Travel smart: Tips to make your holiday perfect

Ryan Boyd
Travel smart: Tips to make your holiday perfect

Heading somewhere? Whether it’s a road trip around NZ or to some far off international destination, there are a few things you can do to make your holiday fun, easy, and memorable for all the right reasons.


Pack smart

When packing, remember to ask yourself: “do I really think I’ll need this?” If there’s any doubt, leave it behind. has a handy list of things you should not pack (including unnecessary gadgets and jewellery), and must have things you may not know you need.

Of course you may have your own things you can’t live without, but just remember that everything you pack, you have to carry.

SEE ALSO: 20 reasons to visit Christchurch


Shop around

Whether it’s transport, accommodation, restaurants, tours, or any other holiday necessity, read the reviews and compare prices to make an informed choice.

It may help to make a list of the must haves (e.g. free hotel Wi-Fi), to the nice to haves (e.g. free breakfast) and then find the option that suits your needs and budget best.


Travel insurance can be a lifesaver

Unfortunately bad things can happen while you’re travelling, and if they do, you want to be protected. Many people think you can rely on reciprocal health care in places as close to home as Australia, but even there a 5 minute ambulance ride can cost you $1,000.

Not too long ago a Kiwi woman was shopping in Australia when she fell 3m through a hole in the shop floor. She dislocated her hip and fractured her shoulder and 8 ribs.

Thankfully she had insurance to cover the $12,000 bill.

And it’s not just accidents; cancelled flights, lost luggage, natural disasters, illness, and airport strikes are just some of the things a bit of protection can cover.

It's quick and easy to get covered and you can do it all – from quote to payment – online, so if you are planning on travelling soon, take a look.

travel tips

Balance planning and spontaneity

Everyone’s different when it comes to planning. Some like to have their itinerary planned out to the minute, while others like to jump in blind.

While it is a good idea to know what you want to do before you go, it certainly pays to be flexible and open to changing your plans should something else take your fancy.


Eat like a local

When travelling overseas avoid pricey tourist traps by eating at neighbourhood restaurants where the locals eat.

Go up to someone on the street and ask where they would eat. If you're in a country that speaks another language, avoid places with menus in English.


Prepare your payment methods

If you’re going overseas you’ll want to make the most of it, so it’s wise to think ahead and organise a few different payment methods before you go.

Obviously Foreign cash will be essential, but don’t forget to consider taking a credit card or debit card for larger purchases. These can also provide you extra funds as back up should need them.

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted worldwide (at shops, online, and at ATMs). Even if you don’t need one while at home, getting one for travel could be a good idea.

If you’re worried about your card’s security, get one with a chip, which all new Westpac credit and debit cards have, as these provide an extra layer of security.


Stock up on apps

Think ahead to what you will be doing and what apps can make things easier for you.

For example, if you’re flying Air New Zealand, their app will make your airport experience much smoother, while using a messaging app like Facebook Messenger or WeChat on Wi-Fi can let you chat to folks back home without need for a local sim or roaming costs (if travelling internationally).

And a few games can help pass the time during the dull periods too.


Take notes

As memorable as you think something may be when it happens, the truth is you’ll forget some quite cool things when recalling your experience to friends and family once back home.

Use a note keeping app like Evernote to write things down as they happen. This is especially vital if you plan on blogging about your trip. And when you’re having a bad day at work, reading the notes and reminiscing about the holiday will be a nice escape.


Be patient, take it easy, and don’t sweat the small stuff

The easiest way to have fun is to simply not take things too seriously. Yes the lines at the airport will be long. Yes there may be long drives and periods of waiting. Yes the food may not what you’re used to.

Get over it. 

Adapt. Take things slow. Have an open mind. Go with the flow. Have fun.

SEE ALSO: 20 reasons to visit Christchurch

, , , , ,