How this Norfolk couple is travelling the world with free accommodation

Norfolk couple Jonathan and Julie Ashworth are travelling the world for free by house-sitting and looking after pets. 

Norfolk couple Jonathan and Julie Ashworth are travelling the world for free by house-sitting and looking after pets. - 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. 

Jonathan and Julie have been able to combine their love for animals and travel. 

Jonathan and Julie have been able to combine their love for animals and travel. - Credit: Supplied

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.

Julie Ashworth house-sitting at a seven bedroom house in Louth, Lincolnshire. 

Julie Ashworth house-sitting at a seven bedroom house in Louth, Lincolnshire. - Credit: Supplied

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."

Most Read

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.

Jonathan and Julie Ashworth on one of their adventures. 

Jonathan and Julie Ashworth on one of their adventures. - Credit: Supplied

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. 

Julie and Jonathan Ashworth are happy to be back abroad and travelling again. 

Julie and Jonathan Ashworth are happy to be back abroad and travelling again. - Credit: Supplied

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." 

Jonathan and Julie will soon be able to meet their grandson Frankie in Australia. 

Jonathan and Julie will soon be able to meet their grandson Frankie in Australia. - Credit: Supplied

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."

Visit their blog thetravellingpetsitters.com and website theglobalpetsitters.com

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter