New Zealand, the Land of the Kiwi, is easily among the world’s must-visit destinations for anyone who wants to be captivated by stunning mountains, undulating hills, intimidating volcanoes, and bungee jumping (where the extreme sport was born).
This South Pacific island nation is home to less than 5 million people, is the least corrupt nation in the world, and ranks third among 162 countries included in the Global Peace Index survey. This quaint country has more animals than people and has some of the gentlest and kindest humans walking the face of the earth.
The country is, first and foremost, a nature lover’s haven. It is home to Blue Lake, which has the clearest water among bodies of water, has the smallest species of dolphins, and is where a car parts-eating bird can be found. These fun facts make New Zealand a tourists’ haven, proven by the fact that the industry is the country’s top export industry that was only slowed down by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’re planning on a New Zealand vacation soon, but you’re a bit worried about it since you’re a bit short on budget, then the only fix is to plan to save on every front possible. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways of achieving a great NZ vacation without draining your savings. Take inspiration from these budget-friendly ways to go around Kiwi land:
1. Hire a motorhome. Going in and around New Zealand’s quaint villages and nature destinations should be a breeze in terms of the convenience and value-for-money you’ll enjoy when you hire a motorhome instead of trying all available transportation options. The good news is that there are established rental companies like Campro that offer cheap rents for motorhomes that are technically homes on wheels. These motorhomes have a wide range of comfort features such as TV sets, heating and cooling systems, sink, refrigerator, kitchen, beds, and toilet/bath to make your travel around the country as homey as possible. With a rented motorhome, you have the freedom to go anywhere you please (as long as the route is within the allowed places for motorhomes). Plus, some renters even offer roadside assistance should the rented car break down anywhere.
2. Go to entrance-free spots. Who says you can’t bask in New Zealand’s natural beauty without spending money at every turn? Well, the good news is that there are so many publicly-available hiking and backpacking spots around the country that you can go to for less than a day without spending even a single dollar. How cheap could you get than that?
3. Bring travel essentials so you won’t have to buy them onsite. Sure, you can spend money on travel essentials by buying them off of a local convenience store. But if you’re really keen on saving big during your NZ travel, then the only logical thing to do is to bring those essentials with you, so your travel money stays safe in your wallet. Among others, you should have your hygiene kit, medicines and first aid kit, a dry bag (given that a lot of affordable spots for tourists are beaches and rivers), and a guidebook (so you don’t end up getting lost in the middle of nowhere). You can bring other items, but these should get you off to a great start.
4. Cook your own food, but also try local food when the budget allows. A great chunk of any tourist’s travel allowance is spent on food. If you have initially decided to rent a motorhome, then the sensible thing to do is utilize the included mobile kitchen for cooking your own food. This will not only assure you that you’re eating safe but also saving big in the process. There are stores and local markets where you can buy ingredients, and motorhomes typically come with a built-in refrigerator, so stocking up on food supplies shouldn’t be an issue. Of course, if you have a spare budget, try local food to make your trip as immersive as possible.
5. Score deals on flights to NZ. If you’re from overseas and visiting New Zealand for a long-planned vacation, one way of saving money even before you set foot into the country is to find discount flights. This would require you to do a little detective work to source airplane tickets at a steal price. But, hey, a few hundred dollars sliced from the regular ticket price should go a long way.
6. Buy a local SIM card. You’d most likely communicate with your loved ones back home or with your rental company, so getting a local SIM card should serve you well. With a SIM card bought locally, you’ll enjoy calls and texts, as well as data allocation so that you can update your relatives and friends about your ongoing NZ trip via social media.
These budget travel hacks should make your New Zealand vacation as financially painless as possible. Don’t forget to enjoy every moment of your stay in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.