1.) Check your relevant travel documents
This is an important, but easily forgotten step! It’s your responsibility to check the correct entry requirements for your visit as a tourist. This means making sure your passport is in date, you have the correct vaccinations/malaria medication for the country you are visiting (and have proof of this), and you’ve checked all the entry rules and requirements.
We strongly advise that you check the immigration rules for both the destination you’re travelling to and the country you're departing from (or your country of nationality/ordinary residence).
You should also check if there's anything else that you may need, such as Covid-19 travel tests, well in advance of your trip.
2.) Border control: know the reason for your visit
When entering a new country, you will be asked the reason for your visit and the details of where you’ll be staying.
House sitting has on extremely rare occasions been interpreted as work by border control officials. So, prepare for how you will explain the reason for your trip and focus on the enriching travel experience ahead of you.
In the unlikely event you do face any issues entering your destination, it’s very important to have the following documents to hand:
- The owner’s name, address and contact details
- Proof of funds for the duration of your trip
- Evidence of a return or onward travel ticket (it’s important to have evidence of onward travel, as well as reasons for needing to return to your home country)
- Documentation to prove any ties that you may have in your country of residence (if you plan to return there at the end of your trip)
These will help show that you’re not breaching any immigration rules, or staying in the country for longer than intended.
3.) Have a clear travel plan
One of the benefits of house sitting abroad is being able to go on long-term house sits. In these cases, it’s important to have a clear travel itinerary and know exactly how long you intend to stay in the country.
Every country in the world will have some kind of restriction on how long you can stay on a visit/tourist visa. So be sure to check your destination's immigration rules and the dates that you will be visiting in advance.
4.) Organise all your paperwork
While house sitting abroad, avoid any stress by preparing a pack with all of your essential travel documents.
We recommend printing out the details of the owner’s home address and phone number, and keeping them handy so you can quickly provide them if needed.
These details will also be needed for your landing card. Make sure you obtain the relevant visa well in advance of your trip, as you’ll also need to show proof of your status upon entry.
5.) Finally, leave plenty of time
You don’t need us to tell you how busy security queues at airports and stations can be!
That said, it’s always a good idea to check the weather conditions and set off with plenty of time to spare to avoid any unexpected queues and delays.
Happy house sitting!