A HOLIDAY to sunny California is on the bucket list for many Brits.
But even does even have to cost the earth – travellers can make like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and stay in a dream property over there – for free.
These amazing properties have ocean views, private swimming pools and interiors straight out of a design magazine and are available on TrustedHousesitters.com.
The website lets people find house and pet sitters for when they are away from home and has listings all over the world, from the Caribbean to Costa Rica, New York and London.
It’s a win-win situation as the sitters then get their stay completely free and the pets get to stay at home in their beds while their owners are on holiday.
Members pay £90 a year to access the listings and from there they can make contact with prospective owners or house sitters.
This apartment in a Long Beach mansion block has been decorated with the theme of Paris in mind – and it’s free so long as guests look after the resident pet[/caption]
Each sitter has to give a character reference and provide photo ID before they are allowed to start applying for jobs.
They then have to work on their approval ratings, as pet owners are far more likely to choose a sitter who has successfully sat for animals on the site previously.
The website also verifies people to make sure that they are trustworthy.
But according to the experts, the quickest way to collect good reviews is to sit for a number of owners locally.
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The length of sitting time on jobs ranges from a couple of nights up to a year and some animal lovers have even given up their jobs to travel the world via the site.
Rosemary Perry, a pet owner from Sydney said: “I had heard about this website from friends and it sounded too good to be true.”
The Long Beach apartment block – with the Paris-themed flat – has views over the beach
She continued: “I could not believe I could get someone to mind my house and two dogs for free – usually it would cost at least £45 a day for them to be minded.”
Once you become a top sitter the world is your oyster, as there are mansions with swimming pools, rambling farmhouses and penthouse suites all up for grabs on the site.
One home in Napa has a beautiful outdoor pool and is surrounded by trees and countryside.
This home in Eagle Glen has a swimming pool that looks like it’s straight out of a beach resort, and it has two resident husky dogs[/caption]
Another property on top of a hill in Carmel Valley uses the website not just for its dogs, but also for its horses.
A more unusual listing on the site is a power boat in Southern California with space inside that converts into an extra bed as well as kitchen facilities, bedroom, bathroom and wifi.
There are two furry friends who come with the boat too – sitters will looking after Cheech, a chihuahua and Fiona, a Border Collie, who also live on board.
This home in the Carmel Valley is surrounded by beautiful countryside
Alternatively, users could go for a New Orleans-style home in Eagle Glen in Southern California that comes complete with an outside pool.
However the swimming pool isn’t just for guests – it’s shared with two friendly huskies who loves a paddle outdoors.
Or there is also a penthouse apartment in Long Beach up for grabs, with a distinctive spiral staircase and attic rooms, including a bathroom and bedroom with sloping eaves.
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Inside it’s been decorated with nods to Paris, which is the owner Nancy’s favourite city.
To find out more about how you can become – or find – a trusted house and pet sitter, visit TrustedHousesitters.com.
Sun Online previously revealed that a woman house-sitting for friends was charged £300 when they got home after a holiday – to “cover a few bills”.