New Zealand is a beautiful country with unique landscapes ranging from snowy mountain peaks to stunning sandy beaches.
New Zealand offers a long list of adventure activities, interesting wildlife, worthwhile places to visit and the local Maori culture to immerse yourself in. However travelling throughout New Zealand can be expensive and take a large chunk out of your budget. Here are a few tips on how to save on travel when in New Zealand.
1. Take Your Trip In The Off-Season
New Zealand’s busiest season runs from December through to February, crossing the summer months. Although this time of year provides the warmest weather it is when both kiwi and international travellers are most likely to be out and about. You will see a notable increase in not only travel but accommodation costs. If possible plan your trip for the months either side of the busy season, spring and autumn are really good times to travel.
2. Consider Your Timeframes And Focus
If you only have a short amount of time and your budget is limited, try to focus on a specific regions, towns or one Island only (North or South). Trying to cover too much ground in a short time with long flights or car trips will only end up compromising the quality of your trip and eat in to your budget. Staying focused to a particular area will save you lots of money on internal transportation.
3. Keep An Eye Out For Cheap Airfare Deal
There are two main flight carriers in New Zealand, Air New Zealand and Jetstar, both offer discounted rates throughout the year especially in off-peak times. Consider only using flights for travel directly between the main centres of Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland as this offers the best value for money and these seats are often discounted if you choose to fly outside of the peak times. Think about booking ahead if possible and try signing up for email alerts to catch the best fare specials.
4. Take The Bus
New Zealand offers daily bus services operating throughout the country across a network of destinations. It is a very popular mode of transport for students and tourists and can provide a convenient way to see some of the countryside without having to figure out directions and drive yourself. Bus travel in New Zealand is a very economical way to move between cities and towns.
5. Relocate A Rental Car
If you are flexible in your itinerary you may be able to arrange the use of a free rental vehicle by providing a relocation service for a rental company. This involves picking the vehicle up from one location and delivering it to another; it helps the rental company save on ferrying costs and helps you to get from A to B without it costing anything. You are more likely to succeed with this if you travel south to north against the majority of the flow.
6. Buy A Used Car
Consider purchasing a cheap used vehicle for the duration of your stay instead of renting one. This can be worthwhile if your stay is longer than 3 – 4 weeks. Many car yards and even rental companies offer older vehicles at bargain rates. This means no daily fees, no return to base issues and more flexibility. When reaching the end of your stay you simply on-sell the car, allowing you to potentially recoup the majority of your costs.
Campervans and camping are very popular in New Zealand with a large variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. There are official Department of Conservation campsites as well as privately owned holiday parks, most quite affordable. “Freedom Camping” is also legal in some places. This literally means parking wherever you want for the night, although there are conditions; not on private land without permission, not in areas expressly prohibiting freedom camping and you must not leave any litter behind. Be sure to keep New Zealand’s countryside as pristine as you found it!
With a bit of forward planning and flexibility you can carve large amounts off your travelling costs when in New Zealand, it is well worth the effort and freeing up some extra cash means more funds for all the fantastic activities on offer.
Here are a few links you may find useful when planning your next trip: