When I went on my trip to New Zealand, I learned a few packing tips and tricks that travel guides simply don’t tell you.
First of all: The most important rule of travelling (by my mum):
If you have your passport, wallet and keys you are good to go. Everything else can be purchased at your destination.
1.Use a suitcase
I’d recommend taking a suitcase over a backpack. My backpack was far too heavy especially after buying new clothes (winter was colder than expected). A suitcase is definitely easier to carry around. If you are planning on staying at hostels, suitcases are also much easier to store underneath bunk beds.
2. Pack a warmer jacket, preferably waterproof
Before I left for New Zealand, I read to expect a mild climate where temperatures don’t get below 10-15 degrees Celsius. The North Island was warm enough, but as soon as I reached the ferry to Marlborough, I felt the rush of cold wind and rain all over me. I had to buy some warm clothes plus a small suitcase to hold them in. Pack a warm jacket warm, waterproof jacket and you’re safe.
3. Don’t forget your bathing suit
The North Island stays warm throughout the autumn and winter months. If you’re planning to dip into the 90 mile beach or visit a few hot springs, bring along your bathing suit.
4. Get your contact lens & medical supplies
Don’t forget your contact lenses and any medications you may need during your stay. I was used to buying contact lenses without a prescription at drug stores in Germany. New Zealand is pretty strict about contact lens prescriptions. In order to receive them you need to arrange a payed visit to the optometrist. Should you require any drugs, you can go to doctor’s offices in New Zealand. These visits are generally covered by your travel health care provider. Often times, however, you are required to pre-pay your visit. If you want to save time and avoid unexpected costs, make sure to pack your contact lenses and drugs before you go.
5. Some good shoes will save your life
Flats are your best bet. If you have limited space, make sure to pack good hiking shoes and a pair of other flats (converse, solid ballerinas etc.).
6. Take your cell phone with you
It’s best to take your cell phone with you and to buy a local SIM card in New Zealand. Just make sure to check that your phone is unlocked.
7. Pack an outfit for a night out
Even though most days you will be wearing some comfortable pants/shorts and a T-shirt there may be occasions (a night out in Wellington or Auckland) that require some nicer clothing.
Have you traveled to New Zealand recently? Please feel free to share your tips in the comment below.