7 Simple Travel Hacks to Make Any New Zealand Road Trip Better
We all love a road trip and if you’re planning driving around New Zealand then here are some simple ideas to improve your roadie:
#1 Become in love with The Warehouse
The Warehouse is a discount store and there is one in pretty much every medium sized town in New Zealand and they are full of everything you had forgotten to bring and more you didn’t even know you needed on your trip. Great for cheap clothing and shoes especially if it’s a lot colder than you think. I have purchased emergency winter PJ’s on a summer camping trip due to an unforeseen cold snap from a well placed Warehouse. They stock everything from cleaning products to nappies to towels to hubcaps.
#2 Talk to the locals
New Zealanders are some of the friendliest people in the world – we live in paradise and love to meet visitors to our country. Start up a conversation at the supermarket checkout and you might receive a recommendation for a local winery or café or even a secret hot pool location.
#3 Buy cheap beach towels you can leave behind.
There’s no need to take up precious space in your luggage with thick beach towels. Buy them in New Zealand (see #1) and just leave them behind when you leave, there are plenty of charity bins that you can leave them in. They’re useful even if you’re nowhere near a beach. Use them to dry off after a quick dip and also as a picnic blanket, a sarong, a temporary pillow and to cover valuables left in your rental car.
#4 Download maps, and take screenshots of directions, while you have a Wi-Fi connection.
Cell-phone coverage can sometimes a bit hit and miss in the back blocks of New Zealand, so don’t assume you’ll be able to access the cloud when you need to. Download apps, maps that can be used offline, children’s movies, Pokemon Go—anything you need a Wi-Fi connection for—before leaving your hotel room.
#5 Carry some sanitised wetwipes
These are great to clean sticky hands before eating your picnic, wiping split fluids from the rental car surfaces before they soak in and wiping up melted chocolate or ice cream off the front of t-shirts because you will want to partake in as much New Zealand ice cream as you can – try the Hokey Pokey flavour – delicious!
#6 Choose motels with pools.
Obviously this applies to summer holidays but after a long day in the car, a pool is the antidote to crankiness. The kids can unleash their pent-up energy, while the parents can feel reinvigorated and soothed simultaneously. Just make sure you don’t arrive too late so check on the pools hours at each motel.
#7 Stop for small-town picnics.
Supermarkets in a different country are always fun to explore, and in New Zealand most stock freshly made salads, fresh breads, fruit/veges, cured meats and cold wine or beer. Pick up lunch and go to a reserve/park or scenic outlook or marked picnic area to eat al fresco. You’ll get a lot more local colour than in a take away shop and most towns have parks with a free to use children’s play area.