Do you want to travel and sample different retirement lifestyles, but have a limited budget? Housesitting may be your answer. Our first housesit was three years ago. Since then we have lived rent-free in Tuscan farmhouses, French vineyards, Spanish casitas and luxury Costa Rican villas.
If you're willing to do a little research and preplanning, there are a number of ways you can lower (or eliminate) your travel-lodging costs and live more like a local when you travel. Here are some different options to consider and some resources that can help you locate them.
The response to my last post, 'Travel On $1200 a Month!' was enthusiastic, but I received many emails from people wondering if I could travel so cheaply only because I was in Mexico. Happily, this is not true.
You've heard about pet-sitting, but what about house-sitting to save money while traveling? The basic idea is reciprocity: keep an eye on someone's home while they're away, and you get to stay in it for free. It's a win-win.
I'm a big fan of house rentals and housesitting, having done both many times in different parts of the world, from Morocco to Carriacou in the Caribbean. Not only can it be arranged within any budget, there is no better way to learn about another country and become part of the community.
Our list of temporary "homes" have included a brownstone in Manhattan, a villa in southern Spain, a 10th century manor in rural Ireland, and more. And for all of these exciting living arrangements, we haven't paid a cent.