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Meet Regina Kay and Her Family


April 1, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Meet WSE Members



Tell me a little about your family and who you travel with.

We’re on a “Full-Time Field Trip.” Mom Regina, Dad Tom, Kids: Tyleigh (14), Tucker (13), Trace (11), Trevor (9), and Txanton (5). Originally from Orlando, Florida in the States and yes we totally had Disney passes. Our family loves seeing new places, learning from the things around us, and connecting with one another.

Do you travel full time? How do you educate your children?

It was our goal for a long time, so I’m thrilled to answer that we do indeed travel full-time. We worldschool our kids. Worldschooling is a home educational approach based on the philosophy that the world is our classroom. We love experiential learning and unit studies based on the things we’re seeing and doing. We also love that our kids have autonomy over their learning.

What are your main reasons for house sitting?

House sitting provides an opportunity to experience a country’s culture. We like being in a neighborhood within a city rather than a tourist section. We like shopping at the local market and cooking regional food. House sitting gives us a closer idea of what it might be like to live in an area versus just visit it.

How long have you been house sitting? How many sits have you done? Where have you been?

I house sat before I had kids, but as a family, we started last year. We’ve done several now in North America, Europe, and Asia.

What were your main responsibilities? Did you look after pets?

Many people just want someone present in their home during their absence. This makes them feel safe and their home is less vulnerable to potential crime. Others give us a short list of tasks such as, collecting the mail, watering the plants, or maintaining the pool if there is one. We have not yet had the pleasure of pet sitting but look forward to it.

Tell me about your favourite sit ever?

All of our sits have been wonderful. Our time in Greece tops the list. The home had epic views and a relaxing atmosphere. We balanced our time there between learning activities like Greek mythology, Mount Olympus, local brick making, and olive farming with visiting several nearby beaches. It was truly a wonderful experience.

How far in advance do you organise your house sits?

This varies. We’ve arranged house sits in as little as two weeks and as long as ten months.

How much money do you estimate you have saved on travel accommodation by doing house sits?

This also varies. Sometimes you take a house sit in a more remote area that requires you to rent/hire a car. You didn’t plan on the expensive of the car but you have free housing so it evens out. Some people house sit so they spend more on the flight and go a little further. Others may use house sitting to stay longer or spend more money on activities. Overall, it’s a wonderful way to balance your expenses.

What would you say to other people considering this type of travel accommodation? Tell me your best house sit tip?

We live by the motto leave it better than you found it. My husband is a professional handyman and really takes this to heart. He doesn’t overstep but I’ve seen him repair numerous things like door handles, closet doors, ceiling fans, and leaky sinks. I’m not suggesting everyone should do this. But you should leave the home super clean. Give yourself time and be thorough. Treat this home the way you want your own home to be treated.

What do you worry about, if anything, while arranging a sit? How would you put potential sitters minds at ease who are anxious about staying in someone else’s house?

With five kids, I worry about something getting broken. If something breaks, communication is imperative. Discuss it with the homeowner right away, don’t wait. Straight forward, thorough, and timely communication is the most important part of arranging a house sit. By the way, our kids have never broken anything but we have (just a wine glass).

Some people say they like to house sit rather than stay in a hotel as it feels more like a ‘home from home’ experience – Does it really? Can you really make someone else’s home feel like your own? How do you achieve this?

Wherever we go, we have the same systems and house rules. When we first arrive we do things like:

*Identify where the shoes will live.
*Designate a place for cups and water bottles (no eating or drinking outside the kitchen or dining area so all cups have a   designated home).
*School supplies get a home.
*Set up a place for dirty laundry.

We love the challenge of making our systems fit into a new space. We can live anywhere and we love getting a glimpse into how others live. So yes, you can absolutely feel at home anywhere you go.

What one thing do you travel with that you couldn’t do without, even when staying in someone else’s home?

We like to cook and prepare food at home but that’s not always the cultural norm. So even though I know there will be a food prep area, I must have my chef’s knife. You just can’t assume everyone uses this type of knife. I also travel with two thin flexible cutting boards that fit nicely in the bottom of my suitcase as well as a vegetable peeler.

 

So where to next? Any more sits planned?

We’re in the midst of a long-term house sit in rural Northern Thailand and loving it. When we leave here, we’ll likely travel through Southeast Asia, then on to Australia looking for house sits along the way (especially those in need of a little handyman work).

Anything else to add?

We’re grateful to have a home to stay in while travelling and even more excited to get to meet new people and create new relationships along the way.

 

You can find out more about Regina and her family on her blog –

Full Time Field Trip

 

 

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