How to start House sitting as a family

We have completed a couple of house sits through ‘Trusted Housesitters’ and we are so pleased we stumbled across this site. If you are planning overseas travel on a budget, or want to visit a place more in depth then you should seriously consider housesitting.

We joined the site trustedhousesitters.com and paid $139 NZD for a year membership (see below link for 25% off membership), this allows you to apply for housesits or advertise your own home. The house sits generally require you to take care of pets, house plants, and the home.

You will need to build a profile which will help the potential house sitter seeker to get to know you at a first glance, then you are ready to start searching for your house sit. We recommend reading the house sit advertisement thoroughly so you know what you are getting yourself into with the housesit, for instance if you are planning on being out and about constantly, looking after dogs might not be suitable for you.

There are filters you can put in for better search results, so if you are a family package like we are just click on the family friendly filter and that will help you avoid wasted time looking at house sits that won’t be applicable for you. Once you have found one that you are interested in you apply, we are no experts at this as we have only just started out but we have found putting as much information as you can without writing an essay has worked for us. If they like your application they may ask to speak with you over Skype or WhatsApp, so they can get to know you and show you around your potential accommodation.

Our house sits so far have been an absolute blast, we have ended up with amazing houses, beautiful hosts who are now great friends, and great pets who the kids will never forget.

Use this link to receive 25% off your membership https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/refer/RAF241114/

Camping – Hot Water Beach

Every year we go camping straight after Christmas over New Years, and this year we decided to go to Hot Water Beach for 9 nights. Initially we thought that would be too long and we wouldn’t find enough to do, but boy were we wrong. Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday park is so well set up that once you have finished hitting up the tourist spots there is still plenty to do at the holiday park to keep you busy.

The camp sites are a really good size so if you have a lounge and or a boat you don’t need to worry about fitting in because if you let them know they will give you a big site.

The bathroom facilities are the best we have experienced so far with bathrooms everywhere and they are always kept well stocked and cleaned, the whole time we were there they never ran out of loo paper or paper towels.

Kids cleaning up

The Kitchen facilities are also one of the best we have seen, the main kitchen is very big with lots of space and equipment to use if you don’t have any. There are also BBQ’s spaced out throughout the camping ground and basins to do the dishes for those that do not want to make the trek to the main kitchen.

The shop has all the essentials and is a good place to stock up on ice, bread and milk (we also managed to get fresh rosemary from them for our roasts). The coffee at the cafe is available all day over the Christmas period and is very good quality. Breakfast is available from 7-10.30am and is very reasonably priced and probably the best cafe breakfast we have ever had, we highly recommend the bacon and egg roll which is $8. Dinner is from 4.30-8.30pm and has the usual items found at a fish and chip shop, their crumbed mussels were absolutely delicious and we found ourselves getting 2 every second day.

We do need to warn you that there is very little phone coverage at the camping ground, but coverage is good just down the road at the beach and in town. There is wireless internet in the camping ground, and guests are provided with a limited amount of internet for free, we paid an extra $5 for 1Gb of additional data on top to do a few posts. Apart from that it was a nice chance to log off and enjoy our holiday.

The playground is excellent with the bouncing pillow, basketball hoop, playhouses with slides, swings and a giant chess board (which the older kids loved) where we constantly found them. There is a TV room with a DVD player and Sky TV in the main lounge.

During the Christmas holiday period they run a free kids club programme for all ages in the mornings for an hour and a half, and also family nights every second night. Our six and eight year olds had an absolute ball at kids club in the morning playing games, crafting and making new friends, the whole time we were there they did not miss a day. The family game nights included quiz night, inflatable obstacle courses, water slides and games which were a whole lot of fun for all of us.

New Years Eve and every Saturday in January they have a band that comes to play at the park which was free and really was the icing on the cake for us, they had our whole family up dancing the evening away.

The camp is about a 10 minute walk along a board walk to the beach, we found in the heat with kids it was quite tiring so remember not to leave anything behind at the campground.

We had some spades so didn’t need to hire any but if you need to the camp and shops in Hot Water Beach all have them to hire for $10 with a deposit. We found that there were so many pools already dug out at this time of year that if you stand around for a couple of minutes you will be able to get yourself an already dug hot pool.

Every day we were there was a surf day so if you are a surfing family then you will never grow tired of this place. The best surf is early in the morning before the wind gets up, we would get up at 5:30am to get out for a dawn surf where we would often be the only ones out on the water. A few hours later and the breaks would be full of surfers. We loaded up the truck the night before so we could leave as soon as we woke up. We drove a short way down the beach to where there were some rocks that provided a great left hand break. The surf whilst we were there averaged about 6 foot, but towards the end of our trip we were graced with some very large waves, close to 10 foot, however they closed out very quickly, we managed to catch a few good waves on our last morning.

Hot Water Beach is located in close proximity to a lot of great places that you can venture out to. There are also shuttles running if you don’t want to drive and the times are on a board outside reception and the shop. Tours will pick you up from the camping ground as well.

Cathedral Cove – roughly 10 mins drive

Coroglen Tavern – roughly 17 mins drive

Cooks Beach – roughly 13 mins drive and also has the ferry to Whitianga

Whitianga – roughly 25 mins drive

If you are looking for great camping spot for the family then we HIGHLY RECOMMEND Hot Water Beach, it has literally thought of everything to make your holiday the best that it could be and the nine nights we were there we did not find one day where we were bored.