Visiting New Zealand: How to Get Travel Insurance, Plus Travel Tips
New Zealand is a land of enchantment with a wide variety of bucket list adventures to fulfill the desire of nearly every type of traveler. Whether you’re visiting to experience the breathtaking landscapes first-hand or partake in one of the many unique experiences of the country’s cultural buffet, your vacation to New Zealand will be one for the books!
But as with all travel, there is quite a bit of planning involved to make sure that your vacation is everything you imagine and more. Here you’ll find all the information you need on travel insurance, plus some hot tips on money and tipping, weather and packing considerations, as well as a few can’t-miss experiences!
Travel Insurance for a Trip to New Zealand
Let’s start with the less glamorous—but most important—aspect of planning travel: travel insurance. While you may not think much of this, travel insurance is the number one thing that most people forget to take into account when planning their trip.
As you’re well aware, traveling is expensive and requires you to put a significant amount of money down before you even step foot on an airplane. If you don’t purchase travel insurance and end up in a situation where you can’t even go on your pre-planned, prepaid vacation, there is a high chance that you wouldn’t be able to recoup the money you spent. Travel insurance protects you from unforeseen (covered) cancellation reasons, by providing a back-up means of getting your money back.
Travel insurance does more than cover your investment, too, like providing medical coverage in case you have a medical emergency while you’re away. While we don’t want to think about getting hurt and ending up in the hospital on the vacation of our dreams, we never know what will happen ahead of time. Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, don’t cover any medical care outside of the United States, but purchasing coverage through your travel insurance provider can help you cover any unforeseen medical bills while on your trip. And let’s face it, the last thing you want to worry about is “how much is this going to cost” when you’re sitting in the middle of a New Zealand Emergency Room!
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?
The good news is that you can insure your trip investment and get medical coverage, as well as all the other perks that come with a travel insurance policy (like concierge and lost-luggage benefits), on nearly any budget. Depending on coverage limits and the options you choose, you can get basic travel insurance for your vacation for 5-10% of the total cost of your trip, with premium coverage costing about 15%.
While coverage can vary from provider to provider, it’s important that you compare a few different policies and prices to ensure you get the best price and coverage. Fortunately, TravelInsurance.com’s travel insurance comparison site does all the work for you. Simply enter your trip information, select the coverage options you need, and instantly receive customized quotes from multiple providers. You can easily compare plans and make your purchase directly through our website, with the lowest price guaranteed!
Money and Tipping
The national currency of New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD), but there isn’t any need to exchange any money before heading to the airport. To get the best exchange rate, your best bet is to use ATMs within the country, which you should have no problem doing provided you have a Visa, Mastercard, or Maestro logo on your bank card. Additionally, credit cards are widely accepted.
When it comes to tipping in New Zealand, you’ll find that it’s actually an exception and not a rule, unlike in the United States. In dining establishments, for truly exceptional service a 10% tip is greatly appreciated, and you can feel free to round up on any taxi rides you take. However, for any services provided outside the hospitality industry, tipping is unheard of in New Zealand.
New Zealand experiences all four seasons. The New Zealand summer coincides with the North American winter, making December through February the high travel season for the country. This is a great time to check out all the beautiful coastline villages and black and white sand beaches.
When packing your bags for a summer holiday, remember that New Zealand is quite laid back. Don’t worry about packing an evening gown or even a pair of heels, for that matter. A nice top and a pair of jeans are perfect! Be sure to include a light jacket, though, because while temperatures can be as high as 87-degrees during the day in the summer, the nights are typically chilly at a balmy 50-degrees on average.
Winter months of June through August are perfect for taking in some of the best skiing in the world and climbing some of the most amazing glaciers New Zealand has to offer! But winter weather can be a little hard to predict. You can expect anything from below freezing to 70-degrees! It’s best to pack for all four seasons when visiting in the Winter or Autumn, especially if you plan on trekking to both the Northern and Southern islands, as temperatures will fluctuate even more.
New Zealand Bucket List
No matter where you travel, one of the best things you can do is make sure you do something that you can only do wherever you’re going. These are the experiences that are once-in-a-lifetime for many, and bucket-list items you’re going to on your list for your amazing New Zealand adventure!
Explore Auckland. With over 40 volcanos, black and white sand beaches, mountains, farmlands, and coastal villages, the landscapes of Auckland are some of the most magical and Instagram-worthy sites you’ll ever see in your life. While you’ll more than likely land in Auckland when arriving, be sure to take some time and scope out this magnificent region to experience in person the majesty of the land itself.
Geek out at Hobbiton. The filming location for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Hobbiton is Mecca for any Tolkien disciple. Visit Bag End in person, sneak around the inside of a Hobbit home, and then grab a cold one at The Green Dragon Pub! And you might want to grab your own “precious” souvenir to take home with you!
Adrenaline junkies can get their fix in Queenstown. Home of the first commercialized bungee jump, Queensland is a great travel destination for anyone with the need for speed and a challenge! And it’s more than just bungee jumping: you can swim with sharks on the reef or ride the rapids down the river, too. But if you’re looking for a real thrill, consider skydiving in the Bay of Islands, where you can choose to jump at four different heights, including the option for a 20,000-foot jump. Whoa!
The Top New Zealand Destinations
While we’re sure you won’t have any problem figuring out where to spend your time, we included some of our favorite places to consider for your final itinerary while visiting New Zealand!
- Milford Sound
- Bay of Islands
If you’re looking for experiences a little more off the beaten path, check out the following unusual locales!