Ben Harris and his boyfriend, Mariano Rebattini Capurro, travel the world debt-free. They make long stops in some of the world’s most expensive and sought-after cities. The pair is college-educated, but it’s their home-keeping abilities that have opened their lives to extended travel.

Ben, 26, and Mariano, 28, house-sit for strangers through sites like TrustedHouseSitters. They score free places to stay while caring for pets and watering plants.

How International House-Sitting Works

Over the last year-and-a-half, Ben has been to 39 countries and has even been able to save a little money along the way. Sites like House Carers, MindMyHouse, and TrustedHouseSitters began popping up around 2010. Tenants post vacancies, and applicants like Ben and Mariano individually apply for the accommodations that interest them.

The competition can be stiff. Vacancies in highly sought after cities like Reykjavik and Milan typically receive 25 applicants in the first 24 hours. Since TrustedHouseSitters began in 2010, it has grown to more than 1,500 active listings and 30,000 registered house sitters.

How to Become a Successful House Sitter

Ben and Mariano have watched homes from Seoul, South Korea to Sydney, Australia, Malaysia, and London.

They learned about house sitting through a travel blog and decided to give it a shot. It didn’t take long to land their first gig in New York. Now, Ben and Mariano have house sat in 26 different homes in 16 countries.

They attribute their success to going the extra mile for homeowners. Frequently sending pics of happy pets and leaving caring notes when they depart has given them stellar sitter rankings.

Ben says that at some point soon they’re going to need a break from long-term travel. He misses having a consistent social life. The two are forever grateful for the experience that the share economy has given them. They say that it’s made the world feel a little smaller, and a whole lot for affordable.