There are ways one can save money on accommodation without sacrificing comfort; stay in a home with a local family and/or share a room with other people. Homestay is a good option to consider especially when rent skyrockets during the peak travelling season in summer.
The backpacker hostel I was staying in Tauranga was going to increase the rent from NZD145 to NZD170 per person in summer. So, YJ, Jenny and I decided to move out and stay with an Asian family in Bayfair area, Tauranga to save money and it turned out to be the best decision we have ever made! 😀
The Three Musketeers – All for One & One for All!
YJ, Jenny and I met in a hostel in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty and since then, we have decided to travel together and share the cost and expenses of running a car to/from work at SEEKA Kiwifruit Industries, besides going for road trips during the weekend. A good thing about travelling in pairs or in a group is we get to share and save on our expenses.
So, after we heard about the news of the increase in rent for the next few months to come, the three of us decided to move out from the hostel and stay in a room together; splitting the rent equally among us. We consider ourselves lucky because we were referred by friends, Angel and Stefanie to a good Asian family who are living in a charming residential area in Bayfair, Tauranga. 😀
They rent out the 2 spare rooms in their house and only accept those who have good references or were referred to them by former tenants for safety and security concerns. Both Angel and Stefanie were staying with them for several months, but they were about to move out, so they suggested that we take their place and move in with the Asian family.
A Cosy & Comfortable Homestay in Tauranga
The three of us moved into the house one fine weekend and stayed in a fully furnished large triple room located on the ground floor of the double-storey building. Our room has a double and single bed frame with mattresses, pillows and comforters, a spacious built-in wardrobe and dressing table.
We shared the bathroom/toilet with another tenant staying in the single room next to us. Both husband and wife and their adult son stay on the upper floor. I find the house unique because the living room, dining area, kitchen, master bedroom and another room are located on the upper floor. 😀
We paid NZD90 per person for the rent each week including unlimited Wi-Fi, laundry, electricity and water. We were free to use the kitchen, dining area and living room, and shared the fridge and panty space with the family and the other tenant. Another dear friend of ours, Eri, stayed with us for 4 days and she was only asked to pay NZD50.
Home Sweet Home – Of Nutritious Home-Cooked Food & Warm Homely Treatment
All three of us felt blessed and grateful for the Asian family treated us like family. Every Monday, we were treated to a pot/bowl of steaming hot soup, noodles or home-cooked dishes. It felt good to be able to savour hot and nutritious home-cooked food prepared with care and love especially after a hard day’s work. 😀
That simple, but thoughtful gesture of kindness and generosity made me feel homely and it helped to alleviate my homesickness. A beautiful garden with cherry blossom trees surround the house and we were free to harvest the fruits or vegetables in moderation for our consumption. Heck, we had fresh strawberries to eat on a weekly basis! The house has a stunning view of Mount Mauao a.k.a Mount Maunganui that can be seen from the balcony.
In general, the Asian family treated us really well and we repaid their kindness by taking good care and looking after their house. After two months, we bid farewell to the family and moved to Hastings, Hawkes Bay in search of work. I cherish my time with the Asian family for they have taught me valuable lessons in life and showed me humility, generosity and kindness.
Up next: Bus ride from Tauranga to Hastings with InterCity