New Zealand Preparation – Backpacking Tips

Backpacking in New Zealand

You decided to be a backpacker in New Zealand and do not know how to properly prepare for your adventure? Whether you want to start a work & travel, backpacking or just a semester abroad, here you will find everything you need for your New Zealand trip.

To get a rough overview of the red continent, it is advisable to read travel blogs or to buy a guide about New Zealand. We found the Lonely Planet New Zealand very detailed and well placed for a first round of information. You can easily order this here*.


Backpacker in front of a lake

Photo by Tyson Dudley on Unsplash


Your New Zealand travel preparation in just 8 steps:

6 months before it starts

You have already got a small overview of New Zealand and know what costs (listing cost for 1 month, listing costs for 12 months) are about to come to you? Then it's time to start planning your journey. The first step is to apply for a credit card so that you can also apply for your visa. You need the card more often during your trip, as you have to get your money from Germany in New Zealand. Currently we recommend the DKB Bank*, as it currently offers the best conditions for backpackers (no account fees, free money withdraw abroad, etc.). Have a look at the detailed article on useful credit cards for New Zealand. Personally, we always travel with 2 credit cards, and then there is a backup for any problems.


5 months before it starts

When your credit card arrives, you can apply for your New Zealand visa. If you've read all the pages and completed all the fields, all you have to do is click on “Apply Now” and pay for the visa by credit card and the application will be out. Now it's time to wait. Normally, your application should have been approved at the latest after one month.


View from the Roys Peak New Zealand

Photo by Rashel Ochoa on Unsplash


4 months before it starts

Your visa is here! Then it's time to buy the right backpack and travel accessories. Some think that's too early now, but the sooner you have a plan that you need, the better you can wish for travel accessories from family or relatives as a farewell gift. For easier orientation, we have created a packing list with useful items. You can find the packing list here under the following link.

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Tip: Buy wisely; many outdoor stores sell a lot more than you really need for backpacking! For example, travel soap is extremely expensive and nonsensical, unless you are an extreme backpacker only in the outback without a car on the road.


3 months before it starts

From my own experience and that of other backpackers, I know that exactly three months before departure is the best time to book a cheap flight. But before you book your flight, you should be aware of which city to go to. Depending on the month and place, the temperatures in New Zealand are very different. If you have found a city from which you would like to start, you can start searching for flights and comparing prices. Cheap flights can be found for example at STA-Travel*. We also have a detailed article about flight search for you; you can find it under the following link.

Tip: Check early on how to get to the airport, so that your friends and family can free themselves on the day and take you to the airport if necessary.


2 months before it starts

Now it's time to book long-term foreign travel insurance. This will cost you about one euro a day and will protect you against all risks on your journey. It is very important that you book long-term foreign travel insurance and no standard travel insurance for a maximum of 56 days. Many backpackers, like me, book the travel insurance online at the Hanse Merkur. Be sure to conclude your travel insurance as long as your trip is, if you are not sure about the duration of the trip, then take the longer option and on a previous return journey you will be reimbursed for overpaid amounts. So Kathi was always on the road and never had any problems with it. If you need travel cancellation insurance you can do it too. I personally am not a fan of travel cancellation insurance, so I never book such.


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1 month before it starts

Your backpacker adventure will start soon. Slowly you should think about how you want to stay in touch with your friends and family. Besides Facebook and WhatsApp, there are other nice variants. Aside from your travel blog or the way you keep in touch, you should now start planning your New Zealand farewell party as well. So you can say goodbye to all of you in time and you do not have to meet with X people just before the flight, who need to see you again. More about opportunities to stay in touch with friends and family, we have explained here in the following blog post.


1 week before it starts

Okay, now it's getting serious. You have almost completed your travel preparation so far and now you have to take care of a bed for the first nights at the latest. You can either book a backpacker hostel via Booking.com* or Hostelworld* or you can try Couchsurfing and stay overnight with locals. Once the first night is booked, you can begin to dress your clothes and items for your backpack. At least now you notice if you really thought of everything. In no case you should forget a travel adapter*, otherwise the mobile phone charging becomes difficult. Also a power bank is a useful travel gadget, we have had good experiences with the power banks of Anker, we use this one here*.


View on the departure timetable at the Airport

Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash


The last day before your backpacking adventure begins

Go to bed early and at least try to get some sleep, so that you can relax on the way to the airport and do not miss your New Zealand flight.


Here we go

You're checked in, waiting at the gate and looking forward to the exciting time? Then the time has come to enjoy and arrive relaxed. Against the jetlag helps a lot of water and little to drink no alcohol on board the aircraft.


For all further information in New Zealand you can continue reading here in the blog under the following link.


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