Seeing New Zealand on a Luxury Budget

New Zealand is an easy country to travel in. It’s familiar enough that nothing is too complicated but different enough to be interesting to British and American visitors. It’s a country of only 4 million people that packs a lot of geographic diversity into it’s relatively small area – you can go from beaches to skiing in a two hour drive!

Because it’s an easy country, it’s one that people sometimes choose to travel to later in life when maybe their knees aren’t quite up to climbing up hostel bunk ladders. Being older, usually means you have a bit more budget for your trip. If you happen to be doing NZ on a higher budget, here are some things you might want to experience.

Bidding on business class upgrades.

AirNZ allows customers who booked premium economy to bid on upgrades to business class. Unless you need a big seat because you’re tall or a passenger of size, you won’t need this for the short flights around the country (which are around 90 minutes top to bottom!) However, it can be a VERY nice treat if you’re flying from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or London. Those are long flights but not nearly as intimidating as they sound!

Don’t carry your bag

New Zealand is known for it’s hiking trails that are collectively known as the “great walks“. Think the Milford, Routeburn, and Abel Tasman, which are all pretty famous world wide. Instead of carrying your own gear you can have it transported by helicopter and it will be waiting for you each day when you arrive at where you are sleeping for the night. Nice! Seriously, this is the only way I will ever be doing multi day hiking 🙂 Book far in advance, especially if you’ll be visiting during the New Zealand spring and summer (November to March). The Milford Sound area has some nice accommodation that you can boat into.


High end accomodation in New Zealand is typically in the form of “lodges” which are set in the country side and where you eat your meals in house. The most famous one is probably the Huka Lodge, which is near Taupo, but there are others that follow a similar model. Obviously if you are shelling out those big bucks, check the reviews carefully before booking. New Zealand is known for having strict cancellation policies generally, so you always want to be aware of those before plunking in your credit card info. If you’re coming to New Zealand to experience the landscape, then these lodges are the types of experiences that you might be looking for.

Adrenaline Activities

Activities like the jetboating and bungee jumping are expensive in New Zealand without any luxury being involved, however you can also arrange some private tours that include more adventurous activities. Call the tourist information centers in towns like Queenstown if you’re looking to set up private tours or activities.

photo credit: Jocey K cc

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