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New York can be an expensive city to visit. We all know that. But, just because that’s true, it doesn’t mean that you can’t visit NY with a low budget. I’ve made tons of extra money by pet and house sitting in NYC, and you can do it too. 

I’ve been a Big Apple “local” since 2007, when I moved there to work at a New York City architecture firm. I lived there for several years before hitting the road to become a nomad.

So, in my opinion, I got to know the city pretty well and understood each neighborhood, its “aura” or social identity, and of course, the cost range of living or staying there.

New York City Skyline

How I Became A House Sitter in New York, United States

I’ve been a nomad since 2011. But I still feel a strong attachment to New York City. So I’ve used it as a home base (without an actual permanent home) every time I visit the U.S. or when I do a stop-over between continents.

Now, I dreaded having my own home in NY because of the high cost of renting a room or an apartment. As you might know, renting short-term is more expensive than renting long-term.

I already knew from experience how expensive a long-term rental could be (for example, the average studio rental in the city is over $3,000 a month).

At first, I tried my best to save some money by staying on the outskirts of the city. Or in neighborhoods that I knew were cheap, like Queens or even Brooklyn, but that wasn’t always convenient.

House and pet sitting was not a thing I considered at first because I wasn’t fully aware of how to plan for it, find places or pets to sit, and all the logistics behind the sitter process.

But, I quickly found out that sites like Trusted Housesitters and Nomador do a fantastic job of handling all the logistics and making any house sitting in NYC experience very smooth.

And all you have to do is sign up to be a house or pet sitter.

Finding the Right House-sitting Jobs in NYC

Both sites’ mission is to connect travel and pet lovers from around the world. It also makes it easy to find house sitters and people who love animals to look after homes and pets when the owners are away.

Trusted Housesitters Website
House Sitting NYC | How I Saved Money Traveling & Pet Sitting 1

This is a win-win situation because pet and house sitters get to save a lot of money.

As a pet or house sitter, you get free accommodation, and the owners have peace of mind knowing that their home, plants, and pets are safe and being taken care of.

Do you know how much walking a dog or boarding a cat is per day? Trust me; it can be a lot!

Additionally, Trusted Housesitters and Nomador are free to use for house and pet sitters, and they are extremely safe. You pretty much create a free account or a Trust Profile (as Nomador calls it) similar to a social media account and verify your identity.

Of course, this is a necessary part of the vetting process for owners to be comfortable with allowing people to take care of their furry friends and residential property.

The great thing about this site is that finding a home to look after or finding a person to take care of your house, pet, or plants is super easy. And this is thanks to the review-based vetting process you can conduct on the site.

New York Skyline looking towards Brooklyn

Just like with any product or service, reviews help us understand how good and safe something is. So Nomador and Trusted Housesitters use past experience reviews on each profile to enrich it with feedback after every successful house-sitting experience.

The extremely communicative feedback is what makes the search for a perfect match an easy task. This type of house and pet sitting service was eye-opening for me. I appreciated its convenience and the amount of money it helped me save.

And boy, it was fun! I enjoyed it so much that I even started house and pet sitting more regularly in New York City and other neighborhoods like Manhattan.

The Ease of Pet and House Sitting in New York

One of my favorite experiences was pet sitting a cute cat named Oliver in Cobble Hill — a laid-back NY neighborhood in Brooklyn that I love. But it’s unfortunately above my means to rent short and long-term.

House Sitting NYC | How I Saved Money Traveling & Pet Sitting 2

Cobble Hill is a historic area in NY. It’s full of beautiful brownstones that give you a glimpse of New York’s late 19th-century past. So as an architect, I was more than looking forward to staying there.

Getting to the apartment was extremely seamless, thanks to the owner sharing all the details and instructions on how to take care of Oliver via messaging. NYC house sitting can be different. In some cases, you might meet the owner in person, while in others, you might not.

Oliver the Cat
Oliver doing what Oliver does…

For example, both sites have an app that sends you updates on plants, pets, and home maintenance and allows you to stay in touch with the family easily via voice or video calls.

The apartment was incredible. The huge 1-bedroom was fully renovated, with great accessibility to public transportation, parks, and tons of restaurants and bars nearby.

(I really wish it were my apartment).

But, again, this type of location would be so expensive on a hotel or home-sharing website. Based on what I know about New York, I estimate I was saving over $200 daily!

And I stayed there for a week, so you can do the math!

House Sitting NYC | How I Saved Money Traveling & Pet Sitting 3
Cuddle Time!

Surprising and Cute Benefits of House Sitting | New York

If you’re an animal lover, you should know the benefits of pet sitting. One word — cuddles! And sometimes great relationships form.

So Oliver is not the only furry friend I’ve cared for while visiting New York. There is also Marcel, a cute Frenchie in Queens, who I’ve been a dog sitter for a few times now.

My first experience taking care of Marcel was so smooth. I’ve built this trust with his human parents that whenever our travel schedules align, I’m now the “traveling uncle” who takes care of him.

Marcel now gets to see a familiar face every time his parents are away, so the whole pet sitting experience becomes even more comfortable each time we do it.

Marcel the Frenchie
Little Marcel

Just like Marcel and Oliver, I’ve done a few other sitting experiences all over the city, exploring different neighborhoods and buildings in NYC I never thought I’d explore in detail.

Moreover, these free stays allow me to discover and go deeper into these parts of a city I love so much. And I don’t even need a car, thanks to New York’s readily available public transportation services.

At first, I thought house-sitting would be complicated and limiting since I had to take care of a home, a pet, and maybe some plants. So I thought it would be somewhat of a burden.

But, taking care of dogs or cats is not like caring for children, and I quickly discovered through experience that it isn’t burdensome. At all!

Every house sitting experience is different, of course, and some dogs or cats may require more attention and care than others.

Still, from experience, none of my house-sitting jobs has been too cumbersome to limit my opportunity to explore the touristy things in New York. All it takes is a bit of planning and a flexible schedule. And, of course, being a responsible house or pet sitter.

Brooklyn Skyline towards Manhattan

And you know what’s become a fun benefit of house-sitting? The joy of seeing a happy dog or cat when they get used to you being around and their excitement seeing you come back home after spending the day out.

For me, one of the most surprising things was Oliver (the cat) getting so used to me that he even started taking naps on my lap. That was totally unexpected because most cats have a very “stay away” attitude.

Pet and Apartment Sitting in NYC | Wrapped Up

Beyond the free accommodation in the city. I loved every moment of house and pet sitting in the Big Apple, from cuddling with a cat or dog to going on a walk in the pretty NY parks and exploring the lovely neighborhood.

That’s what I cherish the most about being a pet and house sitter in New York City.

But also, New York is full of life. I loved exploring the different restaurants around town, getting immersed in the city’s buzzing nightlife, and meeting fellow New Yorkers. The city of NY is a prime location for meeting new people and making new furry friends.

Slowly, I’ll continue to explore more of New York and other places around the world, one house sit and furry friend at a time!

How I Used House/Pet Sitting to Save Money in NYC

This post was commissioned by Nomador, but as always, all words and opinions remain my own.

Adventure Awaits


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One Comment

  1. Oliver and Marcel are sooo cute. This is such a good idea, I haven’t been to NYC because of the cost so this might just be my solution ๐Ÿ™‚