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So many people have asked about how we manage to travel, house sit and live such an easy lifestyle. One person even wrote that we must have tons of money in the bank. Not! What we do have is guts, daring, the willingness to break the status quo.

We were not the best at saving over the years, preferring to spend a good deal of money making our home beautiful, and on our lifestyle. We also spent a lot on healthy organic food, high end self care products, and “alternative” health care (ie. not covered by insurance).

When we realized we had not saved enough for retirement, we started looking at ways to invest in real estate. We studied and invested, then got the rude awakening that hit California when the real estate bubble burst. Our home was our investment plan and it would no longer pay off. Not only that, but a few other events led to our mortgage being well beyond our means, not to mention our home no longer being worth paying for.

Choosing not to feel like victims, we decided that something else must be in store for us. While continuing to work at various business pursuits we also began preparing to make a big change. Here are some of the steps we took to get ready to house sit and travel the world. It is not too soon to begin planning your life of freedom. If you are interested in leaving the bills and repairs behind and setting out on an adventure of travel and learning to be a house sitter, consider taking some of the earlier steps now.Neil & Laurie Stolmaker Housesitter

Build your house sitter profile

• Take photos of yourselves doing home maintenance and of the projects you have completed

• Begin listing your house care skills and special talents and interests that relate to being a sitter

• Begin creating a house sitter website

• Be the house sitter for a family member, friend, or neighbor and ask for recommendations to eventually post on your house sitter profile

• Consider making your next vacation a house sit vacation

Get rid of most of your stuff

• Find out what things your kids, friends, coworkers might want to take off your hands

• Clean out the basement, attic, sheds, closets and cabinets and start having moving or estate sales (Tip- estate sales bring a different clientele than yard sales)

• Sell or donate, books, CDs and movies

• Put your music and videos on a computer or portable hard drive

• Look at your options for selling or moving from your home

• Start posting things for sale on EBAY or Craigslist

house sitter preparation

Only buy what will work for travel

• Purchase only new clothing that packs easily and can be washed by hand and hung to dry (think quality vs quantity).

• Buy sturdy shoes that are great for walking.

• Invest in light weight and sturdy luggage.

• Choose your computer, cell phone, iPad based on what you would want to travel with.

• Buy a good scanner and begin scanning photos and documents so you can get rid of paper files and albums.

• Buy an ereader and start gathering books.

Plan and Explore

• Start researching house sitting options and decide which house sitter sites to join.

• Consider becoming a one car family, and make sure it is the right car for your upcoming traveling needs.

• Think about other ways of saving money to finance your travels.

• Create a strategy for earning Frequent Flyer Miles.

• Begin looking into health care options and insurance for travelers.

• Research and talk about travel options.

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