House sitting is our first accommodation choice on our list and what an adventure this has been for both of us. When we decided to move from Katherine to Darwin due to my new job we initially stayed with a very generous friend. While staying there we looked for accommodation and found it too expensive in general. We had to come up with a solution for putting a roof over our head without it costing a small fortune. We thought outside the box and our comfort zone and discovered house sitting.
We joined a site called Aussie House Sitters and we have not looked back. We pay our membership each year of $65, then we offer our services as house sitters. We do not charge for our services, in return we receive free rent, electricity, water, often free Wi-Fi and a vehicle is sometimes provided. Which is especially nice as we do not have a car any more.
House sitting requires that you look after pets and for us this has ranged from dogs to snakes. We mow, keep swimming pools under control and have the property looking spruced up and tidy on the owners return. It is expected that you stay at their home each night. We think this is a small price to pay for some of the amazing pets, locations and properties we have had the pleasure to sit.
Find out more about our house sit journey or to approach us to house sit your home.
On the odd occasion we book ourselves into a hotel. We did this in Darwin and we also do it in Brisbane. As long as we can get value for money we are happy to pay the price. In Darwin we would stay at the Darwin Central, we would get NT rates when we lived in the Territory. In Brisbane we stay at the Stamford Plaza. It might seems like we stay at reasonably ritzy places, but considering when we book there is a meal included it is great value. We are in luxury for an evening and we enjoy every minute of it.
Camping at a caravan park
We are happy to camp in caravan parks or remote. From a work perspective a caravan park is best with bathroom and cooking facilities. We have a great four person stand up tent and it works a treat. We have camped in Litchfield national park and another caravan park about 30 km from Darwin CBD. Camping is OK for a stop gap when I am working but I can't do it for too long. The main challenge is cooking and finding room in the communal fridge. But for a break when we are traveling and to have a shower and so on, it is a great option. Of course the fees that parks charge varies widely. We paid $7 in Litchfield in the NT and $38 from memory at Ayres Rock which we will never do again. There is a rest stop about 20 km north of the Rock and that is where we should have set up camp. We know for next time.
The is what we do a significant amount of when traveling. We find somewhere we can get off he road, if it is not a rest stop we will make sure we can't be seen from the road for safety reasons. Then we set up out test, boil water for a wash down, change into evening clothes and enjoy the peace and tranquility of being by ourselves. We do love it. As we both come from bush walking, cycle touring and for Kevin remote trail bike riding we are both comfortable with camping and making do.
Most people have heard about Airbnb because it becoming so popular. I have used it in Brisbane and Toowoomba. I have also advertised my Melbourne property on the site and was successful with two separate listings. It is a great option to more facilities and some home comforts. It may not be for everyone, but it is another accommodation option.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to get a roof over your head in a frugal manner, but it works for us.
What ways can you find to save money on your accommodation?