A woman claims she’s managed to find the ultimate travelling lifestyle as she journeys around the world for free – and saves a fortune doing so. Many of us wish we could hop from country to country, mountains to beach and home to home.
However, doing so would usually be way too expensive for most workers. Flights, trains and hotels don’t come cheap!
But, one woman claims she stays in luxury homes across Europe and the United States without spending a penny on where she stays. Kirstina Corniel, 34, is a travel content creator who quit her “unfulfilling” 100-hour-week job in HR.
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She started travelling more and "felt so alive" doing so that she found a way to travel full time by discovering house sitting four years ago. Simply by living in and looking after people’s houses Kristina gets to stay in beautiful homes for free while travelling.
Sometimes, the travel lover has too look after people’s pets too, but she doesn’t mind having a furry companion for a while. So far Kristina has stayed in 10 homes for free across California, Switzerland, London and Texas.
Kristina, who grew up in Yonkers, New York, said: "I get to stay in beautiful places and save. It's a huge hack for me. Not only do you get to stay in quality homes but you can have more time to explore.
"Sometimes I let the house sit site dictate where I'm going next. I stayed in a penthouse in Chelsea, New York. Being able to live like a local in Switzerland, one of the most expensive countries in the world for free, was definitely a highlight."
Kristina even saved a whopping £6k on a month-long trip to Montreux, Switzerland, where she enjoyed bubble baths, cheese fondue, and used the owners' car. Considering the average hotel in the area costs £200 a night she really tricked the system!
On her other house sits Kristina has visited vineyards in California, and relaxed in a penthouse in New York City. Now, she claims her digital nomad lifestyle has shifted her perspective.
She said: "I started to think about how I wanted to live my life day to day. I thought about what I wanted more of. I wanted more sunlight, more exercise, more time with family, more nature, more learning, more excitement, more growth, more fulfilment, more freedom."
When finally ready to make the move as a young woman, Kristina quit her job in 2016 and took a solo trip to Thailand the following year. Kristina met a number of digital nomads on her two-week trip to Thailand which inspired her to do the same.
Kristina said: "I felt so alive. I saw so much that the world has to offer. I started thinking about how much I wanted to see."
At first, Kristina worked as an online teacher, but as she documented more and more of her trips she made enough from content creation to switch to being a travel influencer full time. Kristina then discovered house sitting in a book in 2019 and used the hack to move around for free.
She found websites such as House Sitters America and MindMyHouse where members pay a small membership fee but can then browse homes to stay in for free. Kristina said: "I thought 'I've got to try this'. If it's legit it's a game changer. All you're doing is feeding their cats."
Kristina stayed in her first home for free in San Diego, California, and has been following the same process to visit new places ever since. She uses house sits "as much as possible" to travel all over. Kristina has house sat in London, Switzerland, Texas and New York.
She said: "It can be tiring living out of a suitcase. Coming to a home you can hang up your clothes. Get that comfort. "In Switzerland it was kind of the best of both worlds with that experience because it was so comfortable.
"I took long candlelit bubble baths. I made cheese fondue. I would take walks to the lakefront and enjoy the crisp mountain air.
“At the same time, I was able to explore and take trips to towns I've always wanted to visit because the owner let me use the car. " Kristina explored the mountains of Grindelwald, saw bears in Bern and strolled along vineyards in Lavaux.
Now, she even takes along her husband, Martin Svec, 34, a videographer, and the pair have also visited most of Europe such as Italy, France, Spain, Croatia and Germany, as well as almost every state in the US.
Would you love to hop from country to country? Tell us in the comments below…
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