10 Things to Know When Traveling to New Zealand

A view that you can experience after traveling to New Zealand.

New Zealand is on many travelers’ ‘to go’ list, and for many excellent reasons. This beautiful island country in the Pacific Ocean has everything an adventurous traveler might wish for. Breathtaking nature, ranging from turquoise beaches to snowy mountain peaks, friendly and welcoming people, and unique culture. Not to mention New Zealand is an ideal destination for an active holiday. You can go surfing, swimming, bungee-jumping, skiing as well as hiking and climbing. Plus, it’s the perfect place to go exploring, either on your own or as a part of a tour group. If all of this appeals to you, it’s time to pack your bags and visit the land of kiwis, haka dance, and mesmerizing natural beauty. However, if you want to make the most of your trip, it’s best to prepare well. Here are the ten things you should know when traveling to New Zealand!

Customs screening is quite rigorous

New Zealand is an island country with a sensitive environment. There are many endemic species, and introducing non-native plants and animals could jeopardize local biodiversity.

For that reason, visitors aren’t allowed to bring any animals, insects, plants, herbal medicines, or fresh food. Even packaged food and dirty camping gear or shoes may be forbidden.

So, if you want to go through customs smoothly, declare anything of this sort you may have. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay some hefty fines!

Prepare for all kinds of weather

Most of us never travel without certain things, but when you’re traveling to New Zealand, don’t neglect your wardrobe either. The weather here is often described as ‘crazy’. That means that within the same day, you may experience intense sun, rain, and snow!

While it is part of the charm, it’s best to prepare accordingly – pack everything you’ll need, from swimsuits to rain jackets! Additionally, don’t forget to bring sunscreen (a lot of it) and some bug repellents (sandflies are notorious!).

Driving and getting around

Another thing you should definitely know and keep in mind is that you should drive on the left side. There are plenty of signs warning visitors about this. But even if there aren’t, check how everybody is driving and keep traffic rules in mind.

On the whole, roads in New Zealand are mostly quiet, and there’s not a lot of traffic. However, if you’re planning to visit more remote areas, ensure you know the way and check road conditions before the trip.

A mountain cliff with Maori motives and a lake in New Zealand.
Camping is an excellent way to experience New Zealand’s stunning nature and local culture.

Camping in New Zealand

If camping is your thing, there’s no better place for you than New Zealand. While free or dispersed camping is discouraged, there are plenty of other great options!

For example, you can stay at any of DOC (Department of Conservation) sites – you can find them all over the country, often amidst breathtaking scenery and beautiful nature. Or, you can opt for Holiday Parks – they’re slightly more expensive, but they offer many amenities you might want.

Internet connection

If you want to go ‘off the grid’ and immerse yourself in nature instead, New Zealand is the place to go. While wi-fi is available in larger cities and towns, there are many beautiful remote areas where you won’t have a signal. However, exploring them is definitely worth it!

The best way to explore New Zealand is by a camper van

Those adventurous folks who love road trips will enjoy traveling around New Zealand by campervan. It’s the best way to explore this splendid country on your own. Not only will you be able to make your own schedule, but you’ll also find many pleasant surprises along the way!

When is the best time for traveling to New Zealand?

The summer season in New Zealand lasts from December to February. The weather is wonderful, and these months are perfect for all types of outdoor activities. However, during this time, New Zealand is also crowded with tourists.

So, if you want to avoid crowds and cut down on costs, November and April are better choices. The weather is still lovely, but experiencing New Zealand at this time feels more intimate and less touristy.

New Zealand coffee is delicious.
You can expect to find fantastic food and beverage when traveling to New Zealand – make sure you try flat-white coffee!

Food and beverage in New Zealand

While New Zealand’s cuisine is not so different from the UK or the US, there are some unique combinations and flavors worth trying out. For example, don’t miss out on delicious seafood and Maori hangi, as well as some delicious desserts such as Kiwi Pavlova and Hokey Pokey ice cream!

Additionally, coffee is a serious business in New Zealand – long black or flat white are a must. Also, plain water is simply superb, and the wine is exquisite (and cheap!).

Immerse yourself in the local culture

When preparing for the trip of a lifetime, brushing up on the local culture is always an excellent idea. Therefore, learn a bit of the Maori language and culture before you visit.

Kiwis are generally friendly, laid-back, and hospitable. Showing some respect and knowledge will make a great impression on your hosts and enhance your experience.

Plan ahead to visit Hobbiton in New Zealand.
If you’re a fan of The Lord of the Rings, Hobbiton tour and hobbit-dinner are a must!

Make the most of your visit!

New Zealand is a perfect place for an extended vacation – there’s simply so much to see and do! However, if you’re planning a short stay, ensure you make a to-do list and even schedule some of the tours well in advance. Here are some events you surely don’t want to miss:

  • schedule your tour of Hobbiton – experience a true Middle Earth where the Lord of the Rings movies were made
  • visit the glow worm caves in Waitomo
  • more than one of third of New Zealand are nature reserves, and they’re free to visit
  • famous hiking trails such as Tongariro Alpine Crossing or Milford track
  • enjoy scenic road tours and don’t be afraid to go off-the-track
  • plan enough time for all the other outdoor activities

Relocation to New Zealand

Visitors often fall in love with this beautiful and unique country. They usually can’t wait to go back or even decide to make New Zealand their home! If you happen to be one of them and want to relocate to NZ, ensure you create a detailed checklist for your international move. Changing countries can be both exciting and daunting. So, if planning to relocate here from another country, ensure you cover all the bases!

Enjoy your stay!

Last but not least, enjoy your visit to the fullest and embrace everything this fascinating island has to offer! Hopefully, these ten tips for traveling to New Zealand will help you prepare and have a pleasant and exciting experience!

Best American Cities for Digital Nomads

There are plenty of American cities for digital nomads to explore and enjoy.

Digital nomadism is becoming a greater trend than ever. More and more people are working remotely. What’s more, they’re finding it enjoyable and far less stressful. Not only can they work from the comfort of their home, but they can also choose where their home will be. Becoming a digital nomad offers you unique geographical freedom and the opportunity to explore many different places in the world. As long as you have a good Internet connection, you can do your job from any country in the world. Among the countries that are gaining popularity is the US. This expansive country offers a variety of landscapes, lifestyles, and opportunities. From paradise-like beaches or charming, quiet towns to vibrant urban centers, there’s something to suit every taste and preference. So, before you pack your bags, check out the best American cities for digital nomads!Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida is an excellent choice for digital nomads.
Orlando is an exciting and vibrant city with a lot of entertainment options and job opportunities for digital nomads.

It’s no wonder that Orlando, Florida is one of the best American cities for digital nomads. Fantastic weather and amazing beaches provide a perfect opportunity to balance work with pleasure. After all, who doesn’t dream of working while enjoying the sun and occasionally dipping into the ocean?

Apart from the appeal of constant vacation, Orlando boasts excellent high-tech and educational markets, ideal for the digital nomad lifestyle. Additionally, you can opt for tourism-related work opportunities. There are plenty of tourist and kid-friendly attractions in Orlando. If you’re moving with a family, don’t miss out on Walt Disney World, Chocolate Kingdom, and SeaWorld!

Austin, Texas

Whether you enjoy music, art, or diverse cuisine, Austin is the right place for you. Plentiful co-working spaces, lively job market, high salaries, and budget-friendly cost of living make Austin the number one spot for digital nomads from all over the world. Young and fresh entrepreneurial spirit and numerous tech startups are the main attraction to people starting their careers.

Plus, there is a lot to do in your free time. The Live Music Capital of the World has it all – from world-class museums and sculpture gardens to live music venues and exquisite restaurants. In addition to that, if you’re passionate about hiking and other outdoor activities, Austin is a perfect match for you. It boasts numerous parks, nature preserves, and hiking trails.

New York, New York

New York is an urban center with a rich job market.
This dynamic and lively city is one of the best American cities for digital nomads to explore.

The Big Apple is not only considered to be one of the major urban centers in the US but in the world. This vibrant city provides ample job opportunities to digital nomads. On top of the excellent options for co-working spaces, meetups, and cafes, there is a lot to do and explore in your free time.

The city that never sleeps boasts a rich cultural scene and dynamic nightlife. There are plenty of museums, galleries, and iconic attractions you can visit. Not to mention you can take part in numerous outdoor activities. Pursuing your hobbies and passions will enable you to meet like-minded people and build your social network.

Naturally, finding yourself in a new city, alone in unfamiliar surroundings, can be daunting in the beginning. However, finding a perfect home in NYC and adding a personal touch after moving in will help you feel better. Set up your home office, paint the walls to your liking, and cozy up the place quickly – soon, it will feel like a home away from home. You’ll be ready to meet new people and enjoy your new life to the fullest.

Santa Monica, California

Located close to Los Angeles, this enchanting city offers both a thriving market for digital nomads and a laid-back lifestyle. It provides ample job opportunities in entertainment, publishing, fitness, technology, and many other sectors.

Plus, soaking in the sun at the beach or exploring the city by bike are great ways to entertain your free hours. Water sports, outdoor activities, and delicious cuisine make Santa Monica an excellent place for enthusiastic digital nomads. Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, over thirty art galleries, and Santa Monica Food Walk – there’s always something new to try out in this coastal city.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans has a unique flavor and culture.
New Orleans is a unique and flamboyant city perfect for adventurous digital nomads.

This mysterious and charming city has a lot more to offer than Mardi Gras. Whether you’re looking for work in healthcare, finance, transportation, oil and energy, or defense, New Orleans is a perfect destination. There are many global companies that create an alluring international atmosphere. All of that makes New Orleans one of the best American cities for digital nomads.

Not to mention that the Big Easy is famous for its colorful history and cultural diversity. You can enjoy live jazz venues and festivals or cruising down the Mississippi and exploring the Garden District. There is a lot to do and see in this beautiful city. Of course, we could not but talk about New Orleans’s rich cuisine. Don’t miss jambalaya, beignets, gumbo, or amazing cheese boards that all cheese lovers will relish!

Things to consider before you move to one of the best American cities for digital nomads

While all these places seem tempting, it’s important to consider all factors before making a decision. An adventurous spirit and itchy feet are great, but there are practical issues you need to think about.

Having some valuable guidelines for living and working abroad will enable you to make the right choice. Which nomad-friendly destination you choose will depend on many factors. For example, think about what kind of job you’re looking for, your income, as well as your preferences. Here are some essentials to consider when choosing one of the best cities in the US:

  • Internet connection – when you work remotely, Internet speed becomes the key factor
  • housing options – rental prices and furnishing are important aspects of a nomadic lifestyle
  • cost of living – depending on how much you earn, choose a destination that will give you more for less
  • things to do and see in your free time – after all, the point of choosing this lifestyle is exploring and enjoying new things in life.

Final thoughts

Starting a digital nomad career is exciting and challenging at the same time. There are so many wonderful places in the world that it seems challenging to choose where to go. For that reason, it’s essential to consider your career options and job opportunities as well as all other factors.

The US is home to many global companies and has a dynamic job market. Not to mention all the breathtaking views, welcoming cities, and diverse and rich culture. So, check out these American cities for digital nomads and find the one that suits your lifestyle.

6 Smart and Safe Solo Travel Tips

Travelling on your own can truly be one of the most enjoyable and empowering experiences you’ll ever know. Feeling the freedom of exploring new places by yourself, on your own terms and on your own schedule is truly second to none. Scoping out the best destinations as a single traveller is exciting to say the least, but it’s important to make the most out of your trip. As well as staying safe, you’ll want to make the most of being by yourself by meeting new people and creating memories to last a lifetime. Consider the following smart and safe solo travel tips and your upcoming venture will be smooth sailing and unforgettable.

1. Tell Someone Where You’re Staying

When you go travelling alone, it is important to let a member of your family or friend know where you’re staying. Giving a contact number or address of your hotel or rental apartment will not only give them peace of mind, but it will ensure that you have a level of safety. If you’re planning on travelling to a number of different cities or countries, you should give your itinerary to someone you trust so they know where you are at all times.

2. Make Plenty of Memories

Going travelling on your own doesn’t mean that you can’t take epic pictures and videos of the beautiful places you’re staying. This OM 5 allows you to capture high quality video and take selfies with ease, so that you can have memories to last a lifetime. When you’re travelling solo you need lightweight, portable items that you can manage on your own, so this is the perfect solution if you just want to carry your smartphone, rather than a bulky camera.

3. Do Your Homework Before You Go

Scoping out the area before you go is a great idea. This will give you the confidence to go out and about with ease when you arrive. Once you’re familiar with the area it will be much easier to plan your activities, restaurants and excursions. Head online to some relevant travel blogs and you will soon start to learn everything you need to know about your chosen destination. You may also need to look up local transportation to make sure you can get around the area easily.

4. Be Confident

When you’re out and about in a new place on your own you should try and exude an air of confidence if you can. If you look like a vulnerable tourist who looks lost with a map, you might be opening yourself up to pickpockets and thieves. Before you leave your hotel or apartment complex, look up where you’re going on a map and try to remember where you’re going. You can always stop and ask someone for directions along the way, but try to walk with purpose at all times!

5. Keep Your Valuables Safe

It is especially important to take care of your belongings when travelling abroad by yourself, after all there is nobody there to watch your bag when you go to the bathroom or stay in the hotel room whilst you pop to the supermarket. Get in touch with your accommodation provider and ask if they offer additional security measures such as a safe in your room. Keep your money, passport and any expensive items in your safe if possible. When you’re out and about try not to show your phone, laptop, tablet or any other gadgets and gizmos as this may attract unwanted attention. Staying safe when you’re travelling on your own should always be your number one priority and these safety measures will help you to achieve this.

6. Put Yourself Out There and Meet New People

There is something so special about connecting with new people when you go abroad. Meeting new people and making friends is arguably much easier to do when you’re on your own; you have no ties to the rest of your travel party and everything is on your own terms. Head to busy bars and cafes and strike up conversations with interesting people. You might make friends for life on your solo travelling trip!

Whether you’re travelling around the country you live in or you’re expanding your travels to Europe and beyond, there are so many exciting reasons to go solo! Staying safe during your travels should be your number one priority, as well as soaking up every new experience that is available to you. Hopefully these handy tips will allow you to enjoy a smooth and enjoyable adventure as a solo traveller!

A man on a beach