How to Travel New Zealand on a Budget


How to Travel New Zealand on a Budget

Plan a budget-friendly holiday in New Zealand and make the most of your trip while keeping costs down. Follow these travel tips for an affordable and enjoyable holiday with family and friends.

Off-Peak Travel. Consider traveling during the off-peak seasons (spring and autumn) when accommodation and activities are generally cheaper compared to peak tourist seasons (summer and winter). Avoid traveling during major holidays and festivals when prices tend to be higher. The shoulder seasons (Mar–May and Sept–Nov) offer good value and accommodation discounts may apply. 

Book Direct. By booking direct with a New Zealand tourism operator you are supporting a local business and will get the best travel deals available. Also, your provider will not have to pay commission to a third party.

Accommodation. Opt for budget-friendly accommodation options such as holiday parks, hostels, or motels. Look for family rooms, holiday homes or cabins that can accommodate your entire group at a lower cost compared to booking multiple hotel rooms.

Self-Catering. Choose accommodations with kitchen facilities so you can cook your meals. This can significantly reduce food expenses compared to dining out for every meal.

Transportation. Research and compare transportation options to find the most cost-effective way to travel around New Zealand. Consider renting a campervan or car if you’re traveling with a group to save on accommodation and food costs. Campervan companies often lower their rates over off-peak holiday times. Public transportation like buses and trains can also be affordable alternatives.

Affordable Activities. New Zealand has plenty of affordable tourist attractions waiting to be explored. If travelling with a family, many attractions offer family passes which are considerably cheaper than paying per person. Many NZ attractions offer free (or heavily discounted) entry fees for pre-schoolers.

Consider affordable activities such as museums, adventure parks, public swimming pools, bike hire, stargazing tours, horse trekking, geothermal areas, kayaking, wildlife parks, surfing, indoor trampoline parks or a VR experience.

Free Activities. Take advantage of free or low-cost activities and attractions. New Zealand offers plenty of natural beauty and outdoor activities that don’t cost a penny, such as hiking, visiting beaches, exploring parks, and enjoying scenic viewpoints.

Discount Passes. Look into tourist discount passes or combo tickets that offer discounted access to multiple attractions or activities. These passes can help you save money if you plan to visit several paid attractions during your trip.

Plan Outdoor Adventures. New Zealand is renowned for its outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, kayaking, and wildlife spotting. Many of these activities are relatively low-cost or free, allowing you to experience the country’s natural beauty without breaking the bank.

Budget-Friendly Destinations. Explore lesser-known destinations or regions that are not as popular with tourists. These areas often offer more affordable accommodation and dining options while still providing unique experiences.

Picnic Meals. Instead of eating out for every meal, pack picnic lunches and snacks for your day trips. This not only saves money but also allows you to enjoy meals in scenic outdoor settings.

Research and Book in Advance. Take the time to research and book accommodations, transportation, and activities in advance to secure the best deals and avoid last-minute price hikes.

Food. Shop at local supermarkets and markets for groceries and cook your meals whenever possible. From experience, Pak n Save is NZ’s cheapest supermarket.

Take advantage of food trucks, fish & chip shops, local eateries, and bakeries for affordable dining options.

Opt for picnic lunches during day trips instead of eating out at restaurants.

Budget Planning. Set a daily budget and track your expenses to ensure you’re staying within your means.

Look for travel deals, discounts, and promotions on accommodation, activities, and transportation.

Consider using travel reward points or credit card benefits to offset some of your expenses.

By implementing these budget travel tips and strategies, you can experience the beauty and adventure of New Zealand without breaking the bank. Remember to plan ahead, prioritise your spending, and embrace the opportunity to explore this incredible destination on a budget.