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    These Women Make A Living By Petsitting Around The World; Here's How They Got Into It

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    I live for travel hacks — especially when they involve saving money. So, when I heard about a couple of women who have managed to stay around the world for free, my ears perked up.

    Meet Kristina Corniel and Madolline Gourley. Both spoke with me about how they travel the world without paying for lodging, what to watch out for, and a few handy tips for anyone who might be thinking about trying something similar.

    1. Their secret? You must like — no, love — pets. Or at least be up for housesitting.

    A dog at home

    2. In addition to providing sitters with free lodging, pet and house sitting also helps cut other costs — like car rentals, airport transfers, and food.

    A petsitter and a cat

    3. To start, build a profile on a pet sitting site. According to both Corniel and Gourley, TrustedHousesitters is the best. If your aim is to go abroad, this is also the time to study up on work-visa requirements.

    Laptop computer with a petsitting screen

    4. It's probably best to pick one site and stick with it, because a big part of finding gigs is building up reviews.

    Woman and a cat taking a selfie

    5. But, if you're new, you might want to start by picking up shorter, local pet sitting gigs so you can quickly and easily accumulate your first few reviews.

    Putting a leash on a dog

    6. Another way to prove you're credible is by using your online reputation from other sites — like your Airbnb, TaskRabbit, or Uber profile — or even social media.

    Woman with a dog in a home

    7. The site may run a background check and ask for external references to make sure you're legit.

    8. That said, pet sitting experience is not required.

    Cat sitting in a chair

    9. And for your own safety, always read the reviews of the pet owners, chat with them, and even hop on a video call. In some cases, you may never see them in person. Other times, you might meet them before and after the sit.

    Woman talking on her computer

    10. One secret to avoiding any problems is to carefully follow the routine the pets are used to.

    A cat looking at the camera

    11. And make sure you're comfortable with the number and type of pets you'll be tasked with watching.

    A dog on a surf board

    12. If you're traveling internationally, you might want to look for longer sits — at least 2 weeks. The sweet spot for domestic sits is a week+.

    13. But don't book flights until you've landed the gig.

    Wing of an airplane over the blue ocean

    14. And because of travel delays, you might want to arrive a day early so you have a buffer.

    15. It might be worth it to look for a sit that's close to downtown — especially if you don't have access to a car.

    An NYC subway station

    16. In addition to taking you to new places, you'll get the scoop on local recommendations and have an "in" with the community.

    Woman on the screen talking about making friends abroad

    17. If you're planning to sit internationally, it's worth noting that house sitting can be interpreted as work by border control, which can lead to problems.