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Hot Springs and Snowy Peaks – New Zealand

I have to admit it, we are hot spring groupies. We look for them everywhere we go and have been known to drive for hours to visit ones we think might be good. I need to clarify what we think is a good hot spring. Firstly, the more natural the better, while we are ok with the ones that are developed if the water is really good, if we had a choice between a pool made of stones near a river on the side of the road and a big complex with all the trappings of a waterpark, we will always pick the roadside pool option first.

New Zealand delivers

New Zealand is a country that delivers when it comes to good hot springs, but you have to hunt for them. The ones we think are good ended up in the strangest of places, such as a park dedicated to dog walking in the town of Taupo, on the North Island.

There, we found a piping hot stream running straight into the Taupo river that was such a favourite for us that we never even made it to the commercial hot spring along the river from it.

We stayed in New Zealand for 3 months. It started as a family visit. Our oldest daughter lived near the bay of islands. After the firs couple of weeks, we loaded everyone into a hire car, including her and drove all over the north and South Island. We stayed in caravans on farms in places that were more remote than we ever thought possible. Besides climbing mountains and tramped around in the snow, we also swam in the ocean, (brr, NZ is almost perpetually chilly).

We glammed it up in a friend’s multi-million dollar Queenstown apartment. Some wicked scooter sessions were had in skate parks all over the country. The kids were dead keen to learn as many tricks as they could. The local kids were really obliging and helpful.

Making friends easily

This is one of the things that impresses me the most about our kids. Everywhere they go they make friends. Not just friends for the day, but so many friends that they are still in regular contact with. They have buddies in every corner of the world and are now have sleepovers on every continent in the world!

We are constantly being complimented on the charm and brightness of our kids. Honestly, I struggle to take the credit for it, it is all them. We give them guidance, push them when we can see they need it. Don’t think we don’t make all the mistakes other parents make.  Somehow they are turning out to be beautiful young adults in the making!

We had a wonderful time in NZ, but it was time to head back to Bali. Time to warm our chilled bones properly in the tropics.

We will go back, the next time we want to arrive by yacht, after crossing the Pacific by sail!

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Travel Resources We Use for Affordable Travel With Kids.

Below are some helpful links, full disclosure, when you use them, we get a commission on some of them.

This helps us to keep going along with the t-shirts and other stuff we sell. We truly use these services below and all very regularly and wouldn't recommend them if we didn't use them ourselves and think they are totally great.

So if you get inspired to book a flight or a hotel room or even start renting a place of a room, please use these links and help us out too. It costs you nothing and helps us a lot.

Book Flights
Jetradar is our No 1 first stop for finding flights.

There is no flight booking service better than this. Use the form below to find a flight now. I promise you, they are by far the cheapest and best we have found and we have tried them all. We have booked flights from Bali to Goa that cost only $120 for all 5 of us, can you imagine how happy we were about that!

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Book Accommodation

Mostly we use just 2 booking sites to find the best deals.

Sometimes we won’t or can't book in advance and just arrive at a place and look around. It can be cheaper. If you try this, get in early and not during peak holiday times. Some people find this a bit too challenging even without kids in tow.

For Long Stays

Airbnb

Airbnb is perfect for longer stays, but you have to be really thorough when you make a booking on airbnb. We have created a video guide on how to make a booking using airbnb, what to look for what to make sure of before confirming the booking. We have booked 100's of places and know all the tricks.

For Short Stays

Booking.com

We have found that when it comes to staying anywhere for a shorter time, the hotels and even apartments offered by booking.com are better value than Airbnb. They are generally more budget focused and not as well set up, but that's not always the case. we just like the hotel offers more for our family for short stays

Or use this form to search booking.com



Booking.com

For longer-term apartment rentals, Airbnb works out cheaper.  Mostly we find for shorter stays hotels give us better value in pretty much every way.

AirBnb works best for long-term (1 month or more even) stays there are no security deposits and leases to worry about and no utility bills either.

We’ve recently found good deals on Airbnb in Europe and London too, so Asia isn't the only place worth using it.

Become a Host

Airbnb is a great way to make some extra money and meet interesting people by being a host, Use this link to join and get a discount through us.

Booking.com will list your apartment or rooms too for you, just follow this link to sign up

Book a Tour

We have found that other than a rare exception, if you want to book a tour, the best way to do it is through GetYourGuide. The site is easy to use, the tours are all good quality and the pricing is really good, because they negotiate bulk pricing.

Travel Insurance

World Nomads is the only travel insurance we use, and it’s great. Get a quote instantly by simply filling out the form below. You can also go to our travel insurance guide page for the full details.

Miscellaneous Stuff

We’ve tried housesitting, but due to it being sporatic, we rarely do it. We are not really into couch-surfing.  Not many people would have enough couches for the whole family anyhow. We do host couch-surfers at home, we just prefer to pay our way.

We backpack fairly regularly, because it's fun (some tips on backpacking with kids will be coming soon). Stays at luxury resorts and villas we like. Going camping and glamping are good too.  Getting ready to do some blue water cruising on a catamaran is definitely our thing.

We never go on package holidays,

Thanks for reading our post, we like to think that we are inspiring people like yourself to even try long term travel, or any travel, with children, or without, maybe to more challenging destinations.

 It is not a big scary world out there and anybody can travel with kids if they put their mind to it. You can follow our family adventure and plan your own through joining our mailing list ( please sign up above), alternatively, you can find us on FacebookInstagramVimeo, YouTube, Twitter, or Pinterest.  

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Try our Travel with Kids in cars post or choose from our Travel Posts Page.