Let’s face it. Travelling to some countries is more expensive than others. New Zealand is one of those countries that can put a strain on your wallet. Some tourists consider the Southern Hemisphere far more expensive as compared to travel anywhere else. Obviously, it is no cheap trip like Bangkok, Vietnam or Sri Lanka, where you tend to get maximum bang for your buck. Here, you’ve got to be careful because the currency conversion of the New Zealand dollar to the Indian rupee isn’t friendly. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have the most fun while travelling here… because if you follow these top 10 tips suggested by us, you can cover this stunningly diverse country, with savings and smiles.
Ask any smart traveller for his or her top tip and you’ll hear this. Peak season in New Zealand is between December and February, which is when the country witnesses favourable weather. But alas, this is when airfares, prices for hotels, festivals, sightseeing tours… basically everything skyrockets. So, we recommend travelling in spring or autumn, both of which have their own perks.
It’s not that small a country, so travelling to both North and South islands may exhaust you of both time and money. So, think carefully about what you want to do. Of course, both islands are spectacular so we can’t really vouch for one over another. But here’s the thing. If you’re travelling around the North, land in either Auckland or Wellington. And if South is your choice, Queenstown and Christchurch have plenty of interesting sights and activities in store.
Everyone knows that New Zealand is Adventure Destination. But if you’re on a budget, you’re going to have to choose what adventures to go for. Bungee jumping, sky diving or skiing – these things cost quite a bit, so be wise. Also remember, some of New Zealand’s natural landscapes like Milford Sound and the South Island’s glaciers can only be reached by helicopter or boat, so that will be expensive. What we advise is looking for discounted rides and thrills on travel sites like Viator. And of course, opting for cheaper outdoor experiences like cycling, beach-hopping and hiking.
Bus, bus, bus. It’s cheap and cheerful, in New Zealand. So, whether you’re traveling within the city or inter-city, opt for bus providers like Mana Bus and InterCity. In Auckland and Wellington, you can even get a travel pass with discounted rates for local attractions. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Then opt for a campervan – because while it isn’t exactly cheap, it gives you the chance to cook and stay within it. Moreover, you can take advantage of the many free camping sites along the way.
Eating out can be shockingly expensive in New Zealand, so be warned. Grocery shopping on the other hand, can bring down your costs drastically. The cheapest supermarket chain in New Zealand is called Pak n Save, so visit these and pick up cheese, bread, vegetables, fruits and all your regular groceries to put together a meal yourself. You can also shop at The Warehouse, which is New Zealand’s version of Walmart. Here you’ll find cheap clothes, toiletries, linens and such stuff. Hey, it’s also an opportunity for you to get creative. Make a picnic out of it at a lakeside in Queenstown or at Christchurch’s lovely gardens or take an excursion to Auckland’s parklands. Do an outdoor barbecue or visit a farmer’s market where things are known to be pretty cheap.
Oh it’s certainly great fun to go to a coffee shop and splurge on an Americano or a Cappuccino once in a while. But, if a cup of Joe is a necessary morning-evening fix for you, then think different. What we recommend is carrying coffee/cappuccino sachets from home that can be added to hot water and had on-the-go. For those who are addicted to Indian chai, there are masala chai ready mixes that are really useful on trips like these. Believe us, you’ll be saving a whole lot of dollars by opting for these.
Good news! In New Zealand, tap water is absolutely safe to drink! In fact, the South Island has some of the best potable water in the world. So please save your money by not buying those plastic bottles of water that are exorbitant. In fact, here’s a pro tip: bring your own steel bottle and save money, while saving the planet.
Best part about New Zealand? Entry to all National Parks are free. So are the beaches. So, if you like to hike, swim, build sandcastles and walk, this is literally Nature Heaven. Just pack a nice light lunch and you’re all set to enjoy the entire day, with the most exquisitely natural blues and greens.
Discounts are the best news when you’re travelling. When in New Zealand, save money by investing in a SmartFuel Card if you’re planning to drive a campervan or a car, a NewWorld card that helps you save big time in grocery store chains and the Top 10 Holiday Park Pass which can help you save on stays and activities. Also check for different discount cards to suit your specific needs.
Lastly, make a realistic budget based on the travelling and activities you plan to do. Try using a budgeting app like Trail Wallet, to help you out with this. Definitely make sure to see how the New Zealand dollar is faring against the rupee, at the time of your travel. Just remember, that things in New Zealand are always going to be more expensive than what you are used to, so account for things accordingly.
Now that you know top tips on how to save and yet enjoy your travel in New Zealand, why delay that much-dreamt-of trip? Choose the package that best suits you. Leave the rest to us.