How this Norfolk couple is travelling the world with free accommodation
- Credit: Supplied
Forget splashing out on expensive hotels, a Norfolk couple has found a way to travel the world without paying a penny for accommodation.
Julie and Jonathan Ashworth stay in homes across the globe for free with just one catch - they need to look after people's pets.
The couple is signed up to website Trusted HouseSitters and their first rental was in Aldeburgh in Suffolk with a Pyrenean Mountain dog in January 2018.
They had sold their house in Poringland and left their jobs with dreams of travelling, with Mr Ashworth previously working as a property manager and school swimming teacher and Mrs Ashworth as a school secretary.
They paid for expenses with commission from their online holiday rental business, which operates in Spain, and spent more than a year in the UK building up house-sitting reviews.
Mrs Ashworth said: "We love animals and have always had them so it seemed like a dream come true.
"You post your profile and the owners do the same and you can set up alerts for where you may like to go."
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After getting many glowing reviews, they headed to America in October 2019 for three months and went to places including San Francisco and the Grand Canyon.
They then spent seven weeks in a Spanish villa, before being forced to return home to Norfolk in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
As they had sold their house, they had to live in Mr Ashworth's dad's caravan on Tibenham Airfield.
Then in July 2020 they began going around the UK again, but were desperate to get to Australia as their son Tom and his partner live there and were expecting a baby son.
Their grandson Frankie was born in January this year and now restrictions have finally lifted there, they will be house-sitting for seven weeks near where their son lives in Manly, a suburb of Sydney.
Mrs Ashworth said: "It is summer in Australia at the moment and peak time and this is where house-sitting comes into its own."
The pair are planning to travel to New Zealand and Canada afterwards.
She added: "People can do it as little or as long as they want and it is great for animal lovers who want to travel."