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6-12 month - house/accom/campsite sitting with 2 children anywhere- possibe or pipe dream?

(21 Posts)
nunmaria Fri 04-Jan-13 19:23:28

That's it really. We have the amazing potential opportunity for my husband to have 6-12 months off work for us all to spend some time together (we have 2 children - 2 yr old and baby).

We would be able to have some funds for the period off but obviously couldn't afford to live like we were on a 6 month + 'holiday'. So, renting a normal holiday place does not seem to add up. Also, it would be great to have a base / have a purpose, for which house sitting / caretaking B+B etc / doing maintenance somewhere with accom thrown would be ideal.

So, is this just unrealistic to get something sorted having the two little ones? (would anyone want us!!?)

We both have professional careers in our real life and my husband is very practically skilled for other types of work. Obviously, one of us would need to take care of the children at one time. We wouldn't need an income as such if accommodation was provided.

We would potentially go anywhere!

Ideas / thoughts please....

zumo Sat 05-Jan-13 19:18:39

I have seen these on UK campsite, in the jobs section, I wuldnt tell them its only for 6-12 months though.
The other option is geta seasonal pitch on a campsite and buy a cheap touring caravan as it wont depreciate much in that time so can be sold on a pitch for 12 months will be from £800-£3000 depending on location.
Good luck it sounds fantastic

MistyB Sat 05-Jan-13 20:41:40

I remember looking at chalet prices in Chamonix, a chalet costing €25,000 for the winter season was €2,500 for the summer. Would something like that be of interest. Chamonix would be a fab place to hang out for the summer!!

nunmaria Sun 06-Jan-13 20:38:02

Thanks for those thoughts. I will have a look. As silly as it sounds, and Im not saying it's a problem problem as it's a fantastic opportunity obviously, but working out how to make it work and not bankrupt us will take some thought.

Want it to be great for the children too and for them not to be climbing the walls in some basic apartment when they could e at home going to groups etc....

thanksamillion Mon 07-Jan-13 10:40:52

I know that YHA used to have people doing this kind of thing especially over the summer. Presumably there might be similar oportunities in other European countries?

If you are Christians there are many many opportunities living with communities/helping out missionaries, maybe there are also secular equivalents?

pupsiecola Mon 07-Jan-13 11:57:15

My mother in law house sits for a living. She is winding down now as she is coming up to 70. It served her well when she split from FIL though. She ended up house sitting, for 6 months straight from leaving the marital home, around 15 years ago. Sometimes she just looks after a house, sometimes with animals (ranging from one dog to several plus cats plus donkeys plus chickens). She also gets paid for it - a daily rate.

If you can be flexible on timing and location you may well be able to find something. I would advertise in a few magazines/on line/Gumtree etc?

specialsubject Mon 07-Jan-13 16:41:40

try Competition in the UK is ridiculous but you might be in luck elsewhere. If you are Brits you can spend 6 months in NZ.

nunmaria Mon 07-Jan-13 20:20:38

Great, thanks. We've been talking roaming Europe in a caravan but not sure how that would be with a 1 and 2 year old?!!

(we are experienced campers). Thanksamillion - we're not religious so that wouldn't be an option. Will check out YHA but I guess they wouldn't want the baggage of family. Maybe also the case for house sitting? NZ would be fab. We've been there pre children and loved it..

nunmaria Mon 07-Jan-13 20:22:25

Pupsiecola - would you reveal the agent your MIL uses?

LoopsInHoops Tue 08-Jan-13 06:39:58

How about a house swap?

BranchingOut Tue 08-Jan-13 06:48:47

There is something called live-in guardians, where you occupy an empty property.

pupsiecola Tue 08-Jan-13 08:04:44

She doesn't use an agent. Never has - she just gets work via word of mouth. Good luck!

BranchingOut Tue 08-Jan-13 10:14:31

Or what about an overseas study scholarship?

thanksamillion Tue 08-Jan-13 17:33:56

The other thing I thought about was the WWOOF farming thing. I'm not sure entirely how it works but if you google it you get lots of info.

nunmaria Tue 08-Jan-13 20:39:51

Thanks for your ideas. Having looked at the options suggested above, I don't think our children set up would be very attractive for getting any sort of subsidised accommodation as such unless we were extremely lucky. As who would want to provide a place for 4 when only one would be working full time (either or both could work sometimes but someone would need to be caring for the children at any one time).
Many things seemed to be aimed at either retired couples (house sitting) or young single / couples (guardians, WWOOF).
I suppose undertstandably.
It's such as shame we don't have a contact who has a large-ish place they need caring for, I guess with this sort of thing it would be who not what you know!!!!
Having been up in the night with DC2 and up early with DC1 last night, we're thinking the small, noise carrying confines of a caravan type trip may have its limitations!!! shock
We're determined though to try and make the most of the opportunity....

MistyB Tue 08-Jan-13 20:57:04

Have you looked at Camphill communities. I member them from my childhood and remember young families being part of the community being looked after full time by their parents who also worked for the community. I think they have a Christian ethos.

BranchingOut Wed 09-Jan-13 09:06:23

What about a straight house swap?

saffronwblue Wed 09-Jan-13 09:10:42

Have you looked at sites like these?\

nunmaria Thu 10-Jan-13 14:06:38

We can't straight house swap as we're in rented in the UK after selling our house. Having looked at quite a few house sitting sites, I think we'd be low on the list for choosing with our children 'baggage' and I suppose increased risk of damage etc? Also, you have to pay to join, so you've sort of got to commit before you've got any idea whether there would be absolutely any chance - and there are a lot of sites = a lot of money.
Having looked at the Camphill suggestion - it does look great but this is something I could do as in real life when not on my career break, I do work in a caring profession, but my husband has no experience and I don't think would be comfortable (/ any good!!?) at this kind of work + looking at it opportunities in Europe appear limited.
Gosh, I sound like I'm creating problems but I'm really not. It sounds amazing in paper to have a chance to all have a break together but the logistics of doing it with two such little children is proving a challenge. Surely, there could be somewhere / someone where we could offer our services / a little time in exchange for an experience?
Pusiecola, your MIL must have been so lucky to get places word of mouth for house swapping?
Anyone international know of anyone who needs a house sit?? smile Or any other ideas very welcomed xx Thanks

BranchingOut Fri 11-Jan-13 08:55:34

I say put out feelers in every direction possible. Email to everyone you know, get in touch with anyone you have worked or studied with who comes from somewhere interesting.

Just throwing out ideas:

How about being a school caretaker somewhere?
Boarding schools - being house-parents or other staff
European campsites
Hotels that are closed for part of the year (a la 'The Shining'!)
British Council
Cultural exchanges
Fulbright Commission
Homestay sites

People who have a relative pass away may want to have someone occupy their house and assist with house-clearance etc.

Summer rent of a ski-chalet in a resort which has an all-round life. This may be subdivided into flats or have staff accommodation. You could then part rent it out some weeks.

Community Service Volunteers

If one of you wants to do further study I heard about an opportunity in Indonesia.

The thing is that even if a suitable opportunity is not advertised, who is to say that the people involved in these organisations might not know of someone who has need of what you are suggesting?

nunmaria Mon 14-Jan-13 19:48:49

Thanks for your really positive replies ....will keep searching

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