Caretaking As a Career Option – What's In It For You?

I am suffering from a rabid case of wanderlust after reading through the listings featured in the Caretaker’s Gazette. Who doesn’t like the idea of earning their keep by caring for properties throughout the world? I personally find the thought of caring for a villa in Latin America or Europe very romantic. As a girl who tends to be very resourceful, the idea of long-term travel is very appealing. The cost of daily accommodations is usually what scares me away from packing up a bag and hitting the road. Even youth hostels can do damage to a tight budget over an extended period of time.

Caretaking sounds like a simple enough task. You do what is asked of you by the owner of a property in exchange for simple accommodations on their property. People from all over the world are looking for people to help out on their farms and ranches or to complete projects that promote sustainability and greener living. Opportunities are not limited to the United States so the chance to travel the world is increasingly more likely than it is with other types of jobs.

Freelance writer and spirited traveler, Nora Dunn, shares her experience caretaking with Transitions Abroad. In an article titled, Caretaking Jobs Abroad: Some Creative Ways to Travel the World Long-Term, she notes the type of characteristics that make up a good caretaker. She also states the advantages and disadvantages of remaining in one place for long periods of time. The former business owner from Canada traded in her role as entrepreneur to accept caretaking positions around the world. Her experiences are chronicled on her blog, The Professional Hobo.

In addition to the Caretaker’s Gazette, the following resources can help caretakers find jobs:

  • WorkingCouples.com – Opportunities for two make up the website. Subscribers pay $5 a month to access job listings specifically asking for couples. The site’s free newsletter provides free tips, job and resume updates.
  • Caretaker-Jobs.com- Cooks, gardeners, innkeepers, and farmers can find jobs of interest listed on the site. Membership costs $29 a year.
  • Workers on Wheels – RVers and Campers find this website invaluable. Not only are their listings for caretaking positions, there are also categories covering income earning opportunities like freelance writing and photography, professional organizing, and volunteering. Articles and links to relevant resources are provided at no cost to the reader.

Tourism Queensland selected someone to be a caretaker. In addition to being paid a hefty salary for six months of service, the young man got to spend his days exploring the region, promoting tourism to executives, and making numerous appearances in the media. The Island Caretaker blog allows Ben’s followers to see what he is up to as he works “The Best Job in the World.”

Caretakers need to have a positive attitude, a willingness to earn their keep, and a stable source of outside income. Some positions pay a salary or stipend but many only provide lodging. Other positions provide access to equipment and supplies or allow caretakers to eat their fill of organic produce and farm fresh food. Individuals may also be asked to assist with elderly family members, pets, and children. With my experience caring for special needs children, acting as an Activity Director in a retirement home, and now working as a freelance writer, caretaking sounds like something I am very equipped to do.

Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer for ChickSpeak, Buzzine, DisFUNKshion Magazine, Student Stuff, and a guest contributor for Wisebread.  She loves thrift related topics and can spot a bargain a mile away.

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Author: Charissa

Charissa is into frugal living and saving money.

5 comments
Darren
Darren

How long do normal projects last? Are most of them six months?

This sounds like a great way to visit another part of the world, if you're willing to do some work and live modestly in the process. If you have a day job that lets you work from home, I would think you could bring that with you as well and truly be mobile.

pays to live green
pays to live green

Wow, this sounds like a really great idea, especially for those who have jobs that can travel with them. This wouldn't be practical for a family, but it would be perfect for singles or couples who want to travel without the huge cost.

John
John

Thanks for writing about property caretaking. I have tried all the websites and have found www.caretaker.org to be the best for property caretaking assignments. I recently started using www.caretaker.org and have found two rent-free living assignments there so far.
John

Pop
Pop

Man, sometimes I read about jobs like this and wonder if they fall into the "secret shopper," "travel writer," and "food critic" categories of seductive but unrealistic or exceedingly rare. I want to be a professional caretaker who gets his food and clothes from side hustles as a restaurant reviewer and mystery shopper.

Credit Girl
Credit Girl

Wow ! I had no idea you could do this for a job. That's really cool...Traveling is already a perk but getting paid for it as well! Even better...