Traveling cheaply by taking care of cats


AustraliaFor the past four years, Madolline Gourley, 32, has traveled to nearly 20 cities from Australia to the US at a low cost thanks to a combination of taking care of rented cats for owners.

In 2017, while working as a content officer for a government website, Gourley knew a number of colleagues who were earning free accommodation by babysitting rentals, thanks to an app called TrustedHousesitters.

Madolline Gourley and a cat during her travels in the US, 2018. Photo: Madolline Gourley.

Gourley also opened an account. In the profile, she added “long-time cat breeder” experience and quickly received the first contracts. Then, she became a travel blogger with One Cat at a Time to record your journey.

Although Gourley’s cat tours are considered odd by her friends, she finds the experience very enjoyable. In this way, over the past four years, Gourley has saved $28,000 in travel expenses to about 50 homes across the US and Australia.

“If you ignore the fact that I’m from Australia, it’s not much different than a friend or neighbor taking care of your pet,” the 32-year-old told CNBC television.

The savings of $ 28,000 was due to Gourley looking up room rates at the locations she visited. She gives an example: “According to the Zillow platform, a typical one-bedroom in the Chelsea area of ​​Manhattan, USA (where I last traveled) is already $3,200 a month. Pretty expensive for someone who loves to travel.”

Her longest cat-sitting trip ever was 75 days. Gourley stayed in 9 homes, taking care of 15 cats in 7 different US cities during the journey from Seattle to Portland, Oregon.

Although there is no rent, but Gourley also has to spend 7,200 USD (167 million VND) for the whole trip, an average of 96 USD per day, for other expenses. In addition, the cost of round-trip airfare to the US also costs up to 1,300 USD. In each city, the amount spent also varies depending on the place to visit and the level of spending.

Usually, Gourley will finish everything in the morning, then begin his sightseeing journey. But there are also days when she just stays at home to stay in touch with friends and family or write about her latest travels on a blog.

For the past two years, due to the effects of Covid-19, Gourley has only moved within the country.

Recently, the number of “digital nomads” using Gourley analog methods has increased dramatically. The girl said, a homeowner looking to find a housekeeper in Miami recently received 40 applications, while a few years ago was lucky to receive 10 applications.

Due to her experience in taking care of pets, Gourley’s application has an added advantage. The girl hopes this trend can develop more in the near future.

Vy Trang (Follow CNBC)

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