Have a holiday of your dreams for free – just don't forget to feed the cat!

Meet the online platform that connects pet owners and travellers in a clever house/pet sitting combo

House in Aveyron France
(Image credit: TrustedHousesitters)

Staying in the house of your dreams with acres of gardens and a couple of friendly pets, and not paying a penny – sounds too good to be true, right? 

Well, with the online platform TrustedHousesitters, this can become a reality, if you are flexible about where and when you would like to stay, that is. Founded by in 2010 by Andy Peck and Rachel Martin and based in Brighton, the site aims to connect pet owners with house sitters, and has facilitated over two milliton nights of house sitting and pet sitting around the world. 

Current enticing house sitting opportunities include a seventeenth-century home in Buckinghamshire, which comes with gardens and a Jack Russell named Nica, and a cottage in Aveyron, France with a large garden, pool and its own resident bees, as well as a friendly Labrador. 

TrustedHousesitters operates on a membership basis, with no cash changing hands between house owners and house sitters, creating a friendly and trust-based vibe, perfect for flexible travellers who want an authentic experience. It's also great for those who don't – or can't – have a pet, or a garden. 

Tim Lyons, MD of TrustedHousesitters says, 'There are so many incredible homes with acres of gardens on the site. What better holiday can you get for individuals or families who feel they are missing this space to run around and enjoy nature in their everyday lives? For those who also miss the companionship of a pet, we are the perfect solution.'

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.