New Zealand is quickly climbing to the top of travelers’ bucket lists, with tourist arrivals increasing by nearly 8% in the last year alone. This could have something to do with its diverse natural world or its ever-friendly locals. One thing is for sure: the praises don’t stop there. In fact, here’s why New Zealand should be at the top of your travel list, along with some handy budget tips.
The incredible scenery
With its toppling mountains and glassy lakes, it is no wonder New Zealand became the backdrop for the famous The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ranging from dense forests to glow worm caves, there is something here for every kind of traveler. Its poster children include the snow-capped Mount Cook and Fjordland National Park. With the abundance of all-inclusive resorts scattered around this landscape, you’ll be pleased to know you can combine luxury and nature with ease- even if you’re on a budget.
It’s a haven for activities
With such an immense natural world comes the opportunity to try out some heart-racing activities. It is no secret that New Zealand is a hotspot for hikers of all abilities. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing and Fox Glacier each offer a unique hiking experience. In some cases, you might get to go on a glacier expedition. Other popular options include boating on Milford Sound, visiting Hobbiton, and cruising around Doubtful Sound. You’re right: there are endless possibilities here. This is a big part of why people often stay in New Zealand for much longer than they planned.
Spending your days deep in nature means you’ll always have the chance to see some of the local wildlife. This isn’t just your average house cat. With dolphins, Kiwi Birds and Little Blue Penguins being only a few of the gems people spot, it’s safe to say the wildlife here is unlike anywhere else in the world. When you visit, just remember to apply the ‘leave no trace’ rule. This means you won’t be impacting their natural habitats for the worse.
A rich culture
The local people of New Zealand are known for their hospitality, and its culture is famed for being one of the richest in the world. This is largely due to the Maori people, who are the indigenous population of New Zealand. Coming here over 1000 years ago, their culture can still be seen in every smile, and even in the traditional national parks. This culture is what many explorers count as their most memorable part of their trip, so throw yourself into it, and remember to respect it.
Make a budget
The number one rule of traveling on a budget is making sure you stick to it. Lots of people don’t budget for their travels and quickly run out of funds. You don’t want to make the same mistake and cut your trip short, to create a simple budget when you’re planning your trip. This way, you can work out how much you need to save before you leave. You’ll also get a rough idea of what you can do each day within your budget.
There is no denying that flights are the most expensive part of any trip. Before you book anything else, conduct a thorough search for flights. Sign up to budget flight newsletters and flight alerts to help you cut costs. Mostly, you should consider flying out of peak season. This can sometimes cut flight costs in half, but you’ll still get to enjoy the scenery at its best in shoulder season.
Stay in a campervan
Staying in a campervan is the best way to kill two birds with one stone. This way, you’ll combine gas and accommodation costs, but you’ll also get to immerse yourself in the heart of the natural world. This works out especially well if you’re traveling in a small group. You can all split the costs of maintaining the campervan and take turns driving on longer journeys. It is also a great way of keeping warm on colder evenings- without incurring any extra costs.
Before you go anywhere, you’ll see tour providers offering tickets for expensive tours. New Zealand is no different. While they can promise a great time, they can also promise that your bank account will take a hit. Instead, consider doing some of these activities yourself. For example, with hiking, all you’ll need is National Park access and a trusty navigation system. Saving money on these activities means you’ll have more money to spend on extra-special excursions, such as glacier hiking or boat cruising.
Rethink how you eat
For many people, traveling means only one thing: eating out, every day. This is, unfortunately, a sure-fire way to blow your budget. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save by making your own meals instead. If you’re in a campervan, you can make use of your kitchen equipment to have some hearty meals. It won’t be gourmet, but it will be authentic. Just in case, make sure to have plenty of healthy snacks with you to keep your energy levels up when exploring. Though keeping large water bottles is a great idea, in various locations, water is clean and safe to drink from the tap.