While I just spent 3 weeks in the Pacific Northwest dog-sitting two adorable and well behaved dogs (although they do bark occasionally), it ended up costing my hosts a pretty penny due to changing airfare, the cost of bringing my dog along, and supplying me with groceries and wine.
They found a new option for their next trip. Since I’m a relative I arrived a few days early to visit and was able to meet the new dog sitters they hoped would fill my shoes next year. This couple saw their home, met the dogs and committed for the time period needed. He is a retired tech guy, she is a retired physician and with family nearby they considered this a “win-win” for all.
My brother-in-law had just signed up for TrustedHousesitters, https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/how-it-works/find-a-sitter/
where for an annual fee you can request a sitter for your home and your pets. They are vetted and agree to stay for free and help you out.
It’s certainly worth considering. You can sign up to be a sitter, get one or both. This couple finds someone to stay at their home to take care of their plants while they travel/sit all around the world.
I’m guessing that both location and home matter when the sitter is looking for a unique travel experience and are willing to do so with no charge to you. When I lived in Panama there was a woman who had lived there for a couple of years and had only spent a few nights paying for a hotel. She was in such demand as a trusted pet-sitter that you had to book her at least a year ahead!
While I have plenty of family in my area there are times when they simply cannot help out. So this is something I plan to investigate for myself!