New Zealand is a country that’s top of the bucket list for every serious traveler and adventurer. There’s a lot to see and experience in NZ, and you will want to enjoy every bit of it as much as you can.
If you do a little research about the country, you will realize that New Zealand is chock-full of fascinating landscapes and adrenaline-inducing activities.
When you start to budget for your trip, you will soon find out that a lot of your cash will go into paying for a caravan rental, fuel costs, tour passes, or bus tickets.
Traveling around New Zealand isn’t as cheap as it may seem. However, there are plenty of options for you if you choose flexibility over luxury.
For instance, carpooling is not only cheap, but it’s also a fun way to make new friends and discover the delights the land of the Kiwis has to offer. Carpooling isn’t a new concept, but it is steadily gaining traction in New Zealand.
Whether your reason for carpooling is to minimize traveling costs, meet new people, or play your part in reducing the carbon footprint, you will find it enjoyable and freeing. This guide will shed vital light on the idea of carpooling in New Zealand.
What is Carpooling?
Carpooling or ride-sharing is when travelers agree to share their journeys in one car rather than use multiple vehicles. Whether you’re looking for a ride or need passengers to fill up your vehicle, there are numerous ride-sharing opportunities.
If you’re a passenger, you should prepare to pay a small fee that’ll cover fuel costs along your journey.
Ride-sharing in New Zealand is available for both short and long trips.
Reasons Why You Should Use Carpooling Around New Zealand
1. Fun-Filled Rides Across The Country
If you’re a social person (and every traveler needs to get themselves out of their cocoons), you will love the experiences that come with ride-sharing. Unless you’re desperately in need of some solo time, ride-sharing is a great way of sharing experiences as you enjoy NZ’s beauty.
Besides, there’s no better way of meeting locals and experiencing a different culture up close. In addition to experiencing the rich Maori culture of New Zealand, you have a chance to form networks of like-minded people.
Who knows, you could meet your next business partner or travel buddy while car sharing in New Zealand.
2. It’s a Budget Way of Getting Around
It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that you will save some money if you carpool. Remember, if you’re traveling as a group, every passenger in the car contributes to the fuel costs, parking levies, and toll roads.
So, rather than making costly payments individually, you will reduce the amount you spend on the road if you travel with more people.
3. You Get To Adventure Widely
If you have to rely on bus routes to discover New Zealand, you will experience disappointment because public transport isn’t as developed.
On the other hand, when you carpool, you find out that everyone in the vehicle has a travel bucket list of their things to do in New Zealand.
If you’re into spontaneity, there’s a chance that some places your fellow travelers plan to visit will intrigue you so much that you’ll want to visit them as well. Of course, this will depend on the amount of time you can spare to explore NZ and your budget.
4. Carpooling Doesn’t Take Detailed Processes
Carpooling is fast gaining popularity in New Zealand. As a result, you will find groups dedicated to car sharing on Facebook and other websites. It is easy to contact your driver while carpooling and plan for the journey ahead while charting all your destinations.
5. It is Eco-Friendly
If you are aware of the beauty of New Zealand, then you must understand why it’s essential to reduce the carbon footprint left in the country. This is why it is vital to encourage car sharing and, thus, the amount of air pollution and carbon emissions from vehicles.
A Beginner’s Guide to Carpooling in New Zealand
There’s a lot to be excited about the advantages of ride-sharing. But, when you’re new to the concept, asking strangers for a ride in a new environment might feel intimidating and, for others, a bit scary.
If you’re wondering how to start carpooling in New Zealand or where to find people willing to carpool with you, here’s how:
– Groups on Facebook: carpooling is getting traction in New Zealand. As a result, plenty of Facebook groups are dedicated to carpooling, where you can request ride-shares.
– Rely on word-of-mouth referrals: it may seem unexpected, but if you don’t do it, you’ll never achieve results. Asking people such as your friends or travel buddies to carpool is an excellent way of building your people network to carpool with regularly.
– Notice boards in supermarkets: there’s nothing odd about using the supermarket board in NZ. In fact, they’re a great way of getting a carpooling opportunity.
– Carpooling Websites: there’s a crop of websites dedicated to helping you find a ride for your adventure in New Zealand. All you need to do is log in and check out listings to find a ride that’s right for you.
– Carpooling Apps: there are several apps available to help you get a ride-share partner in NZ.
Ensure Your Safety When Carpooling
Even though NZ is generally a peaceful country, your safety while traveling and exploring is a priority. Unless you offer ride-sharing or cab services, it isn’t every day that you get into a car with a stranger.
To ensure your safety, don’t carpool by yourself. Instead, get a few more people to travel with you. There’s safety in numbers, and you’ll feel more comfortable traveling with people you’ve already had a prior arrangement.
To help keep you safe, you can log in to ride-sharing websites that provide you with options such as “ladies-only” options, email verification for rides, and a rating system for passengers and drivers. Other methods of finding carpooling rides will require you to travel in groups for your safety. Despite the benefits of ride-sharing, there are some risks associated with it.
For instance, a ride that you booked before your travel date may not show up, and you will need to have a Plan B to ensure that your travel plans stay on track.
On the other hand, there may be instances where either the driver or the passenger makes unwanted advances, and the situation gets awkward. If you give someone a ride and find out along the journey that you don’t like each other, it becomes challenging to ask them to leave the ride.
Additionally, if you know them personally or professionally, it may strain your relationship with them. Moreover, carpooling relies on parties heading to the same destinations at the same time. If one party changes their travel itinerary, one may have to wait until they can get different options to resume their trip.
Effectiveness of Carpooling
As NZ embraces carpooling and its benefits, it is essential that tourists and the population, as a unit, are directed on changing their minds. People must embrace more effective and efficient modes of transportation, such as ride-sharing.
When it comes to exploration, traditional modes of transport are not always available, especially if the public transport system isn’t well developed. It may not be the best option for travelers who wish to experience the grassroots places they visit.
Even though carpooling is a growing concept in New Zealand, it is gaining popularity fast as a reliable travel method around the country. Remember, before you get on a ride with a stranger, ensure that you observe the safety precautions mentioned above.