Traveling the world for free or nearly free with points and discounts is nothing new. Some of us might even consider ourselves professionals at never paying full price for our flights or getting the premium seats for a fraction of what they typically cost. While we also utilize all of these same strategies to book stays at all inclusive properties or even just necessary hotel stays along the way in our travels, what about traveling all over the planet and staying entirely for free without having to apply points or discounts at all? How is that possible?
Are you an animal lover? I am too. When I had furry friends living with me in my home one of the hardest parts of travel was finding someone to come and stay with them while I was away. My wife was also greatly distressed whenever we had to leave them behind. Evidently, we were not alone in this anxiety over how to have our pets cared for while we were away. This article caught my eye and while I would never consider actually doing this, the couple mentioned seem to be making a great success of “working” as house and pet sitters all over the planet in order to stay for free while caring for pets.
I have only once ever booked a stay at a private bed and breakfast sort of place. It turned out quite nice as it was a separate cottage with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and a kitchen and living room. This was at least 10 years before AirBnB and we booked it because it was on Maui and was a more affordable option for us at the time. These days I would never consider booking a private residence nor would I ever consider renting any property I own on any sort of basis.
Taking it this step further in obtaining free lodging in exchange for caring for pets seems fraught with risks to me. There are fees involved with being included as a “sitter” as well as fees for booking the services through the host website. It appears they do background checks on any potential “sitters” but would you trust someone otherwise unknown to you in your home with your pets? How do you know the pets are going to be friendly? What if something happens to a pet while in your care, are you liable? Are there any limitations on what types of pets you would be required to care for? I don’t know about you, but no free lodging would be worth caring for snakes or spiders or monitor lizards to me!
Yes, I’ll jump through a lot of hoops to get the flights I want booked for as little as possible. I will also do the same to book hotel stays in the same way. I will continue to utilize credit card offers to accomplish those goals. When it comes to traveling the planet and staying for free in exchange for some personal time with Fido though, I’ll pass. You? – René
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