Once you’re in New Zealand, it would be a shame not to explore it properly and try all the best things this magical country has to offer. However, NZ is not a perfect place for budget travelers, since many places have high prices which can take a toll on your finances if you’re not careful. That’s why we put together this little guide that can help people have a cost-effective yet comfortable New Zealand trip! Take a look!
Avoid tourist traps
Even though places like Auckland and Queenstown are not tourist traps (they actually have many amazing things to offer), they can take a toll on your wallet. Because they are so popular with tourists, they are much more expensive than other places in New Zealand. So, if you want to go white water rafting, try a river that’s less popular, or if you want to have a nice meal, try a smaller town. You’re still going to have the time of your life, but for a lot less cash!
Look for freebies
All the adventure sports, glacier hikes, boat cruises, scenic helicopter rides and wine tours will definitely make a dent in your budget. However, there are so many things you can do in NZ that are completely free! For instance, both islands have amazing trails and hiking spots that will cost you absolutely nothing. So, fill your days will fun hikes, beach outings and picnics by the lakes!
Use your cards
If you’re staying in NZ for a longer time, try to make a YHA or BBH card. With one of these bad boys, you can get all sorts of accommodation discounts, as well as discounts on certain fares, tours, shops and activities. If you’re a student that holds an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), make sure to put it in your wallet before you board your plane for New Zealand. There are a lot of discounts you can get with that card all over the country, but make sure to ask if they offer price cuts to students (not all places advertise it).
Sure, taxis are practical and fast, but they will quickly drain your budget. Instead, pack your driver’s license and rent a car! Find a cheap car rental company that will equip you with a great set of wheels and ensure you have a cost-effective and cozy trip. Some even offer special deals if you rent for a longer period (you can even get one or two days free of time and kilometer charges). Plus, you’ll get to enjoy New Zealand at your own pace, stop when and where you want and even prolong your road trip! However, keep in mind that you must drive on the left side of the road in NZ which can be a bit tricky to get used to. If you can’t drive, opt for buses that are quite cheap and reliable. They stop at every town and departures are quite frequent!
Don’t waste money on bottled water
New Zealand has completely safe tap water, so there’s no need to waste money on bottled water. Instead, grab a reusable water bottle and take it away with you on your NZ adventures! It’s a much cheaper and more sustainable way to stay hydrated!
Stock up on groceries
If you’re planning to explore the country’s more remote regions, make sure to visit a big supermarket before you leave the city. Usually, small village shops are more expensive while offering a smaller selection of things you can buy. However, don’t miss a chance to visit local markets! Aside from being an interesting experience, they are often full of homemade goods you can get for a very reasonable price!
Look for cheap gifts
Like everywhere else in the world, some cities in NZ are more expensive than others. So, if you’re looking to get a few trinkets to bring home, don’t spend all your money at your first destination! Instead, explore the islands and wait until you visit cities with a lot of students like Dunedin. Students are savvy shoppers, which means you too will come across a few good bargains!
So, even if New Zealand isn’t the cheapest country in the world, it’s still possible to travel there on a tight budget. Use these tricks on your next trip and you’ll have a fun, cozy and budget-friendly NZ adventure!