Boundless trust in neighbours and family at home sitting

Young holiday-maker more reluctant to part with key

The Hague – A PostNL study has shown that 9 out of 10 Dutchmen ask people they know to look after their home during their holiday. Especially family and relatives (49%) and neighbours (37%) are asked to empty the letterbox, water the plants or look after the pets. The trust the Dutch have in the guards of their castle appears to be boundless: only 1% believes that their mail is opened or read without their permission. Conversely, home sitters would love to read confidential mail addressed to their family, relatives, neighbours or friends. The study brings to light that 1 out of 5 respondents is curious about this.

Mail priority at homecoming

“The Dutch love to be kept informed: leafing through the mail and looking at parcels is one of the first things they do as soon as they have returned home from a holiday,” says Arno van Bijnen, Director Retail & Consumer Market of PostNL. The study shows that the Dutch leaf through their mail (58%) and do a wash (41%) immediately after arriving home. Especially youngsters find it important to get on with their social life right away: almost half of them (44%) immediately inform their friends and family they have returned home. “Mail is still a major source of information – which is good for us to know,” Van Bijnen says.

Emptying the letterbox

The Dutch go on holiday for one to two weeks on average, and the majority ask their family, relatives or neighbours to look after their homes. The home sitters are mainly called in to empty the letterbox (88%), water the plants (70%) or feed the pets (52%). To remunerate the home sitters for their efforts, most of the Dutch (88%) give them a small present. A gift, a souvenir or a picture postcard are popular.

Younger holiday-maker reluctant

Remarkably, especially younger holiday-makers (up to 24 years) are more reluctant about asking relatives, neighbours or friends to look after their home. ‘Only’ three-quarters of them leave the key with somebody to empty the letterbox or water the plants as opposed to over 90% of the rest of the Dutch. The trust the Dutch have in their family, relatives, neighbours or friends is deep: the majority of the holiday-makers think that nothing untoward will happen in their home in their absence. Only 4% of the respondents believe home sitters nose about in their bedroom, 3% is convinced that their drink supply is used, and one or two respondents think their administration is looked at.

Watering Princess Máxima’s plants

When asked which Dutch celebrity’s home the Dutch would love to look after, Princess Máxima is mentioned most often (36%). Also Linda de Mol’s (24%) and Chantal Janzen’s (24%) homes are among those the Dutch would like to snoop about in. In addition to these three, youngsters would like to water the plants in the homes of Doutzen Kroes and Nick & Simon.