It’s always been a dream to visit Europe. My dad was a first-generation immigrant from Scotland to Canada, and other than a trip there with my parents when I was 6-months old, I’d never been back. Scotland was only one of many places on our list for Europe.

We were concerned about prices in Europe, from hotels to transportation (like should we take planes or trains?), groceries, and gas (or petrol, as they call it in the UK). And add to that the fact that we’re a family of five, so we’ve got more mouths to feed than the average Instagram travel influencer.

In January 2022, on the recommendation of another full-time traveling family, we joined – a service for homeowners who are going away on a trip to find a reliable person or family to housesit their property and care for their pets.

A few days after signing up for a free trusted housesitters trial account, we successfully booked our first housesit about an hour’s train ride north of London, England where we decided was a good place to start our 7-month trip to Europe.

(As a side note, housesitting is a great option for a family road trip, a weekend away, or just a change of scenery in your own city not just going to Europe. Here’s how you can housesit for your summer vacation!)

housesitting opportunities in England

There are plenty of house sitting options in the UK!

In April of 2022, we hopped on a plane from Boston, Massachusettes overseas to London, England (with a 7-hour layover in Rome), and landed for 2 nights in London so we could get adjusted to the time difference. Then, we took a train an hour north of the city to a little village called ‘Sandy’ to begin a 10-night housesit with an energetic dog, a fluffy indoor/outdoor cat that we mostly saw for breakfast and evening cuddles, and three chickens in the backyard that our boys couldn’t get enough of.

Our first housesit was better than we imagined – the homeowners were very welcoming, made us all feel comfortable in their home, and were so pleased when they returned from their trip to a clean home and happy pets.

After 10 nights in Sandy, we continued on to a 16-night housesitting opportunity in a village near Cambridge (with 2 dogs), then 2 nights near Milton Keyes (with 2 cats), and after that was 4 nights outside of Huntingdon and St. Ives (with a dog, cat, and a few chickens). It was wonderful having all of those housesits scheduled back-to-back.

To finish off our time in England, we stayed one night in a hotel at Thorpe Park on our way to a 10-night house-sit near Stonehenge (with 1 dog), and spent a night in a hotel near the port in Portsmouth before boarding the ferry on our way to a visit family, then stay at a farm in France.

To summarize our first 6 weeks in England, we stayed in hotels for four nights out of fifty thanks to Trusted Housesitters.

6 weeks of free family housesitting in England

Pet sitting in England made family travel affordable


In our first 6 months in Europe, we visited 13 countries, completed 11 house-sits, and stayed in hotels 22 nights – the rest of our time there was spent pet sitting. With so many places to go and things to see, this is how we decided where to visit in Europe.

If you’re ready to get started with housesitting, here’s a referral link to get a discount on your Trusted Housesitters membership – as a bonus, we get an extension to our membership at no cost to you!

There are quite a few housesitting apps out there – most specialize in a specific area – so here’s our review of Trusted Housesitters: what we like and what could be improved.

Our second trip to Petsit in the UK: Fall 2023

Petsitting in UK

Petsitting in England

After visiting my cousin Ash at Chateau De Lalacelle in France, we flew from Paris to London to start our second housesitting trip in England (while we did visit family in Scotland on this trip and found lots of the best things to do with kids in Glasgow, we didn’t do any pet sitting in Scotland on this trip)

If you’re in Glasgow, take a day to visit to People’s Palace – a free museum about the history and culture of Glasgow.

We did make an overnight stop at Alnwick to see Alnwick Castle (where the Harry Potter scenes were filmed where Harry learned to fly his broom at Hogwarts) and a few nights in Glasgow. We were in the UK from Mid-October to Mid-December and stayed about 10 nights in hotels. The balance of our accommodations were through Trusted Housesitters petsitting opportunities.

Trusted House Sitters Discount Code: Save 25% in 2024!

How We Snuck In 3 "Bonus" Countries During Our 6 Months In Europe