New Zealand is a great destination but it can be a real budget buster. Here are ten tips for travelling in New Zealand on a budget.
1. Use group booking sites for accommodation. Groupon and Grabone.co.nz have excellent deals on hotels throughout New Zealand. Sign up a few weeks or months before you trip and receive the email alerts for their travel deals.
2. Plan on hiring a car for at least some of the journey. They charm of New Zealand mostly lies outside of the cities in the countryside and landscapes. While petrol is quite expensive in New Zealand, it’s definitely worth hiring a car for some or all of the journey. Check out the likes of DriveNow car hire Auckland airport.
3. Pick the right time of year. Most Kiwis take their summer holidays for the three weeks or so after Christmas. This can mean campsites, motels and hotels are very busy and often booked out for the first few weeks of January. If you want to visit New Zealand in the summer, plan to arrive mid-January. The weather is usually great right through February and into March. School holidays are also busy times throughout the year. Check when the NZ school holidays are in advance and avoid those weeks.
4. Wifi in New Zealand is expensive and unreliable. Mobile internet on Vodafone will cost upwards of $69 a month for a 2GB dongle. It’s also not that common for cafes to have unlimited free wifi, some only give you 20MB per purchase. McDonalds and public libraries do have free wifi though.
5. Look into housesitting. Kiwis love to travel and often go on extended trips. By house sitting in New Zealand you can save yourself a tonne of cash and extend your trip. Plus you get to live as part of a community and see what life is live for the locals.
6. Self-Catering will pay off. Eating out is expensive in New Zealand so any opportunity where you can self-cater by shopping at a supermarket will save you money. Look for self-catering accommodation like apartment rentals or hotels.
7. Book flights in advance. Internal flights can be cheap in New Zealand if you book them in advance using sites like Air New Zealand’s Grabaseat. Jetstar also offer cheap flights around the main centres of New Zealand.
8. Limit the adrenaline experiences. While New Zealand may be famous for bungy jumping, skydiving and other adventurous activities, they do not come cheap. Decide in advance which of these are a must-do and look for deals online in advance.
9. Buy before you arrive. Consumables like clothes, toiletries and camping equipment are much more expensive in New Zealand than in the US, UK or Australia. Bring what you need rather than buying things on the ground in New Zealand.
10. Get in touch with the locals and Couchsurf. New Zealanders are a very friendly bunch and many will open their door to couchsurfers for a night or two. Locals always know of secret spots off the tourist trail so the insider knowledge is just as valuable as the free bed.