Things I’d Do Differently When I Revisit New Zealand

Time flies. My last international trip was my adventure in the South Pacific at the end of 2019. I’ve been home since except for a quick trip to Seattle. As much as I miss traveling, I’d do whatever it takes to battle this pandemic. I personally think that non-essential travel is an irresponsible thing to do during this crisis. Some may disagree with me, but that’s just my humble opinion. It was uncommon for me to go on a big trip every three months or less. So since most borders are closed or restricted, I will daydream about my next visit to New Zealand and how I would do it differently.

Driving

On my last trip, I had planned to drive — I even got for an international driving permit, but I decided against it at the last minute because I thought I’d be too tired after flying so much. I was right! I was worn out by the time I got to Christchurch. That said, I realized the road and traffic were relatively easy to manage. Next time, I would rent a car and drive, but not on the day I arrived. Perhaps, the following day after I recover from jetlag.

Avoid Peak Season

There is no doubt, Christmas and New Year in the South Pacific are peak season. Somehow, I underestimated it. I wanted to visit Queenstown, but the cheapest nightly hotel room sold for $700! I even considered staying at a hostel, but most were either sold out or required a minimum of one week of stay.

Book in Advance

As mentioned above — do not procrastinate! I didn’t even have any tour booked until I arrived in Christchurch. It was a huge mistake! Most tour packages were sold out! Unless you are willing to pay a premium or have limited options, that’s what exactly happened to me.

Skip the Big Cities

I enjoy the big cities, though I prefer an adventure in the countryside. I’ve seen Auckland and wrote an article about it. I also spent a few days in Christchurch and wrote about it. While both cities worth a visit, I’d probably skip them next time I visit.

New Zealand Bucket List

I didn’t get to experience three things on my bucket list: Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, and take the TranzAlpine train. I enjoy nature, so I think these three items are on the top of my bucket list. Of course, If I rent a car, I’d get to see more and stop along the way.

Conclusion

Planning is the key. Unfortunately, being the first-timer with limited time, it was tough to know what to expect. I enjoyed my first visit to New Zealand, and I’d definitely come back. Instead of Christmas and New Year, I think the Thanksgiving holiday would be better timing. I really can’t wait for the country to reopen and get back to some level of normalcy.

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