By Josh Saunders
Meet the couple who travel the world for free taking care of pets from cats to dogs, exotic fish, tortoise, goats, chickens and more.
Nicolo Nisbett, 54, from Windsor, Berkshire, and partner Blair Russell, 27, have visited 13 different countries during more than 55 trips.
Since starting two years ago, their assignments have ranged from rural England and Scotland to Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and more.
They balance working remotely with taking care of domestic pets and animals along with travel – receiving full five-out-of-five reviews.
Their rankings have earned them the accolades of TrustedHousesitters.com’s number one sitters in America and fourth in the world sitter category.
The pair say they prefer seeing the world this way as they can stay in homes situated in real communities away from the hotels and engage in local culture.
Nicolo, who works in real estate investments, said: “During longer sits you get involved in the local area and get to know it better.
“It’s no vacation as such, but there definitely are relaxing aspects and responsibilities that take priority.
“We have had relatively easy pets like cats and dogs, other times it has been different like goats, a 37-year-old tortoise, chickens, tropical fish and more.
“I don’t think we will ever really settle, not just yet anyway, I’ve done a number of solo housesits too.
“My mother travelled into her 90s, so I still have many years to catch-up on before I stop doing this.
“We have applied for a few places we have not been to, like Africa, but they are harder to get, we’d also like to explore South America and Australia.”
The couple discovered TrustedHousesitters.com while discussing travel with friends in 2016, from there they spent nearly two years travelling from one place to the next.
They say it allowed them to get to places and have real experiences they otherwise would struggled to do.
Blair, originally from Maryland, Washington DC, USA, who works as a consultant, says it allows him the perfect blend of work and relaxation.
He said: “Full-time travel is very expensive, you pay all this money and stay in the same places wherever you go.
“It’s hard to get a good idea of the local experience if you’re staying in The Hilton or The Marriott.
“It’s unlike a hotel where you don’t learn anything. We can say what the breakfasts are like, taxi drivers, what it’s like to pay at restaurants and go to pubs in different countries.”
While the travelling is fun, they maintain it’s like running a business where you have to be professional and people need to trust you.
Blair said: “We are number one of all US house sitters and number two worldwide.
“We have been to places as close as London or New York, as far away as Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, and then everywhere in between.
“We have taken care of tortoises, rabbits, goats, it’s kind of crazy, the animals are so important to the owners and you bond with each of them.”
They document their travels, naming themselves the ‘Roaming Sitters’ and while they have toned down their excursions more recently they still regularly use the site once to twice a month.
Blair said: “The great thing is that you can save money that allows us to simultaneously travel, our one rule is good WIFI, so we can work remotely.
“We were travelling for nearly two years straight, now we do weekends and getaways to certain places once a month or twice if it’s a short trip.
“Those two years were amazing and the only way we could do it was because of trustedhousesitters.com – it would be impossible with that option.”
Nicolo and Blair’s trips have led them to be the number one reviewed sitters America and number four in the world.
Tim Lyons, Managing Director, 41, of TrustedHousesitters.com said: “From reading their fifty-five, five-star reviews, it is no surprise they are so highly regarded by pet owners on the site.
“They have a clear passion for animals and providing first-class pet care, and this passion is being rewarded through free accommodation and authentic travel experiences.
“We love hearing how our site is helping pet owners to travel by pairing them with pet lovers like Nicolo and Blair who clearly adore pets.
“We hear daily from members who are using TrustedHousesitters to travel the world with the company of pets.
“Nicolo and Blair are doing just that and have clearly demonstrated the possibilities house and pet sitting brings.”
For more information visit: www.trustedhousesitters.com
LOCATIONS THE ROAMING SITTERS HAVE VISITED SO FAR:
• Austria: Bad Ischl
• England: multiple including Berkshire, Cumbria, Devon, East Sussex, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Kent, London, Essex, Somerset, County Durham
• France: Normandy and Gers (southwest)
• Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur
• Myanmar: Yangon
• Scotland: Edinburgh
• Spain: Andalusia, Catalonia
• Switzerland: Basel
• Thailand: Chaing Mai
• Turkey: Opal Coast
• United States: multiple in California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New York
• Vietnam: Ho Chi Ming City.