Caretaking – looking for free accommodation in exchange for work?

This is slightly off topic but thought many of you may be interested in this site.  There are some fantastic opportunities to care take properties all over the world, which may be an inexpensive option to stay near some of the world’s best hiking tracks (see the tie in there!)

Nora from The Professional Hobo told us about the Caretaker Gazette a few months ago,  and after sussing it out, we subscribed for 12 months to see what opportunities were available.

The basic principal is people who are looking for short or long term “caretakers” advertise  on Caretaker Gazette.   We get an email once or twice a week listing opportunities.

In reality these are welcomed with a mixture of excitement and envy here at Hiking Blog central. Excitement because of the huge number of opportunities for free (or nominally paid) roles around the world , envy because the timing is not quite right for us, yet.

Below is just a random sample of some recent ones.

ITALY – WE ARE IN NEED of a responsible, dedicated, individual house sitter who can look after our home in Toscana, Italy, family pets, and our garden. We are looking for a house sitter from June 27 through September 1, 2010.

Image: Desmond Kavanagh – CC – Flickr

ENGLAND – HOUSEKEEPER/COOK required for a beautiful country house. This is a long-term position for which we offer a good salary, a house on the estate, plus two days off each week with four weeks annual holiday. You need good references, the ability to drive, and have no dependent children. Your duties will include cooking for the family of two and some entertaining, responsibility for running the house, which includes shopping, organizing and assisting cleaning staff, the payment of household accounts and the care of animals. If required, garden work is available for a partner. Please apply giving your personal details and past employment history, a copy of your references

AUSTRALIA – HONEST CARETAKER required for a beautiful, unique, heritage property in the Hawkesbury District of New South Wales. Common sense, experience in farming and gardening are essential. You must be clean and tidy. Business skills are an advantage. 1.5 days work in exchange for shared accommodation and use of a car. There is also room to earn extra money. This caretaker position would be suitable for a mature minded person or University student. Sorry, no indoor animals are allowed.

THE NETHERLANDS – HOUSESITTER WANTED in Rotterdam, Netherlands for parts of July and August. We need someone to care for our two cats for part of the summer, the exact dates are negotiable. The housesitter can either live-in or visit daily to tend to the cats.

MEXICO – SEEKING CARETAKER(S) for our 100 acre ranch, a few minute’s walk from a spectacular beach on the pacific coast of Mexico. Rustic but very comfortable off-grid house available. Incredible views. The ranch location is welcoming, rural, and a mostly Mexican community plus some tourism. Stipend, housing, horses, and possible use of vehicles provided in exchange for two to three hours per day maintenance, animal care, and yard work, etc. Mid-summer through January. Candidate(s) should be intermediate level Spanish speaking, very comfortable in nature, and interested in exploring a sustainable, off-grid lifestyle. Experience with goats, solar electric, water systems, or general ranch activities a huge plus.

BULGARIA– LOOKING FOR LONG-TERM HOUSESITTERS (minimum a year) in Kazanlak region, central Bulgaria, from June 2010 onwards – to maintain gardens and keep an eye on the houses when I am not there (seven to eight months from September through May). There is a possibility of running a B&B and a small campsite. General Do-It-Yourself ability is a bonus. Internet possible for those who work from home. A car would be recommended. No animals to care for, although happy for you to bring yours with you. References a must. Someone looking for self sufficient life style, hot summers and cold winters

So, if you are up for as bit of adventure and reckon caretaking might be for you then check out the site (it is a bit folksy  but seems to work well)

Have you ever looked after properties as a caretaker? Where? When?

Shoot us a reply below, we would love to hear of your experiences.


  1. Ken says

    I know someone who has had several periods of housesitting in Tasmania. As expected it is very popular, so could only find winter times at first, but as he is becoming known as dependable he is being offered summer times. Great way of having cheap holidays.

    Don’t even dream about July and August in Italy, it would have gone very fast.

    • Frank says

      Hi Ken,
      Interesting about opportunities for house sitting in Tasmania. We have a bit of an itch to spend some longer periods of time down there and it might be a good intro. Winter is not an issue (time is) Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Georgie says

    A fellow student has had to pay for only 2 weeks accommodation (in a motel) in the last 4 years, and she is booked up for housesitting in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast for the next 2 years, while she finishes her PhD studies. Her first sit was for a doctor, and it has rolled on from there, as all his friends want someone recommended as honest and reliable. I imagine the same would apply here, after your first sit you will get plenty of requests. We have a sitter who comes to stay and look after our horses when we go away, I pay her a wage and fuel money and all our house expenses, as we need someone to keep a daily eye out (summer) or feed (winter). So if you are prepared to look after animals, you are sure to be snapped up. G

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