I’ve been a travel writer for nearly three years. I explore the globe and write guides, articles, and essays about my adventures and the destinations that I visit. I’m having the time of my life and only wish I had started writing a long time ago.
Being a travel writer means having to constantly seek out new material, so I spend much of my time on the road. Housesitting is a cost-effective and fun way to explore the world and is perfect for travel writers on many levels.
Here are a few of the advantages of housesitting for travel writers:
When you stay in a house or apartment, the WiFi is often much more reliable than a hotel—and usually free. This is especially important for writers who have deadlines to meet and need to correspond with editors. In hotels, WiFi is frequently inconsistent and sometimes non-existent. And in certain countries, you have to pay extra or are only given limited access. Housesitting solves this problem.
Many housesits involve the care of a pet. For animal-loving writers, having a pet around can be relaxing and mood-enhancing. If you are caring for a dog, taking it for a walk can be a good excuse to get away from the desk for a while and return refreshed.
Living like a local
When you housesit, you become part of the local community and have a more authentic travel experience. For a travel writer, it can be a perfect way to gain an insight into the area where you’re staying and the local folk.
In the past, I’ve been invited into neighbors’ homes, attended parties, and been given tours of little-known, but fascinating neighborhoods. Not only is it great fun, but it provided me with some excellent material.
Properties worth writing about
Staying in unusual properties can also provide inspiration for articles. For example, sometimes it’s possible to secure a housesit in a unique property such as a houseboat, castle, or ranch. I’ve even sold several articles relating to housesitting itself.
A housesit on a houseboat in Amsterdam offers a different perspective to more conventional types of accommodation and could lead to an article that motivates readers to stay there, too.
Housesitting in an Italian castle could lead to delving into the history of the local area and producing a piece with an uncommon angle.
Improve your writing habits
Instead of staying in a sterile hotel or motel room, you stay in a home with all the comforts that brings. You can prepare your own meals and have a backyard where you can relax between writing sessions.
Early on in my travel writing career, I spent winter in a house next to Lake Ontario near Toronto. I got more writing done than I ever had before, and even had time to learn Spanish. Long-term housesits can be very conducive to forming a disciplined writing routine (especially when it’s snowing outside). During that period I had time to focus on my writing without distractions, hone my skills, and lay the foundations for becoming a real travel writer.
Housesitting has served me well. Not only has it exposed me to local cultures that I wouldn’t have otherwise had the privilege of experiencing (a great asset to a writer), but it has helped me on my way to living the life of my dreams.