save money, how much does it cost? backpack-nz, backpacking new zealand

Save Money – How much does it cost in New Zealand?

How much does it cost & how do i save money?

Cost will vary based on where you stay, what you want to do and what you want to eat etc.

Lets cover off some of the main costs and explore a few ways to save money while you are travelling.

Also don’t forget there will be lots of stuff you can do for free where ever you travel.

Daily costs in New Zealand

It is tough to estimate daily costs because prices change all the time.  So save money, the more you have for you trip the better.

Approx. daily spend

$63-$86 NZD

US Dollars $40 – $55Euros €37 – €51UK Pounds £30 – £42

Based on the above table we suggest a minimum daily budget of NZD $63-$86 plus the cost of optional activities.

How can I save money each day?

Here we explore some of the ways you can save money on transport, accommodation, food and activites.


There are lots of options here for you to save money.

If you are travelling for work or exploring a city or region buy a bus or train pass.

Passes can be a cheap and efficient way of getting around if you are staying somewhere for a while.

On the other hand, if you are travelling long distances you may be able to book a sleeper train or overnight bus to save on accommodation costs.

Meanwhile before deciding, you really should consider a package that includes transport, accommodation and activities.

Hop-on/hop-off bus’s like Stray or Kiwi Experience keep prices down.  As a result you will meet more like minded people and still see some amazing places along the way.

If you are travelling with a few friends it can be good value to hire a car or camper van and split the costs.

Camper van

A camper van can be a great way to travel around New Zealand.

This popular option can sometime save money because NZ is a relatively small country to tour.

One thing to consider though is where you are going to park!

When i took a camper on a road trip i spent half of my time looking for somewhere to park (i soon downgraded to a car and stayed in hostels)

Roadside parking isn’t always the best option and i have a great example of this  from when I stayed in Nelson.

Nelson is a biker town and we happened to park outside a biker club on a party night.  Could be great night right?

We were approached by a burly biker and asked to leave but we couldn’t as the wine had been flowing. No one could drive and then Surprisingly the guy invited us in so we agreed and started chatting and playing some pool.

So we are having fun and then one of the blokes we were travelling with got a bit mouthy to the barman and was asked to leave.

We left with him and headed back to the van parked right outside the club! doh!

A couple of weeks later we discovered the bikers we met were a notorious Drug and Gun running gang.

So a lucky escape really getting out of there before troop turned up despite still being parked outside…

Keep safe out there on the roads people.

If you are paying for a camper van don’t pay for a pitch as well, we did a few times and it’s an expensive learn. Save money, don’t wing it, plan first.

I found a hire car and a Hostel a much better approach, cheaper to run and stay somewhere and I met way more people on the way.


Hostels are probably the cheapest accommodation you will find and most are surprisingly comfortable these days.

Chain hostels can offer loyalty schemes so the more you stay the more “free nights” you earn. This is a great way to save money on accommodation.

Also Hostels can offer free airport transfers which not only save you money but makes life easier after a long flight.

If you are in the same place a few nights ask for a deal and pay in advance.. This often means cheaper nights and the longer you are there the cheaper it can become.

If you are living on your own or with others and have a spare room put up a note in a local hostel and fill the spare room with another traveller.

You may make a new friend and save some more money.

If you need somewhere to stay check out hostel notice boards you will be surprised by what you can find.

The same goes for travelling around, offer a seat if you are driving or take a seat if someone else is.  Split the fuel and save money on travel.


If you are looking for a decent feed at a decent price simple, check into a hostel.

Backpacker hostels have a kitchen so buy some cheap food at the supermarket and cook it yourself and save money on takeaways.

The friendly hostel culture means you may even get lucky and score a free meal.

If you meet some new friends cook larger meals together and share the cooking and cost between you.

Eating out?

Eat where the locals eat! China town, little Italy, little India etc are a great, cheap and easy option.


How do i save money when booking activities?

Simple, get in touch with us at backpack-nz, this is what we do so you don’t have to!

If you are looking to book a combo, some accommodation, a day trip, a tour, a 3 week package, hire a car whatever it is we got it covered.

Give our travel experts some 24 hours and we will deliver the perfect solution for you.  A no obligation quote you will love.

If you want to book more than one tour or activity or are travelling as a group we can save you even more money, well that’s the plan hey….

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