When planning a trip to New Zealand on a budget, it’s important to know when to go, where to stay and how to get there without breaking the bank. After all, wouldn’t you rather spend your money on fun things to do and see rather than on the tedious travel details? To learn the tips and info New Zealand travelers need to stay within budget, then read on.
When to Travel for the Cheapest Airfare
Let’s start with the most big-ticket a part of your trip: plane tickets. Generally speaking, the winter months of April through August are when airfares are lower, or during January and February when Kiwi kids go back to school after break. Avoid the big winter holidays, such as Christmas and New Year’s.
If you can be flexible on when you depart, do sign up for alerts on last-minute airfare deals. If a plane isn’t fully booked, any remaining seats will be sold at a fraction of the full price. Of course, this requires that you be ready to leave on short notice – not always easy to do, especially when you are coming from a different continent, which necessitates longer flight times.
How to Find the Cheapest Hotels
When it comes to hotel rates, they rise and fall based on occupancy. December and January are traditionally favorite months for Kiwis to take a holiday during the summer school break so hotels along the coast tend to fill up quickly. For areas where winter sports are the main attraction, such as Methven (Mount Hutt), Wanaka and Queenstown, that means arriving during the summer months (December – February). Do be aware that many tour operators tend to take their own breaks when there are the fewest visitors arriving in New Zealand (July – August) so you may have a difficult time booking certain tours.
Whenever you decide to visit New Zealand, you either need to book your room well in advance or wait until the last minute on the off chance that the hotel doesn’t fill up as expected.
Compare Car Rental NZ Companies
The same general rules apply to find a car rental company in New Zealand – book during the offseason. Reserving a vehicle such as a campervan will be cheaper during the days of the week when there is less demand from local families enjoying short weekend holidays (Friday – Sunday).
Another thing to consider when you want to find the cheapest car rental in Auckland or elsewhere is how many extras you get for the price. For instance, some car hire companies allow you to pick up your reserved vehicle from the Auckland Airport and return it in an alternate city at no extra charge. You might also be able to take the vehicle, via Interislander Ferry System, from the North Island to the South Island so you can enjoy all of New Zealand; not all companies offer this feature so do check if you are planning a country-wide tour. Sometimes a few dollars’ difference in price is more than made up for in extra perks or features that make your trip more pleasurable and less stressful.
It doesn’t take a big budget to enjoy a fantastic vacation in New Zealand; all it requires is a bit of advance planning and a knowledge of the cheapest times to visit.