Getting to New Zealand’s Day Walks requires travelling. Listed here are some travel tips that will help you get to the trail without burning a hole in your pocket.
Travel Tips for New Zealand
Making travel plans can be an expensive exercise, as a seasoned traveller, I’m always on the lookout for cheap travel deals and promotions for my next trip, whether travelling in New Zealand or overseas. Until recently all my cheap travel deals have been sourced through the media, hearing friends or work colleagues talk about them or visiting my local travel agent. Recently I discovered travel search engine websites, these sites help people like me and you track down special offers, compare prices and help with the booking of the cheapest flights, rooms or vehicles available in New Zealand or wherever you may be travelling in the world.
Finding cheap travel deals can be a time-consuming task but once you’ve got your routine sorted it becomes a lot easier…the secret is in the search. Below I’ve listed some travel tips I use:
- Start by looking at as many search engine flight/travel sites as possible. Don’t limit yourself to just one. Being loyal to one airline company or travel site won’t get you the best deals…these sites collect information from different sources…so it’s important you check-out as many of them as you can. Start with Kiwi.com, Vayama, Jetrader and CheapFlights.
- Each of these sites has great information if you know where to find it…some sites are more user-friendly than others, so play around and see what you can find.
- Another great tool is Hooper. This site works out the best time to fly.
You can also go to ITA Matrix to check-out the cheapest day for any month.
- Some experts say it’s cheaper to fly on a Tuesday and Saturday…business travellers aren’t travelling on those days and leisure travellers want to maximize their weekend. Makes sense aye but I don’t think it really matters, with today’s technology and social media cheap travel deals occur often. If you’re unsure use Hooper to identify the best time to purchase your ticket. Once you have your time, day and month sorted check Kiwi.com, Vayama, Jetrader and CheapFlights for the cheapest price. Another tip, once you’ve located the cheapest deal check the airline’s website itself…they often have sale campaigns running and can be even cheaper…it’s also confirmation you’re getting the best price.
- Consider using multiple airlines for your trip instead of one carrier all the way through. Search a round-trip fare and then multiple one-way routes…compare the price and see which one is cheaper. Often one-way routes can be a lot cheaper…it’s a fun exercise, so give it a try. Recently I flew to Auckland with Jetstar and back to Wellington with Air New Zealand, it was the cheaper option.
- If using different airlines make sure you allow plenty of time for connecting flights. Recently when travelling from Costa Rica to San Francisco I flew into Miami to get a connecting flight to San Francisco. There was a delay in the arrival of the flight and getting through customs and internal security checkpoints was a very long and slow process. As a result, I nearly missed my connecting flight. Be mindful if you miss your connecting flight and are using different airlines you may have to pay for another flight.
- Sign up to alerts. If you’re planning to travel in the next 12 months and haven’t decided on your dates or you frequently visit a city…set up a travel alert! These alerts will let you know when the prices are at their best. Have a look at Airfarewatchdog, they’re a great tool for monitoring prices! They also do accommodation alerts too.
- Rewards and incentive programmes are a great idea to sign up to as well. Why not be rewarded for travelling, which you can then spend on flights, hotels, rental cars and other things that make life and travel more enjoyable.
- You’ve probably noticed Vayama, Jetrader and CheapFlights also search and compare hotels prices, some other sites worth checking are Booking.com and Cheap hotels. Like Trivago, Cheap hotels (Hotellook) is a price comparison site which searches hundreds of hotel booking sites at once, so it saves you a heap of time.
- Have you heard of secret hotel rooms? This is a great tip if you want luxury accommodation at very cheap prices. Even the best hotels can’t fill all their rooms all the time, so they sell their excess rooms at reduced rates. To keep their reputation intact and so it doesn’t upset other guests, these rooms are sold on booking sites like Hotwire where the hotel name is not identified. You’ll get the hotel name after you book…which ensures the hotel keeps its good image and you get a great deal. If your curious to know who the hotel is, with a little detective work you can actually figure it out. Start with googling the hotel’s description…the booking site often uses the same description for both its secret hotel page and its regular listing page for the same hotel. Then look for all available hotel rooms in the city, then narrow down the results based on the features of the secret hotel. Thirdly this should help confirm your guess…take a note of the hotel’s star rating and its TripAdvisor review score. Head to TripAdvisor, then search for hotels in the same area with the same user review score.
- Consider other alternatives like buses and trains. Often it’s nicer to see the countryside or area you’re visiting rather than flying from city to city and it can be a lot cheaper. Check-out New Zealand by Bus, Rail and Ferry. For tours have a look at Contiki, I did a Contiki around Europe years ago. Travelling with like-minded people is a lot of fun.
- How to find cheap rental cars. Use the search engine sites above and with one quick search you can compare all the major brands like Ace, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Ezi, Hertz and Thrifty.
- Look for rental car companies that offer all-inclusive rates. All rental car companies in New Zealand will offer this…however always read the terms and conditions first. With insurance, there are things you need to know…all companies will have an excess and this will be listed in the terms and conditions. Most companies will offer a complete cover package, which is at an additional cost, this will reduce the excess to zero. Read area’s where the vehicle cannot be taken…I was surprised when I read this. Additional driver, some companies will charge and others won’t so check the terms and conditions before booking.