A few of our clients have asked what we do with our alpacas when we go away. Take them with us! No we don't. We use a website called Trusted Housesitters but there are a few to choose from. The would-be housesitters post bios of themselves and a variety of credentials including police checks. As is the way of the world right now, once they have completed a housesit, they get reviewed so you can see what animals and properties they have looked after previously. You join (there is an annual fee) and post the dates you are going away and a description of your property and animals. There is a simple form to fill in and you can add photos and videos. Then you wait...
We always get about ten applicants straight off the bat - New Zealand and alpacas seem to be quite popular! We look at the reviews, choose one we like and organise to Skype or Facetime them. Then we have a chat and we make sure that it is going to work for both of us.
And that's it. You are free to go on holiday! We have been using the website for the last three years and every experience has been wonderful. Our housesitters have included a couple of retired teachers from the UK who rented out their house in London and have been housesitting around the world for the last few years. They ended up overseeing the birth of a cria that arrived early - and they tidied my airing cupboard. Bonus. We've had a travel writer who blogged her experiences, an ultramarathon runner who was training for a local race - and is coming back again! We've had a vet nurse from Auckland who has done a few weekends for us.
We have genuinely enjoyed meeting them all and are definitely seeing housesitting around the globe in our future! Next up we've a couple of Aussies currently running a lodge in Sri Lanka. And they are even keen to halter train for us whilst we are away. Love it!