Are you getting ready for your first New Zealand trip? Well, you’re in for a treat since NZ is one of the most beautiful places in the world. However, due to their extreme isolation, Kiwis lead pretty different lives than someone from Central London or South Texas, so you might want to get acquainted with the place before you visit.
Prepare for high prices
Make sure to check how New Zealand Dollar fairs comparing to your home currency. Even if your currency is stronger, there’s a great possibility you’ll be blown away by prices. NZ is very expensive—a downside to being so isolated! No matter if you’re planning to buy a souvenir or grab a bite, make sure to look at prices first.
Prepare for some serious jet lag
For most people, traveling to NZ involves crossing several time zones which means you’ll suffer from some serious jet lag. Make sure to drink plenty of water, limit your alcohol intake and get plenty of rest during your trip. Expect to adjust in a few days.
Book everything in advance
New Zealand is a very popular travel destination, so you can expect accommodation to be expensive and hard to find. So be smart and book your stay well in advance. The same goes for other services like car rentals. Grabbing a car rental at Auckland airport as soon as you land is a great idea, but be sure to book it in advance. If you’re planning to explore the island, renting a car is an excellent idea, so don’t risk staying without your wheels.
Look out for i-Sites
Every single destination in New Zealand has its own i-Site where you can find maps, brochures and all other things concerning the area. Also, most buses stop right in front of these sites, so you can easily get around and get info quickly and easily.
Keep the weather in mind
While NZ has great weather, don’t think it’s harmless. During the winter, many places get a lot of snow (Mount Ruapehu, Mount Cook) so you can even try skiing. So make sure to pack plenty of warm clothing in order not to catch a cold. The fall is often a great time to travel because there are no crowds and the weather is quite temperate. On the other hand, spring is best to be avoided because the weather is at its wildest!
Venture off the beaten track
NZ is blessed with some of the most unique and breathtaking nature. Sure, Auckland and Queenstown are beautiful cities, but most worthy experiences are hiding off the beaten track. So, be adventurous and go places where tourists don’t usually venture to. Expect to come across amazing sites that you’ll never find in tourist guides. Fun fact: New Zealand has no snakes, so you don’t have to worry about these creepy crawlers during your nature explorations.
Kiwis are very friendly but shy
New Zealanders are incredibly welcoming and friendly, but they often appear shy and reserved. But don’t hesitate to be friendly and outgoing when interacting with locals. If you wave to them or strike a conversation, they will usually be happy to interact. And don’t hesitate to ask for directions and recommendations—you’ll get so many amazing tips.
Make a side trip
New Zealand might be isolated from the rest of the world, but it has many small island neighbors that are fun to visit. So, if you’re making an effort of visiting NZ, you might as well make the most of your trip and visit some other nearby places as well. In many cases, you can use your frequent flier miles from your NZ trip and get a very affordable flight to one of the South Pacific islands.
Remember these safety tips
While New Zealand is one of the safest places in the world, you still need to use your common sense. Always keep your valuables safe and avoid walking outside alone, especially in the sketchy neighborhoods. In case of emergency, make sure to call 111 which will connect you to the ambulance, fire department and the police. The system is pretty clear and easy to use even for foreigners.
Keep these tips in mind and your first Kiwi adventure will be super smooth and pleasant for everyone involved. Get ready to come back next year!