We just got our first booking through Trustedhousesitters. Hurrah.
Within hours of our plans being all set we received a cancellation due to the home owner’s out of town plans being cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Our Trusted Housesitters client of course no longer needs to travel.
This isn’t a big issue for us as we aren’t travelling and are only on the platform to build our Trustedhousesitters reviews from our home base for future travel plans on the horizon. Usually we only petsit for payment. I could imagine it would potentially be much more difficult for people who were firmly committed with long distance travel plans.
As I started typing this post we also heard from 2 of our regular paying clients that they are cancelling their travel plans for April and the foreseeable future. For us this now means losing out on our side-income that we luckily are not relying on. The situation is starting to become a bigger deal than expected.
It made me think about how many people’s plans for income and travel around the world are now up in the air, how many more expenses may be incurred by sitters and hosts as sitters might cancel and leave hosts without somebody to care for their pet, and hosts might cancel and leave sitters without a place to stay. This is going to be quite a stressful time for a lot of people.
What to do? There isn’t a whole lot that we can do but I would suggest to lead with strong communication:
- Get in touch with your host / sitter and check in with them, are their plans looking stable?
- Try to come to an agreement around what would happen if they cancelled, do they have an in-law unit you could stay for a specified period of time while you figure out what to do? / Try to not leave your sitter stranded, they spent a lot of money to reach your home and made a commitment to your home- and pet care.
- Simultaneously make a backup plan just in case something changes last minute with your booking. You should always do this as unforeseen circumstances do happen.
Backup Plan tips:
- As a host: Find a pet boarding place for your worst case scenario.
- As a sitter: make sure to bring your credit cards as you might end up needing them to pay for alternative hostel or hotel accommodation (which may also be restricted) as you navigate unforeseeable situations.
The Coronavirus outbreak may cost a lot of us a loss in earnings, some discomforts and additional expenses (I bet the sale of vitamins is through the roof; put that on my list, Vitamin C.). There isn’t a whole lot that we can do about it, except keep calm, communicate with our sitters and pet owners and housesitting hosts with compassion and understanding and brace ourselves for some inconveniences.
We are still busy doing our accounting for 2019 so we can file our taxes and get back onto a health insurance plan to cover us for all eventualities in the coming weeks, probably months. Make sure your medical plans and payments are up to date. I hope that the global health situation will very soon begin to calm down, that medical experts and strategical teams work out the best ways to safeguard us all so that the steep spike in infections can be curbed and everybody who does need medical care can access it. I also wish for America that healthcare facilities will operate at cost rather than for profit. I know this won’t ever happen. But we can dream.
Where are you? Have your plans been affected by this global health threat?
Let me know in if you lost your housesitting booking or if a sitter cancelled on you. Did you get enough notice or are you now stuck? (If you read this in the future: I would still like to hear how this affected you.)
If you would like to save 25% on a membership with Trustedhousesitters please use this link: https://bit.ly/2WNqRnd *
I would love to hear from you. What were your petsitting-housesitting experiences during Covid-19?
*I will receive an additional month for everybody who signs up using my link. You save money by using my link.
**I only receive an affiliate perk if you complete a booking within a few weeks of using my Rover link, if you take longer then you still benefit but I’ll not get a perk. That’s ok, too.