House Sitting

Many people feel secure knowing their house is occupied while they are away. Once you have established relationships with house swappers and have had a positive experience, you might find yourself hooked: house swapping is cheap (especially for families or groups), and gives you a direct, personal experience of a place and its people.

Naturally you have responsibility for the leaving the house in a good condition. There is always the chance that some aspect of the house or arrangement will disappoint. The only thing that can prevent this is doing more research.

It’s in the interests of both parties to be up front about the limitations or realities of their properties. But if the house or apartment isn’t what they said it was or isn’t how you envisaged it, you can save it as a good story to tell your friends when you get home.

HomeLink has 13,500 house swappers from 69 countries on its database. The 12-month fee for listing your property on the website is $250 and for listing on the web and in the huge hard-copy directory, $300.
Ph 1800 853 535
Web HomeLink

Aussie house swap provides properties for swap in Australia and New Zealand. Membership is only $65 a year but you can browse without becoming a member.
Ph 0431 417 419
Web Aussie House Swap

Happy house sitters is an Australian-based company established in 1999. Potential house sitters pay a registration fee, which varies depending on the area.
Ph (03) 9532 9837
Web Happy House Sitters Australia

Other homestay websites are:
Unique Home Stays
British Homestays