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How you can earn $500 (£300) while on vacation – no catch

Becoming a paid petsitter / dog walker in San Francisco, California, USA.

.. to pay for your flight. (you can read my post or scroll straight to the bottom for the summary)

I have a rented apartment and when I go away for longer periods of time I rent 1/2 of my place out to a longterm lodger who is only in the country for a limited period of time, matching the duration of my absence. Right now I am subletting my place to somebody I found offline, and am using Airbnb as a booking agent to make sure that I get paid and that they & I have a bit of an insurance against things going wrong. This aids me build my reviews and simplifies the financial side: easily, allowing my lodger to use their credit card to make the rent payments, something that can make their life easier than trying to navigate making international bank transfers.

An additional tip is to use Trusted Housesitters to find a place for yourself to stay free of charge while on vacation. If you are able to match up the Airbnb rental & your housesit well, then you won’t pay for your accommodation on your vacation and depending on your rental agreement with your lodger you might make a small profit while subletting your home.

I personally choose to rent my place matching the cost of my actual rent for the space that I sublet, but if YOU feel that you offer good value then you may be able to sublet for a little more than the cost of your rent. I don’t think that this is too opportunistic as long as your place is nicer &/or cheaper than an equivalent stay at a hotel would be. Personally I feel better pricing my place on the lower end of the Airbnb market rate in my area. While I benefit from and need to earn some money I also feel better about myself if my pricing is fair and not exploitative.

If you are even smarter and able to tap into the potential of signing up as a PAID home- & petsitter then you can earn up to $500 – $1000 (£300 – £700) on a 4 week vacation, just by taking care of somebody else’s cat or dog!* For this I use online groups as well as Rover. I like using Rover as it offers some insurance for both the pet owner and me, the temporary petsitter.

Please look out for my article about how to build successful profiles that will help you get the bookings you want!

Becoming a paid petsitter / dog walker in San Francisco, California, USA.


  1. Rent a part or all of your home while you are away, use a booking agent like Airbnb or check my upcoming post with a checklist before renting your home.
  2. Book a stay through Trusted Housesitters to save on hotel costs, use this link to set up your profile & check my post of Tips for how to create a winning profile that clients will want to book.
  3. Arrange a paid house- & petsitting stay through Facebook Groups, Yahoo groups or use a booking agent like to create additional security & insurance to reduce the chances of something going wrong. Make sure to check my post of “Tips for how to create a winning profile that clients will want to book & pay you”.

* Assuming a weekly petsitting rate of $150 – $250 (£95 – £180), which I typically get paid for standard petsitting bookings. The rate of pay that you can achieve will depend on the location of both your home and the housesitting / petsitting home. Big cities like San Francisco and New York will likely have more and higher paying opportunities than small towns. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get started. You never know.

*If you use my referral links: As a first time user of some of the platforms you will save some money and simultaneously benefit me. Sharing links like this is called affiliate links. I get a bonus from the company that I share with you. I will only ever share a service / company that I use myself, benefit from and trust.

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