With Brexit dashing all our hopes and dreams of affordable holidays by ruining the pound, you may be looking (read: being forced to look) for a less expensive way to travel.
Because that shopping trip you booked to NYC for the Black Friday sales suddenly doesn’t look like such a bargain – and god bless you and your wallet when you land in Spain next week and discover the airport exchange bureau is selling euros at 1.01 to the pound.
Everything from fuel to accommodation to cocktails is going to be a whole lot more expensive for us Little Englanders on our travels this summer thanks to the post-Brexit pound – which makes the idea of holidaying for free all the more appealing.
Especially when you throw in a bonus resident cat or dog.
Like these guys, George the black labrador and Charlie the ragdoll cat.
That’s what you get when you book a house-sit – or more accurately, a pet-sit, instead of a trad vacation.
The idea of the pet/house sit is similar to a houseswap scheme – but instead of swapping, you pay for your holiday home by looking after the owner’s pet.
A holiday home like this 16th century cottage in Lancashire, where George and Charlie live.
This is their garden, btw.
The house (and many others that have been available both here and in more exotic climes, including Tuscany – pic above – France, Ibiza, Barbados and Bahamas) is being advertised on TrustedHousesitters, a company that matches pets (or pet owners) who need a pet-sitter with pet-sitting people who want a holiday in that area.
Both pet owners and holiday-hunters sign up with the service and pay a subscription fee, then when they find each other in their hour of need, the rest is free.
The sort of properties available range from English country houses and castles to villas in Ibiza or Barbados, chateaux in the French or German countryside and farmhouses in stunning Tuscany hills, with the odd Maida Vale one-bed thrown in.
The idea is not only to offer exotic accommodation – some ‘semi-professional’ pet-sitters have made this their lifestyle and prefer to move from one house to another in a particular area in their hometown, for instance – but there are enough on offer that are in exotic spots to make this your travel M.O.
One career housesitter, Charli, 29, has done just that.
She started a travel blog called Wanderlusters while housesitting five years ago. From her first sit, she went on to live for five years entirely on housesits, staying in 10 different countries and looking after 52 different animals including alpacas and cows.
It’s entirely possible for anyone to do the same.
You could end up in this beautiful house in Powell River, B.C, Canada.
With this pretty enticing view.
Or how about this castle in Ireland, which is also used to film Game Of Thrones?
This German chateau?
This babe of a beachside property in Australia
Or this Georgian manor house in the English countryside, complete with frolicking white ponies
You don’t get that at Travelodge.