With its pristine landscape of beautiful sandy beaches, active volcanoes, rolling farmlands, and a rich Maori culture, New Zealand has a lot to offer its locals and tourists alike. If you’re planning a trip here, then there’s no better way to explore this majestic faraway land than an epic road trip. Because of its beautiful coastline and plethora of never-ending natural sights, a road trip will always keep your occupied and in awe. Renting a car will also give you the freedom to have your traveling pack with you at all times, and you’ll be able to stop at whatever gorgeous sight catches your eye. Before you load up and hit the gas, here are five tips that will increase your odds of enjoying an epic New Zealand road trip.
Choose a Reliable Car
What is a road trip without a car? Road trips mean different things to different people, but there is one thing that everyone agrees on: having a reliable, comfortable, and spacious vehicle is a must. When it comes to securing a reliable rental car, shopping online is the easiest way to go. Are you looking to enjoy the open road with lots of comfort? Or is saving money your first priority? Remember to consider how many people and bags you have with you as well. Knowing what’s available when it comes to your wants, needs, and budget ensures that you will find a great vehicle without compromising your comfort. And remember that booking early can save big bucks on your road trip, whether you choose a North Shore car rental and drive south or vice versa.
Be Backpack Smart
Long drives with kids often lead to squabbling and headaches. Being prepared with a backpack for each child is the best option to keep the peace and your sanity. For your trip, work with your kids to fill a backpack for each child with the things they want to bring. This will range from wet wipes, games, books, and crayons for the young children to cell phone chargers and tablets for the older ones. Remember comfort items as well, such as snuggle blankets and teddy bears. And don’t forget—snacks are your friend and will keep both kids and adults content!
Get the Right Apps
When people think of taking a road trip, they often imagine driving around aimlessly until the perfect location to rests approaches and you stop there for the night. Luckily when it comes to road trips in the modern age, smartphones are your friend! With the right apps, you can improve your trip by finding great deals on accommodations and tours, gas stations and grocery stores, or hidden gems to explore.You should also get a weather app before you get trapped up a mountain in the cold rain.
Have a plan in mind
Having said all of that about the magic of smart technology: in such a remote country like New Zealand, a smartphone might not always be a reliable way to plan your trip minute-by-minute. While it’s perfectly fine to not plan out every detail of your trip, have some idea of what you want to see and do every day, and how many miles you want to travel. Book accommodations at least one night before, or else you might end up paying big bucks for your stay. If you’re staying on a campground, check out a map of the location beforehand so you get a sense of the surroundings, including latrines and fresh water spots. Creating an outline of your trip will keep you organized and will actually lead you to see and do more, rather than arguing about details or making rash decisions on the spot that may lead to problems down the road.
Pack a Paper Map
A paper map is always a valuable thing to have on hand, especially in New Zealand’s far removed countryside. Even if your rental car has GPS or you have a navigation app, dead zones are inevitable, so you should still bring your paper map, especially if this is your first trip. Call it a backup if you must, but driving through an unfamiliar area with a weak signal or spotty cell phone reception can turn your trip into a nightmare. So bring along a detailed map of the areas you will be traveling through.
Pack your bags, roll down the windows, and hop in the car — you’ve got some miles to cover and beautiful attractions to explore in this beautiful country!