Budget Synopsis: New Zealand
Days in country: 88
Lodging: $1,083.77 (57/88 days were Workaways or spent with friends)
Transport: $889.22 (buses and ferries)
Tours: $1320.48 (caving, Hobbiton, dolphins, brewery, bungy jump, etc.)
Entrance fees: $83.16 (museums, penguin reserve, rugby match)
Other: $381.78 (YHA memberships, phone, clothing, wifi, guidebooks, postage, etc.)
Subtotal: $4,751- $170 earned for dare/straight donations- $15 for selling used books
TOTAL: $4,566= $51.89/day for 2 people
New Zealand is not cheap and there’s no way we could have sustained a trip this long here without three key factors: 1.)Workaways 2.) camping 3.) hitchhiking. I’ll never get tired of promoting Workaways, especially because they have allowed us to see comprehensive cross sections of this incredible country—from vineyards to dairy farms to a house overlooking the dreamy Banks Peninsula, all for free. Our trusty tent and sleeping bags, picked up on our Los Angeles layover from Chile, saved untold amounts of money. That decision allowed us to enjoy the Kepler Trek at a fraction of the cost we would have spent, as well as camp at hostels for a sizeable discount. Despite being a bit pricey to ship home ($75 USD), our camp equipment definitely paid for itself many times over. And finally, hitching across this lovely land saved us hundreds of dollars in bus fares and provided many a memorable encounter with locals and fellow travelers alike. While we did end up taking our fair share of buses (especially in the South Island), hitching for about half our travel was a life send.
To keep costs down we also paid for the pricier splurges when possible on www.bookme.co.nz, a nifty little discount site for NZ attractions that’s pretty similar to Groupon in the US. We also scavenged regional magazines for coupons and discounts and even lucked out with some 2-for-1 offers one of our Workaway hosts passed along to us. All in all, we threw down for some pretty costly tours and adventure activities that otherwise would have sent us way over budget, but were thankfully offset through Workaways and combing for deals. I think it’s pretty remarkable that our daily average was essentially the same here—a developed, relatively expensive tourist hotspot—as it was for Central and South America.
NOTE: While I'm not including airfares between countries in our individual country budgets (it would drastically skew the numbers), we paid $1,263 for two tickets on Qantas to fly from Christchurch, New Zealand to Bangkok, Thailand (via Sydney).