how to save money travelling in new zealand

Ways to Save Money When Travelling in New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. It’s particularly popular with backpackers, mainly because of the island nation’s huge expanses of forest and wilderness.

Backpackers are known for travelling light and taking steps to save as much money as they possibly can. However, you don’t have to be a backpacker to travel this way.

While New Zealand is known for being an expensive country to travel in, there are ways of saving money. This post will explore some of them, telling you how you can effectively save money when travelling there.

Book Early

Booking early will help you to save money on flights, hotel rooms, and rental cars. If you are confident that you want to visit New Zealand, don’t waste time. You should go now and rent your car, book your hotel, and arrange your flights. The earlier you book, the more money you’ll save. Retailers typically give people discounts of up to 20-30% when they book in advance. Waiting until the last minute to book could mean you are turned away or charged an excessive amount.

Avoid Tourist Peaks

Certain times of the year are more popular than others. If you are interested in travelling to New Zealand, try avoiding the tourist peaks. If you can avoid visiting during the time of year when most people are visiting, you can save yourself a lot of money. Prices go up when there is a large influx of tourists. Something worth noting is that you can still end up overpaying if you do not book everything in advance, even if you are travelling during a quiet season.

Look for Sales

Before you book flights, hotel rooms, or a rental car, make sure that you conduct an extensive online search, looking for sales. You can save money at certain times of the year by shopping during sales. Hotels tend not to hold sales. Instead, they offer promotional discounts when people stay with them during a quiet season. You can use a travel comparison site to find out about ongoing sales. Rental car agencies also tend to hold promotions rather than sales. Airlines hold both sales and promotions. Finding news of a sale should not be difficult.

Be Flexible

If you want to save money when you are travelling, then you need to be flexible. You’ll never save money if you are rigid in your plans. You need to adopt an attitude of flexibility. Go wherever you can afford to. Instead of planning to go to one specific place, go where the wind takes you. If you travel to affordable places, then you will end up seeing a lot more than you planned to. Each place you visit will be new and exciting. Being flexible in your plans is an effective way of saving yourself money.

Take Advantage of Your Credit Card

If possible, use a credit card to make purchases. This is because credit card providers typically give their clients cashback on purchases. Getting cashback will allow you to save yourself a fortune, especially if you’re spending a lot of money. When using a credit card internationally, though, bear in mind you could have to pay fees. It’s usually only a good idea to use a credit card to make online purchases when travelling. The credit card fees you may have to deal with when paying for goods in a foreign country can be enormous.

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is something you need to think about, too. Many people do not get it because they think it is an unnecessary expense, but this is not true. Getting travel insurance will mean that if you run into any problems when you are travelling, you can have them resolved quickly. Some travel insurance companies will send people money immediately, depending on the problem that they have encountered. Travel insurance is not that expensive, and it’ll also cover your stays in foreign hospitals. Foreign hospitals can be a nightmare to have to deal with and can be very expensive.

Book a Rental Car

Booking a rental car can often be cheaper than getting Ubers and taxis everywhere you go, so look into rental car companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car to find the best options for you.

Use Flight Points

Flight points accumulate when you make purchases with a credit card, usually. If you own a credit card, you can ask your provider and determine whether you have been accumulating points when making purchases. If you have accumulated flight points, you could use them to pay for your flight. If you have enough, then you could end up not having to pay any money for your flights yourself. Your points could cover the cost of your tickets to New Zealand.

Bring Cash

When travelling overseas, it is important to bring the right currency with you. In most cases, cash is still king and brings the greatest convenience when making purchases or exchanging money. Additionally, credit cards may not be accepted by certain merchants and ATMs in some areas, so carrying a small amount of local currency will ensure that you always have options whenever you need them. Be sure to research ahead of time so you know what currency you should bring with you or which banknotes are accepted in the country.

Bringing extra cash can also come in handy if your credit cards get lost or stolen while travelling abroad. It is wise to plan for any emergency expenses that may arise and make sure you have enough local currency on hand to cover them. Additionally, check with your bank to see what exchange rate they offer for foreign currencies and try to calculate how much cash you need to bring with you. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to exchange money in the country rather than rely on your bank.

Finally, make sure you are aware of any potential travel restrictions or fees associated with currency exchange before you leave your home country. Knowing this information ahead of time will help you prepare in advance and avoid any potential problems while travelling. The more prepared you are, the better your trip will be.

Find Free Food

Book a hotel that offers free food. Some provide free breakfasts. Others may provide free lunches and dinners. Check for hotels that offer meal plans. This can be a great way to save some money on food costs while still enjoying the convenience of eating in-house. Consider booking a hotel that is close to restaurants or local grocery stores so you can take advantage of discounts they may offer.

Also, check if there are any “happy hour” specials at local restaurants or pubs. You might be able to enjoy a great meal at an affordable price. Finally, look for coupons and discounts on food in the city you’re visiting. Many tourist destinations have coupon books that offer discounted meals and snacks. With just a bit of research and planning, you can save money and still enjoy all the food you want. Good luck!

Bring Friends

Bringing friends along with you can be a good way of saving money too because you can all share in the costs of expenses. Bringing friends means that you don’t have to pay for everything yourself. Your friends can contribute to the cost of hotel rooms, rental cars, and meals. You could even rent an apartment on Airbnb with them, which will save you money. Doing this then means that you can cook your food. Cooking your food will save you from having to eat out in restaurants.

Bring a Reusable Water Bottle

Use a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and reduce your environmental footprint. Make sure to fill it up at fountains, or purchase a refillable water bottle from your local store. Bring this with you wherever you go so that you always have something to drink on hand! Not only is it better for the environment, but bringing your own bottle also helps save money in the long run. Plus, it’s a great way to ensure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.


Finally, if you really want to save money, then travel the old-school way. While renting a car gives you much more freedom, walking on foot can save you a fortune and help you see New Zealand on the ground rather than in a car whizzing past. However, walking long distances can be bad for your feet. Use comfortable shoes.

We try our best to keep travel guides updated as often and accurately possible. However, there's no guarantee that what you find on our site will be 100% correct or current at any given time - so please make sure to cross-check the information with credible sources.

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