How I Stayed in Europe for $2.80 Per Night

This year we spent an entire month in Denmark. We stayed in a house just outside of Copenhagen where we could cook and buy pastries from a local bakery, where we could walk in the local park and chat to our neighbors.

Then we spent two weeks in Paris. IN PARIS. It was glorious. We were in the suburb of Vincennes, a block away from the castle, a few metro stops away from Le Marais.

You know how much we paid for six weeks of living in Europe?

$120 USD.

That’s $2.80 per night.

THAT’S OUTRAGEOUS. Even Cambodia wasn’t that cheap!

how to travel cheaper
So happy in Copenhagen

How Can YOU Live in Europe for $2.80 per night?

Well, first you have to ask yourself, “Do I like animals?”

If the answer is no, then, well, this probably isn’t going to be for you.

If you answered yes to this question, then let’s get living baby.

Housesitting

It’s called Housesitting. You may have heard about it before. It’s becoming wildly popular around North America and Europe.

Basically, someone is going on vacation and they have pets. They don’t want to kennel their dog or cat or rabbit or horse (sometimes chickens or other random things are lingering around too).

So they list their house on a site like Trusted Housesitters in order to find a kind hearted animal lover to come and hang at their place for a while.

I’ve seen some listings looking for people to housesit for an entire year. AN ENTIRE YEAR OF LIVING FOR $120! Can you even imagine?

Mostly though, it’s for a few weeks at a time. During the summer it’s more common to see places seeking housesitters for a few months, but there are constantly new places coming up.

how to travel paris for cheap
Paris, beautiful Paris <3

I Can’t Recommend it Enough

Whether you’ve been a dozen times or you’re visiting Europe for the first time, this is such an amazing way to go deeper into the culture. I would do it again tomorrow. In fact, Luke and I are looking for somewhere to housesit in January before we head back to Mexico.

As two people who don’t get a chance to have a pet due to our nomadic lifestyle, we absolutely LOVE cuddling with cats each night and walking dogs each morning. The hardest thing is usually leaving these little guys and gals behind when it’s time to leave.

I only have experience with Trusted Housesitters, so that is what I recommend. There are so many countries listed, so many new opportunities which get emailed straight to my inbox every single morning. We’ve had two amazing experiences with hilarious pets, lovely homes, and really excellent hosts of which we are still in contact with.

Outside of my beloved AirBnB, this is probably the only other way I would want to stay semi long-term in another country. I just love being able to live a bit more like a local and nothing says, “I’m a local” more than walking a dog with all the other dog walkers each morning.

The other thing I love about it is that you end up in places you would probably never have visited before. There are listing for rural Ireland, suburban California, log cabins in Canada, ski chalets in France and beach huts in Costa Rica. All it costs you is your plane ticket and your yearly membership fee.

Convinced Yet?

If I haven’t convinced you yet, head over to the site and check it out. See for yourself all of the amazing places you can explore. Imagine if you housesat for even 3 months out of the year. At $120 / 90 days you’re paying just over $1 per night to live. Some people are able to live the entire year simply by housesitting. Your rent for the year could be $120 (of course getting to these places will cost you).

Other Sites

These are sites that I’ve found before, but for one reason or another, have never signed up for.

House Carers is good for Europe. Luke and I considered joining this one earlier in the year, but it doesn’t have many listing outside of Europe (Trusted Housesitters has everything from Australia and NZ to Thailand, Europe, and all of the Americas, just sayin’).

Mind My House is definitely the cheapest option. At only $20 a year you’ll definitely get bang for your buck, but having visited the site a few times, it doesn’t seem to have as many as Trusted Housesitters. Still, for $20, it might be a good place to start.

Nomador is a newer one and I haven’t had much of a chance to check it out yet, but I’m intrigued by their free option which allows you to apply for up to three housesits before paying a membership fee. If you use it let me know what you think!

Luxury Housesitters is one I’ve never heard of and at only $25 for a year’s membership, it’s probably worth checking out. I’m always wary of “luxury” taglines – is the house (or person) your sitting for going to be high maintenance?

Know any other sites I should check out to travel more and pay less? Let me know in the comments!

If you use the above links for Trusted Housesitters I will receive a credit towards my membership. If you found this helpful it would mean the world to me if you used those links.

13 thoughts on “How I Stayed in Europe for $2.80 Per Night”

  1. Lovely idea, but I have doubts. Maybe you can help me?
    1. I am not 18 yet, is it possible to find house to sit?
    2. What if the owner won’t like me? Can he or she leave me without a job?
    3. Which website is the best in your opinion?

    Reply
    • Hi G, I don’t know about finding housesitting as someone under 18. You’ll have to check the housesitting websites and see what their terms are. Do you mean if you show up and the owner doesn’t like you after they have already agreed for you to come? That’s unlikely to happen. Most owners want to talk to you on the phone or on skype before they accept you. The only website I’ve used is Trusted Hosuesitters and I really liked it a lot! Good luck with your travels!

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      • I’ve had a host on Trusted Housesitters cancel on me after meeting me. It sucked – she just happened to be a really suspicious, hostile person who made some snap judgments. She ended up paying me $300 to cancel the sit, though (I think she thought she was paying me to leave – because she had this paranoia I was going to squat her house – which wasn’t necessary but ok?). Another time a host canceled last minute, and they paid me $700 to cover the cost of re-routing my travel plans (I asked them to). Generally I tried to avoid staying overnight with people in advance of the sit, it was just too weird boundary-wise, and usually if the host insisted on it, they hadn’t made up their minds yet about whether I was a good fit. Not a situation I wanted to walk into. But I did 20+ sits for a year straight and it was overall an amazing experience with great people and animals!

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  2. I love the idea of housesitting in different parts of the world! Seems like an awesome way to have an authentic experience in each destination. My only question is, is it okay to housesit even if you don’t have a working visa for that particular country? I mean housesitting isn’t exactly ‘work’ but in a way it sort of is so I’m curious. Thanks

    Reply
  3. Great post! Housitting sounds like a really good idea. It’s something I recommend, but I have actually never done it because I like to move from place to place every few days. In the future I will give it a go 😉 saving your link. Thanks!

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  4. I was a bit sceptical when I read your title because it sounded too good to be true. The housesitting options is a good way to travel, although you really have to like pets and you should know that even sitting a pet is a great responsibility. Just wanted to point that out, because I noticed in the past that many people think animals are just no work at all!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Eva. You’re totally right – if you don’t like pets or don’t want to have that responsibility while you’re traveling this definitely isn’t for you! But in can be such a great way to enjoy some company (whether traveling solo or not) and to see a new place if you DO like them. 🙂

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  5. I keep hearing about this but have no idea where to start looking! Thanks for all your resources! What an awesome and interesting way to help cut down expenses while traveling, especially in Europe!

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    • Thanks, Megan! I’m so glad it was helpful – it’s seriously SO fun if you like animals and it’s such an affordable way to travel Europe (and anywhere else). There are tons in Canada and the US too for when you’re back home but don’t want to burden family or friends for too long!

      Reply

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