Tips to Discover New Zealand on Budget

Travel New Zealand on budget

✅ Last Update: May 28, 2024 @ 10:37 am

Listen up! Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? We’re going to tell you something, and not everyone will.

Traveling through New Zealand is expensive. Well, that’s only if you know budget tips and tricks to help you get by without breaking the bank.

Keep pursuing your dreams of backpacking or renting a campervan through New Zealand.

Even though other people say New Zealand is costly, you can still experience the same thing.

We dedicate the rest of this article to giving you some of the best, little-known tips to help you save money while trekking through NZ and learning about the rich Maori culture.

1. Couchsurfing and Hitchhiking

Unless cash isn’t a big deal, you want to save as much as possible and spend it on meaningful activities that’ll bring you joy.

Hitchhiking is the cheapest way to get around New Zealand; the best thing about it is that it’s free.

Also, Couchsurfing is an exciting way to get free accommodation and mingle with the locals.

Alternatively, you could try WWOOFing. All you have to do is ensure you have a working holiday visa and are on the way to working in exchange for board.


2. Avoid The Peak Season

During the peak seasons running from December to February, prices that are already high skyrocket. If you have a tight budget, you should avoid this time.

In any case, there are many tourists around this time, and most places are crowded.

However, if you cannot avoid it, all you have to do is go ahead and look forward to enjoying your holiday during the warm summer months.

travel seasons

3. Rent a Campervan

Renting a campervan in New Zealand comes with costs such as fuel and ferry levies, but it’s way cheaper than staying at a hotel.

In any case, you can explore and linger as much as you can without considering hotel restrictions, such as limited serving times.

You can also cook your food how you like since campervans come fully loaded, rather than spending all your cash eating expensive hotel meals.

If you have more people in your troupe, you’re likely to spend much less money than you would be booking hotel rooms.

👉 At the beginning of 2024, we created a guide with the best tips for renting a campervan. You can check it out here: 17 Best Tips for Renting a Campervan in New Zealand

tips for renting

4. Do Part-Time Relocation Rentals

Why don’t you consider relocation rental if your budget is tight?

Campervan rentals always need their vehicles transported back from the South or North Islands, where the customers drop them off. You could be the perfect individual for the job.

Think about the free campervan: You won’t pay rental fees or for the rental company’s ferry tickets given to you.

Remember to inquire whether the company will pay for fuel because some don’t.

The best thing about working for a relocation rental is having some free time to linger and enjoy NZ’s scenery and sights as you travel.

👉 We have compiled a guide about relocations; you can find it in the following article: Campervan Relocations in New Zealand 

5. Think About The Size of Your Vehicle

Gas is costly in NZ, so you should ensure your chosen vehicle has excellent gas mileage.

It might be lovely having a spacious campervan to yourself, but if you have a large car, the amount of money you spend on gas will be a lot.

If your budget is constrained, you have the option of renting a smaller vehicle and staying in hostels or camping in tents.

campervan sizes

6. Cook for Yourself and Eat Cheap Meals

You have to try eating only at fast-food joints. The food is cheap, and there’s a variety of it.

Also, cook most of your meals if you want to save money. That way, you can make healthy meals while saving tons of money.

Sometimes, cooking your meals can’t be easy, and there are plenty of campervan recipes you can look up.

They are quick, easy, and delicious. If you don’t want to cook, you can stock up on ramen noodles or some simple sandwiches to keep your energy levels up.


7. Drink More Wine

Seriously, though, if you’re one for some nice adult beverage, you might be disappointed by the high beer and liquor prices in NZ.

On the other hand, if you are a wine lover, you’re in luck since wine is cheap in New Zealand.

But, if you think the wine is cheap because it’s low quality, think again. New Zealand is abundant in vineyards, so you’ll have many options to choose from when it comes to vino.

📍 We created a guide with lots of tips for backpacking in New Zealand, and as of date of today still up to date. We review it every 6–12 months with updates and useful links.

👉 If you want to look at it, we are sure you will find it essential for your trip — 40 Tips for Backpacking in New Zealand

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