chances, more options. You have a better chance of landing something, especially in the beginning. 

0:38:44 - Sara

I completely understand. That makes sense, like I don't want to pay for 10 services once. 

0:38:48 - Kyla

I get that and I've heard just of house there's. 

0:38:49 - Sara

It seems like a very reputable name, but so is there. 

0:38:52 - Kyla

Is there a place that you wouldn't house that serve? Why do you? 

0:38:57 - Sara

ask these questions. 

0:38:58 - Kyla

I just want to know, like is there a place in the world, in the country You're like? You know, I don't, I don't need to house it there. 

0:39:06 - Chris

Oh, that's a good question. 

0:39:08 - Sara

You don't have to answer this. 

0:39:12 - Chris

OK, only because I guess a place I'm not interested in which would be maybe this, maybe the Midwest, because I'm from Texas, so it's like like I've been there and that, but I would go Chicago. Chicago would be the exception. 

0:39:32 - Sara

Oh, ok, yeah, yeah, chicago is cool, I like Chicago. 

0:39:35 - Kyla

Chicago is cool. 

0:39:37 - Chris

It would have to really be worth my while. 

0:39:40 - Sara

I'm the same. Like you don't want to. I mean, you've got your own home already. That's in the South, so you probably don't want to do the South of the Midwest, where it looks the same. Right, why not just stay home and not have to care for an animal? I guess that's exactly, exactly. 

0:39:55 - Chris

I would go just about. I like going West because of for work, because I guess it's in and still working. 

So what, I'm thinking time zone wise, if I go East, I'm losing an hour from Texas. If I go West, I kind of gain time back. So, for example, like I said, in Hawaii, I was working for 30 Hawaii time, you know, to make my like nine to five job or something like that or somewhere around that time, right, but then I finished at like one in the afternoon and I had the rest of the day to do whatever I wanted. Versus going East, I'm losing an hour from Texas, I get that. 

0:40:36 - Kyla


0:40:36 - Sara

We when we lived in Seattle we love still going to the West Coast because most of our clients are East Coast we would get up, start work by six o'clock and then we had the whole afternoon and evening. 

0:40:46 - Chris

It was. 

0:40:46 - Sara

It was great. I love that. 

0:40:48 - Kyla

I would totally. 

0:40:48 - Sara

Rather get up early versus working late in the day. 

0:40:50 - Kyla

Yeah, by 2 pm the day was ours yeah. 

0:40:53 - Sara

Yeah, great, yeah it was super nice. 

0:40:55 - Kyla

So if, if we wanted to get started or somebody's listening right now and they're wanting to get started, like what, is there any practical advice that you would give to somebody who's just starting out? 

0:41:07 - Chris

I would say, definitely get started early and when you, before you like, want to do that dream destination. So if your dream destination is, you know, going to to Sydney Australia, I would start before you're ready to go to Sydney Australia. Start local, create a really great profile and talk about your love for pets and the profile. Talk to the people that I've, you know, house it, for I've become friends with you know, over the months and just, you know, just talking about interactions, and a lot of times I'm saying, you know people speak on wanting to come to Hawaii to hang out at the beach all day is like, well, hey, that's great, but you know our, this platform is for an exchange. So what about your experience with pets? 

So yeah yeah, yeah, Hyping. You know, not hyping, but really building a profile to speak about pets. Get some local experience, start local, build up your reviews so that, like so, when you're ready to go to Australia, when you're ready to go to London or, or, you know, Cape Town, South Africa, wherever your, your dream destination is, you already have credibility on the platform and it makes you stand out versus, you know, the thousands of other people on the platform. 

0:42:37 - Sara

Right, that's good. And one more question that just crossed my mind Repeat with any of these people that you've worked with any chance of that, because you said you've built friendships up. Is that something that you know? Next time the Alaska couple has to go somewhere, would they call you first? Has that ever happened? 

0:42:54 - Kyla

So Hawaii was actually repeat. I uh, funny story about that I had applied to house it for them, uh, last year and didn't get the. The first, you know, didn't get it because they got someone else and they had reached back out there like hey, um, we need someone for this trip, are you interested in that? That one I really didn't apply for. They reached out to me and I was like okay. 

Just to be able to go through the app. Um, you know, like we put everything in the app and then the second time that I went, same thing they called. They were like hey, we're going to sew it, so do you want any part of this trip that we're on? Cause I couldn't take they they actually gone for like over a month. I would have loved to have stayed the whole time. But they're like do you want any part of this? Uh, the summer. And I was like, yeah. 

So, um repeat, um repeat. And then even in Dallas I did at the beginning, I did a repeat here because, like you know, the dog gets used to you. They're like oh, uh, I would use a repeat. 

0:44:08 - Sara

Yeah. No I mean we're, we've had people house it for us and we're picky, especially if we have to leave Kramer, which we don't too often. But I'm I'm the same way Like I, when somebody knows our house and our pet and we trust them, like I don't want to go searching for somebody else. Like just please come back Like I think that's a cool thing and you're building that relationship, that you did a good job and people like you that's speaks volumes. 

0:44:27 - Kyla

Yeah, so if, if we were following you online like, or do you do like? Do you post about where you're going and like what your house sitting and all that Do you do that online? 

0:44:39 - Chris

Yeah. So and it happened because everyone else was asking me. They're like how do you know what I think I will? You're like I will, I will post. So I will say that I post. I post my adventures and try to give little tips here and there about how to get started and what makes a good house sitter and the day in the life. Because, like people were asking and I was like, yeah, why not? So I, I, I do that on Tiktok and I do that on Instagram. 

0:45:11 - Sara

Yeah, Perfect, so we're going to link everything down below so people can find you follow your travel adventures wherever that's going to be. I guess it's Seattle next, Is that right? 

0:45:19 - Chris

Yeah, yeah For now who? Knows it's only July, so anything yeah Between there yeah. 

0:45:28 - Sara

And it looks like just from your Instagram when I was going through it, it looks like you travel in addition to house sitting, so plenty of stuff to follow. But, kyla, this was so much fun. I'm so glad we got to do this. This has been hugely beneficial for us and, I'm sure, other people out there who are looking for a way to travel. So thank you so much for being here. We really appreciate it. 

0:45:44 - Chris

Thanks for having me and, like I said, I was super, super pumped to talk with you guys. 

0:45:50 - Sara

Yeah, thank you, you have a good one. See you Bye. Thanks for listening to what no one tells you with Kristen Sarah. If you have a comment or question that you want answered on the air, be sure to send us a message to hello at ChrisandSara.com, or you can call or text our phone number at 423-825-9572. Thanks for listening!

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