Money Saving Tips for Travelling to New Zealand

Money saving tips

💰 Introduction to Money Saving Tips

Are you embarking on a journey to New Zealand? Don’t let money worries cloud your adventure!

This guide is here to help you navigate the Kiwi landscape without burning a hole in your pocket. Let’s dive into some easy-to-follow tips for monet saving tips.

1. Budgeting Basics

Start by setting a clear budget. Consider where your money needs to go – accommodation, food, travel, and fun. Knowing your financial limits will help you make smart choices during your travels.

Here are simple steps to keep your finances in check:

  • Set Clear Priorities: Know where your money needs to go. List down essential expenses like accommodation, meals, transportation, and activities to clearly understand your budget.
  • Research Average Costs: Before you jet off, dig into the typical costs of living and travel in New Zealand. Knowing the average prices for meals, transportation, and attractions helps you set realistic spending expectations.
  • Emergency Fund: Build a small emergency fund into your budget for unexpected expenses. Whether it’s a sudden attraction you can’t resist or a rainy day, having a financial cushion can save the day.
  • Daily Spending Limit: Establish a limit to stay within your means. This helps you track expenses and ensures you don’t overspend on a particular day, leaving room for spontaneous activities without blowing your budget.
  • Keep Records: Track your spending along the way. Apps or a simple notebook can help you monitor expenses, making it easier to stick to your budget and identify areas where you can save.
  • Plan for Souvenirs: Allocate a portion of your budget for souvenirs or keepsakes. This way, you won’t feel guilty about picking up a memento or two as a reminder of your Kiwi adventure.

Limit the expenses

2. Pick the Right Time to Visit

Here’s a detailed look at why and how to pick the perfect time:

  • Off-Peak Advantages: Consider traveling during the shoulder seasons, specifically spring and autumn. You’ll find fewer tourists, which means a lower demand for accommodations and activities. This translates to cost savings and allows you to enjoy attractions without the crowds.
  • Accommodation Deals: Peak tourist seasons, usually from December to February, tend to drive up accommodation prices. By opting for the off-peak period, you’re more likely to snag better deals on hotels, hostels, and other lodgings.
  • Discounted Flights: Airlines often adjust their prices based on demand. Flying during the off-peak seasons can result in lower airfare, helping you save significantly on transportation costs.
  • Mild Weather, Happy Wallet: Spring and autumn offer pleasant weather without the extremes of summer or winter. You won’t need to spend extra on specialized gear or cope with the sweltering heat or chilly temperatures.
  • Activities Availability: Attractions and tours might be more readily available during the off-peak seasons. This allows you to enjoy a more personalized experience and provides opportunities for last-minute discounts or deals.
  • Local Festivals: Keep an eye out for local festivals or events happening during your visit. While these can add cultural richness to your journey, they also impact prices and availability. Planning around them can help you make the most of the festivities without straining your budget.

Right Time to Visit

3. Be Flexible with Dates

Flexibility with your travel dates can be your ticket to savings. Here’s why and how to go with the flow:

  • Cheaper Midweek Flights: Airlines often drop prices for flights on weekdays, especially Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Stay flexible with your departure and return dates to snag more affordable tickets.
  • Off-Peak Days for Accommodations: Similar to flights, accommodations often have lower prices midweek. If your schedule allows, consider arriving and departing during the week to take advantage of reduced rates.
  • Use Flexible Date Search Tools: Leverage flexible date search tools when booking flights and accommodations. These tools highlight the most cost-effective days to fly and stay, helping you find the best deals without locking into specific dates.
  • Avoid Peak Travel Times: If possible, avoid peak travel times, such as school holidays or significant events. Prices tend to be higher during these periods, and availability may be limited.
  • Last-Minute Deals: Stay open to last-minute travel opportunities. Sometimes, airlines and accommodations offer discounted rates to fill empty seats or rooms, especially if your schedule allows for spontaneous adventures.
  • Consider Red-Eye Flights: Red-eye flights (overnight flights) are often more budget-friendly than daytime options. While sacrificing a bit of sleep, you can save money and maximize your time at your destination.
  • Seasonal Discounts: Be aware of seasonal variations in pricing. Certain destinations may have lower prices during specific times of the year, allowing you to enjoy the same experience at a fraction of the cost.

Travel dates

4. Accommodation Tricks

By employing these accommodation tricks, you can secure a comfortable place to stay without compromising your budget.

Whether you prefer the communal vibe of hostels, the coziness of a private rental, or the adventure of camping, New Zealand offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s budget and style.

  • Hostels and Budget Stays: Opt for hostels or budget-friendly accommodations for a wallet-friendly lodging experience. Many hostels offer affordable dormitory-style rooms and private rooms at a fraction of the cost of hotels.
  • Home Rentals: Consider exploring home-sharing platforms for private rentals. This option often provides more space, amenities, and a local touch, all at a lower price than traditional hotels.
  • Camping Adventure: For adventurous souls, camping is a fantastic option in New Zealand. The country boasts numerous campsites, allowing you to sleep under the stars and wake up to the beauty of nature without breaking the bank.
  • Booking in Advance: Secure your lodging in advance to take advantage of early booking discounts. Many accommodations offer lower rates for guests who plan ahead, helping you save money for more exciting activities during your trip.
  • Compare Prices: Before finalizing your accommodation, compare prices across different platforms. Utilize online booking websites, but remember to check the property’s official website for exclusive deals and promotions.
  • Local Accommodation Deals: Watch for local accommodation deals and promotions. Some establishments may offer discounts or extra perks for direct bookings or during specific periods.
  • Membership Discounts: If you belong to travel clubs, loyalty programs, or student organizations, check for accommodation discounts. Membership perks can often unlock special rates unavailable to the general public.
  • Flexible Cancellation Policies: Look for accommodations with flexible cancellation policies. Having the option to change or cancel your reservation without hefty penalties provides peace of mind, especially if your plans are subject to change.
  • Review Guest Feedback: Read reviews from previous guests to get insights into the quality and value of the accommodation. This helps you make informed decisions, ensuring you choose a place that aligns with your budget and expectations.

🏠 The most popular and known platform for booking accommodation is – but if you plan to stay in the cheapest hostel, we recommend you to check out also HostelWorld.

booking app

5. Getting Around on a Budget

Whether you prefer the scenic routes accessible by public transport, the freedom of a rental car, or the eco-friendly charm of walking and cycling, New Zealand provides options to suit every traveler’s budget and style.

  • Hop on Public Transport: Embrace the convenience of public transportation, such as buses and trains, especially for inter-city travel. New Zealand’s public transport system is not only efficient but also cost-effective.
  • Smart Car Rentals: Consider renting a car if you plan to venture into more remote areas—book in advance to secure the best deal and compare prices from different rental companies. Opt for fuel-efficient vehicles to save on petrol costs.
  • Share the Ride: Explore carpooling options for inter-city travel. Sharing rides with fellow travelers cuts down on fuel expenses and provides a social and eco-friendly way to experience the journey.
  • Walk and Cycle: New Zealand’s picturesque landscapes are best explored on foot or by bicycle. Many cities and towns have pedestrian-friendly areas, and renting a bike can be an affordable and healthy way to navigate the surroundings.
  • Use Ride-Sharing Services: Consider using ride-sharing services for short distances in urban areas. They can be a convenient and often more economical alternative to traditional taxis.
  • Budget Airlines: If you plan to hop between islands, consider budget airlines for domestic flights. Keep an eye out for promotions and book tickets in advance to secure the best prices.
  • Avoid Peak Travel Times: Traveling during off-peak hours can help you save money on transportation. Avoid rush hours when using public transport or driving to minimize costs and travel more comfortably.
  • Explore on Foot: Many attractions and activities are within walking distance of each other. Save money and enjoy the scenery by exploring on foot whenever possible.
  • Utilize Free Shuttle Services: Some tourist destinations offer free shuttle services to and from popular attractions. Check with your accommodation or local tourism office for information on available services.
  • Consider Multi-Day Passes: If you plan to use public transport extensively, explore the option of multi-day passes. These passes often provide unlimited travel within a specific period, offering excellent value for money.

Getting around

6. Affordable Eats

Are you hungry for savings during your New Zealand journey? Explore these simple yet effective tips for enjoying delicious meals without breaking the bank:

  • Grocery Shopping: Save on food expenses by heading to local grocery stores. Stock up on snacks, fresh produce, and easy-to-prepare meals. Consider whipping up simple, cost-effective meals if your accommodation provides kitchen facilities.
  • Street Food and Markets: Immerse yourself in the local food scene by indulging in street food and visiting markets. These culinary hotspots offer a variety of tasty and affordable options, providing an authentic taste of New Zealand.
  • Bring Your Own (BYO): Seek out BYO restaurants where you can bring your wine or beer. This allows you to enjoy your preferred beverages and helps cut down on the overall dining bill.
  • Meal Deals and Specials: Watch for meal deals and specials, especially during lunch hours. Many restaurants and cafes offer discounted prices for specific dishes or set menus, allowing you to savor a satisfying meal without splurging.
  • Dine Early or Late: Take advantage of early bird or late-night dining promotions. Some eateries offer discounted prices for those who choose to dine during off-peak hours.
  • Food Trucks: Explore the diverse and delectable offerings of food trucks. Often found in popular tourist areas, these mobile kitchens provide a variety of affordable and mouthwatering options.
  • Local Bakeries and Cafes: Opt for local bakeries and cafes for a budget-friendly breakfast or lunch. These establishments often offer delicious pastries, sandwiches, and coffee at more reasonable prices than upscale restaurants.
  • Daily Specials: Inquire about daily specials at restaurants and cafes. Chefs may feature specific dishes or promotions that provide excellent value for money.
  • Pack a Picnic: Enjoy a budget-friendly meal with a picnic in one of New Zealand’s scenic spots. Pick fresh ingredients from a local market and create your outdoor dining experience.
  • Water Instead of Sodas: Save on beverage costs by choosing water instead of sodas or other bottled drinks. Not only is it healthier, but it also keeps your expenses in check.

Affordable food

7. Embrace Free Fun 

By weaving these free activities into your New Zealand itinerary, you’ll make the most of your journey and keep your budget intact.

  • Nature Walks and Hikes: Lace up your walking shoes and explore the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand through its many free nature walks and hikes. From easy strolls to more challenging treks, there’s a trail for every fitness level.
  • Beach Days: Make the most of New Zealand’s stunning beaches, which often come with no entry fee. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, the beaches provide a natural playground without costing you a penny.
  • Free Museums and Galleries: Keep an eye out for museums and galleries offering free entry or having reduced admission fees on specific days. Immerse yourself in New Zealand’s rich culture and history without spending a cent.
  • Cultural Festivals and Events: Check local event calendars for cultural festivals and events that are free to attend. These celebrations offer a unique opportunity to experience Kiwi traditions, music, and art without digging into your wallet.
  • Public Art and Street Performances: Wander through city streets to discover public art installations and street performances. Many cities and towns showcase artistic expressions in public spaces, providing entertainment and cultural insights for free.
  • Photography Expeditions: Capture the beauty of New Zealand with your camera. Explore picturesque landscapes, charming towns, and iconic landmarks, creating lasting memories without spending money.
  • Wildlife Watching: New Zealand is home to diverse wildlife. Take advantage of free opportunities for wildlife-watching, whether it’s birdwatching in local parks or observing marine life from coastal viewpoints.
  • Botanical Gardens and Parks: Explore the tranquility of botanical gardens and public parks. These green spaces offer a peaceful retreat, often featuring well-maintained walking paths, beautiful flora, and sometimes even free guided tours.
  • Community Events: Stay connected with local communities by attending free community events. These gatherings can range from farmers’ markets to outdoor concerts, providing a glimpse into everyday life in New Zealand.
  • Geothermal Areas and Natural Wonders: Discover the geothermal wonders and natural phenomena that abound in New Zealand. While some attractions may have an entry fee, many areas allow you to appreciate the unique landscape without any cost.

free activities

8. Discount Cards and Passes

Uncover the secrets to stretching your budget further in New Zealand with these quick tips on utilizing discount cards and passes:

  • Invest Wisely: Consider investing in discount cards tailored for travelers. The New Zealand Entertainment Book offers savings on dining and activities, while the Kiwi Experience Bus Pass can trim your transportation costs.
  • Prioritize Your Pass: Assess your planned activities and prioritize which ones are covered by discount passes. Tailor your purchase to match your itinerary and maximize savings on the experiences that most matter to you.
  • Multi-Attraction Passes: Explore multi-attraction passes for bundled savings. These passes often grant access to multiple attractions for a reduced overall cost, letting you enjoy more while paying less.
  • Membership Perks: Leverage any existing memberships for additional discounts. Whether you’re a student, part of a travel club, or hold loyalty cards, check for special offers that can amplify your savings.
  • Online Offers: Check online platforms for promotional offers and discounted rates on various passes before purchasing. Sometimes, exclusive online deals can sweeten the pot and stretch your budget further.
  • Review Inclusions: Carefully review what each discount card or pass includes. Ensure that the attractions and services align with your interests and travel plans to maximize the savings.
  • Flexible Pass Options: Opt for passes with flexible usage options. Some passes allow you to spread your visits over a longer period, giving you the freedom to explore at your own pace and make the most of your investment.

Discount cards

9. Cash vs. Card Wisdom

Master the art of financial efficiency in New Zealand with these swift tips on managing your money, whether in cash or card:

  • Currency Exchange Know-How: Research and find the best places for currency exchange before you land in New Zealand. Opt for reputable sources to get favorable rates and minimize fees.
  • Credit Card Benefits: Choose credit cards that offer travel perks, such as no foreign transaction fees and travel insurance (such as Wise). Inform your bank about your travel dates to prevent any hiccups with card usage abroad.
  • ATM Smart Withdrawals: When withdrawing cash from ATMs, opt for those affiliated with major banks to minimize fees. Consider taking out larger amounts at once to reduce the impact of transaction fees.
  • Budget in Local Currency: Familiarize yourself with the local currency and its budget. This helps you manage expenses more efficiently and avoid confusion about conversion rates.
  • Emergency Cash Stash: Keep a small emergency stash of local currency for unforeseen circumstances or places that may not accept cards. It ensures you’re prepared for any situation that requires cash.
  • Digital Payment Apps: Explore digital payment apps that are widely accepted in New Zealand. They offer convenience and security, reducing the need for carrying large sums of cash.
  • Local Bank Partnerships: Inquire with your home bank about partnerships with New Zealand banks. Some banks have alliances that may reduce or eliminate certain fees when using ATMs abroad.
  • Small Denominations: Carry small denominations of cash for everyday expenses like transportation, small purchases, or tips. This makes transactions smoother and helps you avoid unnecessary fees.
  • Secure Your Finances: Be vigilant about your cards and cash security. Use secure ATMs, monitor your transactions regularly, and promptly report any suspicious activity to your bank.

💰 Register via the following affiliate link to do your first transfer for FREE with Wise – Register & Download Wise App


10. Travel Insurance Matters

Ensure a worry-free journey through New Zealand by heeding these quick insights into the world of travel insurance:

  • Invest in Comprehensive Coverage: While it may seem like an additional expense, investing in comprehensive travel insurance is wise. It acts as a safety net, protecting you from unexpected events such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost baggage.
  • Research Policy Inclusions: Thoroughly research what your travel insurance covers. Ensure it includes medical coverage, trip cancellation protection, and coverage for lost or stolen belongings. Tailor your policy to match your specific travel needs.
  • Check for Adventure Sports Coverage: Confirm that your insurance covers these if you plan to engage in adventure sports or activities. Some policies may require additional coverage for riskier endeavors.
  • Understand Exclusions: Familiarize yourself with policy exclusions. Knowing what is not covered helps you make informed decisions and avoids surprises when you need to make a claim.
  • Check the Claim Process: Understand the process for filing a claim. Be aware of the necessary documentation and procedures to streamline the claims process if you encounter any issues during your trip.
  • Notify Emergency Contacts: Share your travel insurance details with a trusted friend or family member. In case of an emergency, they can assist with the claims process or provide necessary information to the insurance provider.
  • Keep Copies Handy: Carry physical and digital copies of your travel insurance policy, including contact details for the insurance provider. This ensures you can access important information quickly, even in unexpected situations.
  • Review Medical Coverage: Confirm that your travel insurance includes sufficient medical coverage. This is crucial for covering potential medical expenses, including hospital stays, medications, and emergency evacuation if needed.
  • Check for Trip Interruption Coverage: Verify whether your policy covers trip interruption or delays. This can be essential in situations where unforeseen events impact your travel plans.
  • Read Customer Reviews: Read reviews from other travelers before purchasing travel insurance. Insights from real experiences can provide valuable information about the reliability and effectiveness of different insurance providers.

travel insurance

🧑‍💻 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Money Tips when Travelling to New Zealand

1. How do I set a realistic travel budget for New Zealand?

Start by listing essential expenses like accommodation, transportation, food, and activities. Research average costs, build an emergency fund, and establish a daily spending limit to stay on track.

2. When is the best time to visit New Zealand on a budget?

Consider traveling during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) to avoid peak tourist times. Off-peak periods often offer lower prices on accommodations and activities.

3. How can flexibility with travel dates save me money?

Flexibility allows you to take advantage of cheaper midweek flights, off-peak accommodation rates, and special promotions. Use flexible date search tools to find the most cost-effective options.

4. What are budget-friendly accommodation options in New Zealand?

Opt for hostels and budget-friendly hotels, or explore home-sharing platforms for private rentals. Camping is also an adventurous and economical choice.

5. What are cost-effective transportation options in New Zealand?

Utilize public transport for inter-city travel, consider smart car rentals, and explore carpooling. Walking, cycling, and using ride-sharing services in urban areas can also save money.

6. How can I save money on food while in New Zealand?

Shop at local grocery stores, indulge in street food and markets, and explore BYO (Bring Your Own) restaurants. Taking advantage of meal deals, dining early or late, and packing picnics are also budget-friendly options.

7. What free activities can I enjoy in New Zealand?

Explore nature walks, spend days at the beach, visit free museums and galleries, and attend cultural festivals. Enjoy street performances, public art, and photography expeditions without spending money.

8. How can discount cards and passes help me save money?

Invest in cards like the New Zealand Entertainment Book or passes like the Kiwi Experience Bus Pass to enjoy discounts on dining, activities, and transportation. Prioritize passes based on your travel plans for maximum savings.

9. Should I use cash or cards in New Zealand?

Use a combination of both. Research currency exchange options, use credit cards with travel perks, and withdraw cash from ATMs affiliated with central banks. Digital payment apps are also convenient.

10. Is travel insurance necessary for my New Zealand trip?

Yes, investing in comprehensive travel insurance is essential. It provides protection against medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost baggage. Check policy inclusions, understand exclusions, and keep emergency contacts informed.


With these simple tips, you can explore New Zealand without stressing your budget. From clever accommodation choices to enjoying free activities, planning and keeping that Kiwi adventure affordable is key.

Pack your bags, stick to your budget, and get ready for a wallet-friendly journey through the wonders of New Zealand!

Table of Contents

Most Popular Locations

About Kiwilanders NZ

Kiwilanders is a directory and blog featuring informational and recreational content about New Zealand.