We caught up with our amazing 5 hearts Auckland host Lorraine who has hosted many guests in her home in Otahuhu. She offers one double room for $50 NZ per night, which is fantastic value in Auckland. Lorraine has also tried out homestay.com herself as a guest in Tauranga with hosts Liz and Phil. Lorraine also booked a homestay on a visit to London to see her son and daughter in law.
Lorraine with her son Michael in the UK
I started in 2015 by taking in a few students to supplement my income. I'm actually an insurance broker. Then I found the Homestay.com website, and set up my page there and it's been pretty steady amount of travellers and visitors from then on. It's been helped by the fact that it's difficult to find good value accommodation in Auckland at most times. I live close to airport and I'm on main transport routes to the city by bus or train.
Lorraine with her guest Yunji from South Korea
My house is small only 2 bedrooms and 1 tv but it works well. So far I have hosted about 16 people since I started. Some from Asia, Europe, England and even NZ.
What I love about hosting is the funny stories. You hear all sorts as people get to know about NZ, get lost coming home or driving in the city or using the bus or buying things. The many different types of people I host, give me an indication of life out side NZ. For example, one boy from Korea who had to go back home to be in the army. The other couple who went driving round NZ in a campervan, the Canadian who escapes always travels "down under" during the cold Canadian winters.
Lorraine's home in Otahuhu, Auckland
Food preferences have been fun too, I've had Korean curry, Japanese soup, German chocolate and brazilian coffee. Each person has enlightened my life in their own way and given me a better perspective of the world. Mainly they have taught me to be so grateful that I live in New Zealand.
Not sure I can give anyone else travel tips, as I normally travel with a lot of clothes, and bring back an even fuller bag than I started out. But sometimes the things in the bag coming home are not what I took over. Take lots of money is probably my best tip. I just love shopping when on holidays and you'll never know what there is to buy till you get there. Like the time I went to Cook Islands and found out they had black pearls. I had no idea and not enough cash with me to get one. Nevermind - always next time. I usually travel somewhere every year, mainly to Australia, but have been to Bali, Singapore, USA. and my own country of course. I come back on this current trip to visit my daughter via USA , but am staying with my friend in Chicago rather than a homestay.
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