Budget-Friendly New Zealand

Traveling to New Zealand is on many people’s bucket lists, and with myriad destinations and experiences that await, there is little wonder as to why the country tops many of those lists. But just because New Zealand is a dream destination, that does not mean you need to break the bank when it comes to visiting. Here, we look at ways to stay on a budget when visiting the land the Kiwis call home.


Getting to New Zealand is easy from the United States — there are direct flights from Los Angeles (LAX) (12 hours), San Francisco (SFO) (13 hours), Houston (IAH) (14 hours) and Honolulu (HNL) (nine hours), most into Auckland (AKL). Once in the country, it is time to decide how best you will get around, depending on how much time you have. If you are short on time, it may make the most sense to hop a domestic flight from one part of the country to the next, maximizing time in each destination.

If you have the time and are an independent traveler, opt instead for a rental car, motorcycle or motorhome to go at your own pace and really experience the various landscapes found throughout the islands. You may even be able to rent a car one-way for free via transfercar — definitely worth checking out! With a motorhome, you take your hotel with you, so all you need to do is find a holiday park or campground to set down roots for the night; you will have access to kitchen and bathroom facilities here, too.

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

© Hugoht | Dreamstime.com


Experiencing New Zealand does not have to break the bank — after all, simply traveling through its terrain, from mountains to beaches, is breathtaking in its own right. Visit newzealand.com and you will find a list of the top 10 free things to do throughout the country, from snorkeling to slipping down a rock slide to hiking an active volcano, and more. The website also lists 100 tips for free travel, so if you are adventurous and willing to take a chance, you may just see the best of New Zealand for free.


Aside from camping in your rented motorhome, or even tent camping, there are plenty of affordable options when it comes to accommodations in New Zealand. Hundreds of motels are found throughout the country, providing comfortable places to stay along main driving routes so you can easily get on your way the next morning. Holiday homes (think Airbnb) are a terrific option if you are going to stay in one spot for a few days and want to live like a local in a way that suits your budget.