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If i am to list 3 biggest regrets during my trip, that would be:

  1. Didn’t stay overnight in Lake Wanaka
  2. Didn’t stay overnight in Lake Tekapo
  3. Not qualified for zorbing

Everything else was flawless, 20 hours seat-torturing inside the airplane, dragging along my 20 kilos luggage, 4 hours non-stop walking-hiking the franz josef, one night in princeton apartment, all of them just flavoring the journey. I wouldn’t take that back (but i would prefer first class plane seat for free 🙂

I wasn’t really a trip planner, my friend does, she was so expert in planning things, and execute them. So i learned a lot from her in planning a trip.

How to get there

This should be the first thing in planning the trip, especially if it’s far, or uncommon destination from your country of origin. Be it plane, train, ship, or bus. In this case, the only way to get to the New Zealand from Indonesia is by Plane 🙂

You can start by go the each site of airways that you know and search for your destination. But that can take much time and you won’t get all airways that you want. You can read reference, randomly type any keyword in New Zealand, but that may result in random result as well. Best thing you can do is to type this keyword “ XXXXXXXX (city of destination) international airport” in google, and go to the one belongs to wikipedia. There would be a list of airways operating on that city’s airport, complete with city of origin and destination. ( If you do not know the capital city of the country, you may want to search it first. But i bet when you plan to travel to a place you’ve been longing to go, your knowledge about that place already enough to find at least the capital city or other city that may have airplane runway). After that, just click the name of the airways which is usually had been linked to it’s official web.

Now, assuming that you’ve already known when do you want to go, search on that airways’s web the time-table and the price. This process is actually consumes a lot of time. Since you want to get the best price as possible, and minimize the travel time. You may want to put a spreadsheet and list them all ( i know, right? A bit complex). Well, some airways just have their schedule mapped as far as say, 6 months ahead. So how do you search if you want to travel 1 year from now? Don’t worry, just search the furthest date it can get with the same day with the day you want to travel one year from now, then. By having all the possible flight schedule, airways and price explored, you won’t regret for any schedule or possibilities slipped away.

The next thing that you may want to do is to sign yourself up to that website to receive promotional offer from the airways. If your departure has not appeared  in the website, be patient and put a reminder to when you are supposed to book the plane. But, if you already set and the web has plotted the flight schedule, and the choice has been made with the possible lowest price, just click and fly 🙂 (oh, hey! That can be an airway’s unique line)

Itinerary

Get as much reference as you can get when it comes to itinerary. Lonely planet book is one of many good reference. In New Zealand, almost each city offers unique experiences. We combined the suggested itinerary from LP and add cities that we want to explore within our planned travelling period (2 weeks).

There’s no quick way to make an itinerary if you want to get the best from New Zealand. You can list every city that you want to visit and attraction it offers. Surely you’ll find some similarity. Highlight some activities that are popular as priority (for example Paihia – dolphin watch, Queenstown-bungy, Milford sound, Franz Josef/Fox – glacier, Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook, etc). It’s not an easy task, because once they’re all listed, you just want them all. And therefore, i suggest you to list the price as well 🙂 It’ll help get rid of some based on your priority.

And here’s the list of cities i visited, its activities and the price

ListOfActivities

Once you’re done with the list, see how much budget do you have. Be wise and careful about what cities do you plan to visit, activities to be done.

Accommodation

The next thing to do is to search for accommodation that suits your stay in each city. Again, you may check each city web, tripadvisor, or LP book. You’ll be surprised how vary and flexible the facilities and the price have to offer. Start from a humble stay on backpackers to luxury motel all available for your consideration. In a city that you’re likely to stay more than 1 day and has lots of physical activity, i suggest to choose middle class motel. But if you just stay one day, choose the one that suits best your budget and see possibilities to save money from accommodation selection. Some backpackers can offers as low as NZD 20, while luxury hotel or apartment to NZD 400. There is a chance to share with your roommate which also can lower the room price per person.

When it comes to select the cheap, clean and neat accommodation, make sure you get a very clear picture of each room. either from accommodation booking agent such hostelworld, etc or each official accommodation website. please also consider opinion from those who have stayed in that hotel/motel by visiting tripadvisor or other opinion you may get from search engine.

Finally, summary in detail where, what, what time, how, when your itinerary will be placed out. Here’s our itinerary we used for our trip.

Itinerary

Feel free to ask if you have any question about it.

Complexity VS Simplicity

Of course – there’s a quick way to do all of these: contact the travel agent!

It’ll surely help you cut your time for searching and bulging out your monitor. But if you wish to know in advance, sort out activities that you like, learn about country you’re about to visit, and be flexible about where, when and how long it’s gonna be, then fill out your coffee cup and be ready to be rooted in your chair for an amazing New Zealand pre-trip on the web.

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