Help! I need more bedrooms over the festive season

If, like me, you’ve got guests coming for Christmas but you don’t want to be packed in like sardines, yet don’t have the budget to accommodate them in a hotel or B&B, read on for a free way to put them up…

Young girl opening door to house with Christmas lantern in her hand

Like many expats, I’ve got family scattered far and wide. At Christmas we tend to gather at my sister’s home, but she moved recently, as did I, and her home is now smaller than mine. So, the turkey eating hordes will be descending on my new home over the pre-Christmas weekend. (Ho, ho, ho…they seem to have forgotten, at least for now, that I’m a vegetarian!)

That’s all great and I’m looking forward to it, except I’m two beds short and none of my guests are the sofa-surfing type. (I’ve also suggested putting a tent in the garden for the younger crowd, but that was unpopular too.) So, I needed to find another two beds from somewhere without paying a fortune for them. Actually, two bedrooms, which is more of a challenge!

Then I remembered the whole house-sitting/pet-sitting option, where you can look after someone’s house, with or without pets, while they are away. You don’t need to pay anything to the owner, other than a membership fee for joining (on some sites) and your personal living costs. Heating and other utilities are covered by the owner as are any pet-related costs. It’s a win-win situation.

Woman relaxing on a sofa
House sitting can be relaxing for all concerned

Lucky for me, I’ve found a cottage within walking distance of my home. Well, let’s say you could walk it if you had to, which, post boozy Christmas dinner, will probably be necessary for the lucky four who will be staying in Bramble Cottage… over the hills, but not too far away!

The added bonus of house-sitting over Christmas is that owners often decorate their homes before they leave, so my guests will hopefully get to sleep in a home that feels nice and Christmassy.

Collection of Christmas decorations on a shelf
If you’re guests are lucky they’ll have a pre-decorated house, if not add a few simple ones of your own

If you’re not familiar with house- or pet-sitting, read ‘How to solve the empty-second-home problem’, which is all about having international house-sitting “guests”.

And, if you have a normal rental property, one that you make money from renting out, but struggle to fill it over Christmas, read ‘How to get your rental property booked this Christmas’ for 7 helpful booking tips.

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