How I Traveled all of New Zealand with only $5000 US!

Okay travel bugs, here goes my first travel post! A few years back I spent two months traveling all up and down New Zealand. And for two whole months I spent maybe around $7000 USD. Want to know how I did it? Well here we go!

First of all let me say that round trip your plane ticket will be somewhere between $1200 and $2000 USD round trip depending on what airline you use and if they are having a deal. I ended up paying $1500 USD to fly Air New Zealand from LAX to Christchurch on premium economy seats for every flight. This included lots of leg room, a personal tv screen on my seats where I got to choose what I watched, and FREE WINE. Obviously the last part was a big plus for me.

The next part which was the most important was that I used New Zealand’s Kiwi Experience Bus to get around. Now the Kiwi Experience has many different packages for traveling around NZ and they tell you the minimum days needed so you can plan accordingly to complete your entire trip. The package I chose was “The Whole Kit and Caboodle” package. Which is usually $1200 USD but you can prepay for all the biggest activities which can make your total up to $2500 USD. However, you should always look into what activities come in the packages because there might be things in there that you don’t want to do like skydiving for example. Now before you plan your trip right off the bat keep in mind that the Kiwi Experience is constantly running specials. When I bought my Kit and Caboodle pass I got it for about $800 USD which was obviously extremely helpful.

Now for me I had spent $2300 USD which was just a little less than half the $5000 budget and leaves you $2700 to feed yourself and find places to sleep along each stop. Well at this point you will have to keep in mind that the American dollar is worth more than a New Zealand dollar. $1USD is equivalent to $1.48NZD. And the big key for room and board as well as feeding yourself is to make sure to stay in hostels. For those of you who don’t know hostels are like a cross breed of Hotels and College dorms. And if you like making new friends it is FUN. A hostel will be about $30 a night on average to room with a 5-7 other people. Multiply that by 30 nights and that will cost you $900 NZD. And you may have also prepaid for several different stops as well. Thats just over $600USD.

Congrats now you have about $2100USD to spend on food and other activities and some nights out at the bar with all your new friends! So how can you save as much money as possible on food so that you have more money for adventure? This is where you need your social skills to come into play. Make friends and do family meals. This will cut your food ticket down tremendously! Decide to eat with a group of people, figure out who cooks what on what days, go grocery shopping together and split the bill. You will save hundreds over a month and not have to starve and you will help others make their money last too! So lets call it another $400NZD for a months worth of groceries. you’ll be spending around $270USD. That is $1800USD to spend however you want so make it count!

Thank you for reading my first post, I hope that you enjoyed reading it, and I also hope that I was able to help you plan the trip of a lifetime! Please like share and follow for more posts like this!

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Desert Mom Diaries

desertmomdiaries.com is a lifestyle blog where I share my messy journey in life, my tips on motherhood, mental health, travel and more. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you stick around for a while!

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