Image of couple with a white dog.
House sitting has given Marta and Jordan both pet and décor inspiration for when they have their own home. (Credit: Marta Mirecka)

Who wouldn’t like to save money on rent and travel the world, all the while saving for their home, in the current cost-of-living crisis?

One savvy couple have found just the way.

Marta Mirecka, 25, and Jordan Mcghie, 34, have been house sitting for two years around the UK and Europe.

The Polish-British couple have always loved travelling and even met on a travel website when Jordan needed somewhere to stay during a cycling tour and contacted Marta to couch-surf at her then-home in Worcester.

Although it didn’t go ahead, the pair ended up chatting, met up and have been travelling together ever since.

With Marta doing her PhD in Sheffield and Jordan’s family based in Nottingham, the pair, who wanted to live together, were stuck with the logistics of how it would work.

After stumbling across a YouTube ad for a house sitting website, Marta didn’t take much convincing that this would be the perfect solution to their living situation.

“Initially I found the idea of staying at a complete stranger’s house very weird but the thought of looking after people’s pets and the freedom of living a more nomadic lifestyle sounded like amazing aspects.”

Image of a woman with two dogs in a field.
Looking after people’s pets was what hooked Marta Mirecka on the idea of house sitting. (Credit: Marta Mirecka)

Since then, the couple have house sat at over 30 homes across the UK and Europe, including Switzerland, Austria and most recently, a bank holiday weekend in Edinburgh. The length of the stays range from weekends to month long trips.

However, as Marta needs easy access to the Sheffield lab where she researches endocrinology, biomolecular and cardiovascular sciences, a lot of the house sits are based across the Peak District.

“We absolutely love the freedom because anytime we are both free, we’re just taking a stranger’s dog for a walk or exploring the Peak District. This is the best thing to do for us for our physical and mental health and spending time together.” 

“I was really fixed on having a husky dog like all my life,’ says Marta. ‘Pet sitting has only reassured me this because they are just amazing.’

Marta adds: “In April, we only spent one night at home,” emphasising that their house sitting schedule is always busy.

There are so many beautiful homes popping up for us but we just don’t have enough time in the year to do them all.”

Couple with a white ragdoll cat.
House sitting has helped the couple save money for their future together. (Credit: Marta Mirecka)

Marta says that one of the benefits for them is access to nature. We love being outdoors. We love being active. So this lifestyle is perfect for us.”

‘We want to live around the world, not just in one country’

Another reason that the couple house sit is because it saves them money – an important factor for many young people right now when nearly 89% of adults in the UK are affected by the cost of living crisis, including the rise in rent prices.

She said the goal is to live completely rent-free through house sitting as they currently pay a low rent fee to Jordan’s parents for the rare times they stay at a flat in the Nottingham family home.

“Some months, our only outgoings are travel to the house sits and fresh food,” Marta says, adding that some homeowners allow sitters to use non-perishable foods during their stay.

“It helps us save some money for our future by cutting costs on a daily basis.”

Image of Marta with a white husky dog
‘I was really fixed on having a husky dog like all my life,’ says Marta. ‘Pet sitting has only reassured me this because they are just amazing.’ (Credit: Marta Mirecka)

Marta also thinks that house sitting has allowed for a more minimalistic lifestyle.

“At first we would take all our belongings and over time we started taking less and less. Recently, we came back home and we cleared up the entire house of things we don’t need. They were all materialistic things, useless to us.”

Jordan walking a husky through a snowy park
Dog walks, keeping the home tidy and regularly updating the owners are some of the tasks that come with house sitting. (Credit: Marta Miercka)

Her advice for other couples interested in the lifestyle is to “always read the profile, always read the description and make sure that you can fulfil the needs of the housesit.”

She also emphasises the importance of meeting or video-calling the homeowner to get to know a bit more about them and their pets to ensure their routine isn’t disrupted. 

‘whenever we house sit,
we work well as a team’

Marta thinks that house sitting has had a positive impact on her relationship.

“Whenever we house sit, we work well as a team. It allows us to get to know each other better, and our communication has become better too.”

House sitting has been a part of every stage in their relationship — from meeting online to getting engaged while house sitting in Budapest last year.

“It was a really lovely surprise and I’m so excited for our future together.”

The couple plan to continue house sitting for at least the next three years as Marta completes her PhD.

“Our final goal is to live around the world. We don’t want to live in just one country. We’re not the kind of couple who can just sit in one place, so big adventures are on the way.”