How We Saved Over $20,000 on Accommodation in Australia & New Zealand

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House sitting

I know what you’re probably thinking, “Great Zeus’ beard! How did you two save over $20,000 on accommodations?”

Were you sleeping on park benches? Friends sofas? Crack dens?

No, no and no.

Let me show you how we lived in Australia and New Zealand in gorgeous properties for free and how you can to!

Where Does the $20,000 Figure Come From?

I really doubt anyone can argue against the fact that Australia and New Zealand are quite expensive travel destinations. In fact Sydney and Auckland are now considered to be amongst the most expensive cities in the world. Much like Western Europe, Scandinavia or our home country of Canada, the standard of living that their citizens enjoy is high and so the cost of living of course follows suit.

The average hotel price in Australia in 2014, according to the Sydney Morning Herald (quoting price index), is $177 AUD per night. While in Auckland, New Zealand you can expect to pay roughly $150 AUD per night for a hotel.

$20,000 Breakdown

  • Nights spent house sitting in Australia: 80
  • Nights spent house sitting in New Zealand: 40
  • Average hotel price Australia: $177 AUD
  • Average hotel price Auckland: $150 AUD

80 Nights X $177 AUD = $14,160 AUD

40 Nights X $150 AUD = $6,000 AUD

Total Cost Savings = $20,160 AUD

As you can see from the above, we saved over $20,000 (approximately) on accommodations in Australia and New Zealand by house sitting.

What is House Sitting?

House sitting is essentially the act of taking care of someones property and oftentimes pets while they are away on vacation. Your house sit may last for only a few days or may in some circumstances last up to a year.

We know travellers who have found themselves in a french villa, a beach front property in the Caribbean or a gorgeous chalet in the mountains.

You can stay for free while you travel to all four corners of this beautiful world absolutely free!

So what does the homeowner get out of this?

Good question!

First of all, it is a major cost savings for the homeowner as well as the price to board their pet while away can easily set them back up to $50 per day. In our experience as house sitters this cost is usually secondary to owners who want nothing more than the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their home and fur babies are well taken care of while they are away.

House sitting Australia

Your fur baby is in good hands!

Our House Sitting Experiences

We were first exposed to house/pet sitting while in Canada when we agreed to help some colleagues out while they were away. Twice we had our friends bring their cats to live with us which was a lot of fun. On another occasion we actually took care of a colleague’s home and their two massive bouviers.

On this round-the-world trip we first house/pet sat for a friend’s mother in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand. We took care of her awesome cat “Dave” which was fantastic as we not only missed having a pet after a year on the road but we were able to live in one of the best cities in the world absolutely free!

House sitting Auckland

“Dave” our first pet sit in New Zealand

After our New Zealand house sit we were hooked on house sitting! We immediately started researching different house sitting companies and came across which is the world’s largest and most popular site.

As we started researching cool house sitting opportunities across Australia we came across an opportunity in Adelaide that piqued our interest. We would be taking care of three cats, two bengals and a Norwegian forest cat in the suburb of Marino in a home that offered stunning views of the ocean from the backyard.

The housesit turned out to be fantastic as the three cats were a lot of fun, the area was gorgeous and we even had use of their Land Rover to get around the city absolutely free! 

Koala Adelaide

Koala’s in our backyard!

Our next house sit saw us back in Adelaide but this time in the highly coveted “Hills” area. If you can believe it, there were koalas in the trees, kangaroos in the paddock across the road, kookaburras hunting in the backyard and heaps of cockatoos and other tropical birds feeding on our patio. This was the ultimate Australian wildlife heaven!

Once again, we had use of the family’s car while they were away for free. The ability to use a vehicle during our house sits has made it easy to be able to get out for groceries or run a few errands but more importantly, it allows us to quickly get to a veterinarian in case of any emergencies.

We fell in love with “Rosie” the playful and beautiful dingo mix who absolutely stole our hearts during one of our all-time favourite house sits.

House sitting Adelaide

We fell in love with “Rosie” in the Adelaide Hills

We have since had a few other incredible house sits in Australia and are now fortunate enough to be in a position that homeowners are now contacting us. This should happen for you as well as soon as you have a few solid reviews under your belt.

How Do I Join?

There are now many different websites offering house and pet sitting opportunities as it is becoming a popular way for travellers with a passion for animals to see the world.

The house sitting site we use and recommend to all of our friends is Trusted Housesitters. We love them because the site is easy to use, there are house sitting opportunities all over the world and every house sit we have secured through them was simple and stress free.

PIN This!

House sitting Pinterest

Wrapping Up

House sitting has been and continues to be one of the major ways that we are able to see the world, take care of lovely pets and save huge amounts of money all at the same time.

We have saved over $20,000 during our travels so far with house sitting and now you can do the same!

Sign up now at Trusted Housesitters! and use our exclusive promo code FREEYOURMIND to receive 10% your membership fee!

If you are interested in having us house sit for you, please contact us as we would love to hear from you!


Ross & Alyse



Lover of travel, photography, nature, movies, and nachos. If you love Star Wars and Lord of the Rings we'll probably become best friends.

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