Couple travel the world on the cheap by looking after people’s pets

Lifestyle

Laura Fisher, 36, and Barry McNeice, 35, have spent the last 18 months travelling the world on the cheap – all thanks to jobs looking after people’s pets and staying in their homes free of charge.

The couple have already ticked off North America, southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Scandanavia from their places-to-go list, having looked after 25 dogs, 20 cats, and a herd of miniature ponies so far.

Laura and Barry saved up some cash and quit their jobs to take up dogsitting gigs and go on an adventure.

They get in touch with people who need animal sitters through Trusted Housesitters, which matches up people who are leaving their homes for a while with people who can stay in that vacated accomodation for free and look after their pets.

The arrangement works out nicely for all involved, as sitters get free accommodation and homeowners get their pets looked after without having to pay a penny.

It’s meant that Laura and Barry have been able to travel for much longer than they otherwise would have been able to.

Laura said: ‘It’s the kind of thing that sounds too good to be true but we were genuinely able to travel the world by looking after animals.

‘Barry and I both adore animals and love travelling, so to be able to combine the two in the way we have has been incredible.

‘Anyone who is good with animals who classes themselves as a people person and also likes an adventure should give it a go.’

Laura and Barry heard about Trusted Housesitters back in the summer of 2018 while on holiday in Los Angeles from their good friend Lynne, who runs a dog walking business.

Just a couple of months later they got their first job, in Virginia in the United States, where they spent ten days looking after a six-month-old Golden Retriever called Roxy.

From Virginia they enjoyed stays in Boston and New York before driving a campervan all the way down to Miami – again on the cheap as the owner needed it transporting.

After looking after three adorable Springerdoodle puppies in South Carolina Laura and Barry rented a car and drove west for ski trips in Colorado and Utah before crossing the border into Vancouver, Canada.

It was there that the couple enjoyed one of their more memorable dog-sitting stays, looking after a pair of Boston Terrier/Pug crosses called Buzz and Turkey.

At the start of 2019 Laura and Barry flew to Southeast Asia, where they travelled around Taiwan and Vietnam before looking after more than a dozen cars in stays across Thailand.

After travelling Malaysia they then flew to Australia for another five sits between April and May before their most remote stay, on an island in French Polynesia close to Tahiti called Moorea.

Laura and Barry stayed there for three months and spent lots of time snorkelling and mountain biking around the ‘stunning’ island.

From there it was off to Auckland, New Zealand, for a three-week stay with an enormous Akita, four chickens and 11 miniature ponies.

The couple then enjoyed another three months in Australia, which along with America, was their favourite place to travel before finishing up in Scandinavia between February and March this year.

Laura said: ‘We have enjoyed the trip of a lifetime but are both looking forward to spending a bit of time back in the UK now.

‘Although I’m sure it won’t be long before we get the travel bug again and do this all over.’

Laura will return to a job in sales while Barry will go back to his old job as an engineer.

The couple share their advice about how to travel as an animal sitter on their own website dedicated to their adventures.