Use this page as a library to find valuable wide-ranging information for
- House Sitting
- Making money location independent
- Bloggers I love
Next to each website name, I provide a review. I keep the number of websites to a minimum so you know these are my special places I trust for education and help. My wish is to help you get started or further your house sitting and travel experiences.
Some of the links are affiliates and therefore I earn a commission if you click from here and then purchase products or services there. I give you a big “Thank You” in advance for doing so!
Let me know what you think! I invite your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish you happy and safe travels.
1. Air Travel
www.kayak.com — This air fare website has all you need. Set your parameters in any number of ways — by multi-city, by airline alliance, by type of aircraft, by price, by other websites — and many others. To book a flight, Kayak links you directly with the airline site and even informs you of changes to look out for there — like “KAYAK quoted in USD. jetstar.com will quote in AUD.” There are so many features and cool ways to filter searches that I haven’t discovered them all.
www.cheapseats.com — The only airline sites that make my list are ones that offer the multi-city option — or open-jaw — search filter, which cheapseats has. I mostly use this site as a price comparison tool because after all, I can’t just look at one site!
www.travelocity.com — Also offers multi-city search filter. I use this site as a price comparison tool.
www.airfarewatchdog.com — A free and extremely informative site for airline bargain hunters. Sign up for email alerts for your personalized parameters.
www.yapta.com — Track specific airline prices before AND after you purchase. An alert after you purchase tickets lets you know if you are due a refund from airline due to dropping air prices. Yes, you are entitled to a refund if the price of your flight drops below a certain level.
2. Alternative Lodging
www.Airbnb.com — The original label of “couch surfing” really doesn’t describe these services any more. The accommodations you’ll find here are so much more than just “crashing on someone’s couch.” All over the world are folks who have apartments and homes they rent out here. The caution — if there is one — is that none of the folks are licensed or regulated as are hotels and resorts. So you deal one-on-one, person-to-person for your lodging. The website offers a place to begin initial communication with prospective hosts, and then process payment. Posts give personal information and ratings for hosts. I really love this site — and indeed the whole concept — because it allows travelers to meet locals and receive personal attention from hosts. Just know that the good places get booked in advance, so it’s best to start looking at least a month out. Our favorite place in Paris is one we found on this site — and was profiled in The New York Times. We booked it three months in advance and stayed a week. Email me and I’ll send you the link to it.
www.farmstayus.com — Can anyone please convince Conrad that we should try this? Ha! This is one form of travel I drool over, but I know Conrad would not be loving it, so I continue to drool over the websites. This site is one I really like because it was started by a city couple who sold everything to go farming, and found it was a lifestyle they love, but could make very little money. They started this service as a way to stay farmers. I like that. So if you use this website, please let me know how your experience went — or let me know about other good sites for farm stays.
www.cameloteurope.com — I just had to add this because the concept is so fascinating. This company figured out a super smart strategy. Camelot Europe contacts owners of abandoned buildings — post offices, industrial sites, schools, castles — and offers to act, for a fee, as the liaison between them and “guardians.” Guardians are regular people looking for an interesting and low-cost place to live. Guardians live in the buildings as-is. In other words, your “room” may be a huge factory floor or an auditorium. What a concept! Check it out.
www.castleandpalacehotels.com — Another site I have not purchased anything through, but have bookmarked so I can keep up-to-date with the site’s owner. She is full of great information about staying in castles. I wanted to pass it along to you. Let me know how it works out for you.
3. Bloggers Worth a Look
www.theprofessionalhobo.com — Nora Dunn is the Professional Hobo. She sold a successful financial consulting business five years ago and has been traveling ever since. Her viewpoint is savvy, smart and fun. I look forward to her newsletters as they contain usable information.
www.virtualwayfarer.com — All blogs are different. Alex’s site jumped out at me. Something feels different to me — in its elegant simplicity. And Alex is one smart young man — very smart. Each of his photos and posts are thoughtful, well arranged and inspirational. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
www.theepicadventurer.com — I like Julia’s friendly and philosophical nature. She reminds me of me! — at that age!!! — although Julia has much more guts than I did.
www.fiftysense.com — A down-to-earth site with stories and advice for the older generation.
www.landlopers.com — I discovered Matt on Twitter — followed a link to an article by him. I like his sensible attitude. Since then, I have been meeting with Matt — and other travel aficionados — in Washington D.C. for monthly travel meetings. Conrad and I are house sitting in Baltimore and take the one-hour train ride to D.C. to gather at a pub for the meetings. I love this community of travelers!
www.creditcardtuneup.com — The free website states: “Just plug in how much you spend each month, press Enter, and you’ll be presented with a list of recommended cards sorted from best to worst by your expected first-year annual reward.”
www.awardwallet.com — This free site is where you enter all your reward accounts and keep track of them on one page. It sends you email alerts when any points are about to expire. I have been in contact with Steve Gempeler, the Director of Marketing at awardwallet.com, and he’s passed along to me some great information to maximize your efforts. Being diligent is the key. Good discounts and freebies are out there for those who want to track those points. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com and I’ll be happy to forward along Steve’s advice.
www.lifehacker.com — Thorin’s website has a techie point of view. I like reading it to stay up to date — as much as I can! — with what’s going on in the tech world. The site is not entirely about travel, but Thorin covers many travel hacking aspects thoroughly and with style.
www.travelhacking.org — Chris created a clever monthly subscription-type program to keep abreast of hacking deals and offers. An international team of contributors man the site. The site guarantees you will earn 1 free ticket every 3 months if you follow their program. I learned a huge amount through tutorial videos and their email alerts.
www.flyertalk.com – If you can’t find it here, it doesn’t exist. This blog and forum covers virtually every aspect of travel.
5. House Sitting
Housecarers.com — My favorite and preferred site. Ian White, founder of the site, boasts 10,000 active users worldwide. This is where it can begin for you! Peruse the site — no need to register for a search around — to see house sitting assignments across the world, many with photos. It’s so fun to dream about actually traveling to beautiful locales — and you can because your lodging is free when you house sit. I love this stuff!
6. Make Money While Traveling
Barefootconsultants.com — Winton is dedicated to bringing you methods for making money while traveling — in other words, location independent. He has programs for purchase but even if you don’t buy, the website has volumes of good, free information. Either way, the site is a winner.
www.elance.com — A major resource for landing freelance consulting and writing jobs. Winton, at barefootconsultants.com has several great articles about how to succeed on elance. You can browse hundreds of listings to get inspired on elance. Something for everyone.
www.smartpassiveincome.com — Pat is a genius of marketing his site. I fell upon it through a Google search one day and it has been my higher education into how to make and market a blog. I’ve tried going to other sites for advice, but I keep coming back here. With Pat’s extremely friendly help, my site came into being, and smartpassiveincome.com continues to be my go-to place for deeper understanding of how to succeed on the internet.
www.internationalliving-magazine.com — The savvy folks here are 100% into helping you fund your life overseas. Sign up for their newsletter to get the greatest tips every week.
www.thephotographerslife.com — Whatever level of photography you practice — beginner or expert — you’ll find tutorials, articles, and hands-on workshops to advance your knowledge.
Istockphoto.com — Want to sell your photos? Start here. Register, get accepted, and upload digital images for purchase. It’s the greatest for travelers. You may even make a liveable wage with stock photography. The previous two listings — internationalliving and the photographerslife each have great information for succeeding on istockphoto.
www.caretaker-jobs.com — In the same format as the house sitting websites, this one has paying jobs. The variety is too wide to cover here, but if you must make money while traveling, this is the place to look. Browse all listings without having to register. It’s fun and often wacky!
www.tesol-ua.org — ESL, or “English as a Second Language,” is what this site is all about. I can’t say from experience what the procedure is like , but this is a trusted site. Many travelers change the life of others by teaching — and in the process experience the world. Good exchange, isn’t it?
www.skype.com — Make phone calls to another computer anywhere in the world for free. This is the best way to stay in touch with loved ones while traveling. You may also call land lines from your computer for very low cost — for granny who doesn’t have a computer — or to businesses. If you have to call airlines, your bank, utilities or any other business while traveling, Skype is fantastic. Call different countries for just pennies. So don’t worry if they put you on hold for an hour, the call is still affordable.
www.bluehost.com — Want to start your own blog? This is a great web host for your site. They boast 20,000 new customers a month. Very respected and reliable service.
www.woothemes.com — Here is where you’ll find beautiful templates for your blog, (or any kind of website.) My website is the “Bold News” template from Woothemes. After the initial learning curve — which is steep, but short! — I find it a joy to navigate, change, and maintain. (I had a panic attack when I first purchased it because I didn’t understand the language — all the terms were new to me — but I took one term at a time, and in short order, I was up and running.) Woothemes has 102 templates which have been downloaded by people like us over 6 million times.
www.embassy.goabroad.com — Hopefully you’ll never need this site, but nevertheless it should be bookmarked on your computer and smartphone. Find the location of any embassy in the world on this site.
www.travelex.com — Currency exchange is made super-easy with this online service. Simply fill in the blanks with your amount, the money you need it converted to, your location/zip code, and you are supplied with nearby locations to pick up your cash. Many options are free.
www.fodors.com/community/ — This is my favorite forum because “Fodorites” are so darn savvy. Not only is every travel issue discussed here, but you’ll also find beautiful travelogues by frequent posters.
www.seat61.com/ — Train travel anyone? If the answer is yes, then you must visit Mark Smith’s site. He is a one-man wealth of knowledge about everything — and I mean EVERYTHING — about train travel across the globe.
www.bootsnall.com/ — Their stated purpose is “to cultivate an organic community that encourages independent travel” with an emphasis on round-the-world travel.
www.seaplus.com/ — R.F. has great stories and links to all things about freighter travel. His down to earth attitude and wide-ranging information make this a one-stop shop. Freighter travel is not a budget way to go, but it calls to certain people, like writers who yearn for weeks of uninterrupted peace. And what better inspiration than being on the open seas?
www.renaultusa.com/ — My husband Conrad wants to take advantage of this leasing program next time in Europe. It is less expensive than rental agencies and good for long-term need. Have you used it? I’d like to hear from you.
Scottevest.com — Scott and Laura Jordan are two very gorgeous people who started this quality line of clothing. All the products — jackets, pants, ball caps, and many more — all have cleverly placed pockets for carrying cash, passport, iPod, water bottle, inconspicuously. Products are well-made with good fabrics. They are not the lowest cost items, but the classic styling makes your purchase smart. Check them out!