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Pete and Dalene Heck – Hecktic Travels interview Part three – Tips

We’re heard so many examples of how house-sitting truly enables you to live the dream. Pete and Dalene, founders of Hecktic Travels, have shared their challenges, experiences and memories travelling the world and making extraordinary connections – with people and pets alike!

When it really comes down to it, what does it take to be an excellent house-sitter? And, what makes a great home-owner? We decided to pick Pete and Dalene’s brains, and call on their many years of experience to find out… It couldn’t come at a better time! They’ve just launched the new version of their Ebook : "How to Become a House-Sitter and See the World".

What have been the best things about choosing house-sitting over other modes of accommodation? 

There are so many great things about house-sitting. Not only does it give us deeper cultural experiences in new places across the world, but it also gives us that routine we sometimes crave, and keeps our travel costs down. We’ve saved tens of thousands of dollars travelling this way, and enjoyed some of our very best experiences.  House-sitting really can’t be beat as a means to long-term travel.

"When many house-sitters start out, they often just get overexcited about the idea of a “free” house in paradise, but forget that there is a job to do."

What were the unexpected rewards of house-sitting?

At first, before the development of our online businesses and income streams, we were excited about house-sitting largely as a way to save money and better sustain our long-term travels. What we didn’t know is that we would become Godparents in Honduras, or that we’d develop other such amazing relationships with people we never would have met otherwise. We were oblivious to the abundance of cherished adventures it would bring us!

What are the three top qualities an excellent house-sitter must possess? 

Adaptability: Not every house-sit is going to have things just how you like them – we’ve had a couple with no coffee makers on site, one that only had a bathtub and not a shower. We know of one couple that gave up on the concept entirely because every house they went into never seemed to have a good paring knife! We’ve learned to just roll with it and to make ourselves as comfortable as possible.

Responsibility: When many house-sitters start out, they often just get overexcited about the idea of a “free” house in paradise, but forget that there is a job to do. There are plants to be watered, mail to be gathered and often pets to be cared for. Being trustworthy and acting responsibly will ensure happy home-owners, which will turn into a good reference and repeat assignments.

Outgoing: Home-owners not only want to ensure that their houses and pets are well taken care of, but that the caretakers will fit well into the neighborhood. It’s just as important as taking care of the house to be friendly to the neighbors and respectful of all around you.

And a home-owner who is leaving their home for a house-sitter to look after - what makes them the best?

We have made so many great friends in the home-owners we’ve met! Our most memorable experiences have come from those that not only want us to take care of their property, but also to enjoy the area as well. We’ve had several go out of their way to introduce us to interesting places and people and encourage us to explore during our time there. We even had one offer to pay for another caretaker to come in and watch the dogs for two weeks during our three month stay so that we could go on our own jaunts across the country!

Tell us about your house-sitting eBook! What was your aim, and how have people responded?

We were one of the first travel bloggers to really tackle house-sitting as a topic, and our very first post about it, published in the first few months of our blog going live, went viral. We knew we had really struck a chord and even though we continued to publish more about it on our blog, we also wanted to put all our advice in one place that would be easily accessible for people. Thus, the ebook was born, and it has been so well received. The number of emails that we get thanking us for the valuable information is incredible, and a fantastic reward.

Thanks Pete and Dalene for taking the time to share your experiences, insights and stories! Are you ready to make the dream a reality? Nomador brings the world to your doorstep: start searching for your dream home today!

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