12 of the best tips how to travel solo safely in New Zealand
Posted on 14/09/2019 by Spaceships Crew
Are you a solo female traveller considering New Zealand as your next adventure spot? If so, you have excellent taste. With otherworldly natural beauty, like the glow worm caves, Hobbiton and the Tongariro Crossing and lively cities, such as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand has everything a traveller could ever want in an epic vacation.
New Zealand is just as safe as anywhere else in the world. If you exercise caution and travel smart, you should have a simply fantastic time in the Land of the Long White Cloud. As a female traveller, it is essential to remember the following travel tips to maximize your solo travel experience. Solo female travel New Zealand style is always in style.
Before your epic, solo New Zealand adventure starts read these helpful, common-sense tips. Let us help you create a dream trip that you will remember fondly for years to come.
1. Study New Zealand before you arrive
Know before you go. Researching everything you can about an area before you arrive is just as important as researching campervan rentals, campsites, hostels, motels, activities and attractions. It is essential to know all you can to prevent any unforeseen travel mishaps.
- The Spaceships travel blog has all the info about travelling and camping in New Zealand: suggested itineraries, where to stay and rules about camping.
- To find the best activities, tours and things to do in New Zealand use our brand new and free online travel guide.
- Combined with the free NZ Frenzy guides you will be able to find all popular and off-the-beaten-path things to do and see.
- Last but not least, the free camping app from Spaceships will show you where to find all free and budget campsites in New Zealand, the facilities that each campsite has (from basic to fully equipped) and how other travellers have rated these campsites so you will know what to expect and how busy it is at particular times of the year. Download the free campings apps now (there's a camping app for Android and Apple)
2. Common sense is the golden rule
Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you have to do things you wouldn’t do at home. If it doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. Say ‘no’ to things you are not comfortable with and leave places or people if they give you a bad feeling.
3. Lock up
Just as you do in your own home, lock the door. Securing your campervan at night and when leaving it for extended amounts of time is a common sense and practical way to keep yourself and your belongings safe. New Zealand is safe, but locking up is a smart thing to do anywhere in the world.
4. Make sure to stow away your valuables
Another common-sense practice is to keep any valuables out of sight. When your possessions are out of sight, they are out of mind for potential thieves. Use the lockable storage that comes in every Spaceships campervan. Nothing ruins a trip faster than a stolen camera or phone with the only travel photos you’ve taken.
5. Plan your drive
New Zealand is full of beautiful, practically untouched natural areas and as such there are quite a few areas with limited services. Plan your driving route ahead of time to make sure you will have adequate places to fuel up and purchase necessities. We are confident that being stranded on the side of the road without petrol is not high on the top of your must-do New Zealand list.
6. Bring food & drinks
Your Spaceships campervan comes with all cooking & sleeping gear included. All you need to bring are the ingredients to cook simple yet yummy homemade uh campervan-made meals. Various supermarkets are practically around the corner of our New Zealand depots so that will be an easy task. Make sure to buy plenty of snacks that can be carried in your daypack when going hiking. There are so many awesome day-hikes and even multi-day hikes here. The most famous ones are called the Great Walks of New Zealand.
Just as you need to refuel your campervan on time, you'll need to refuel your own engines as well. Bring muesli bars, fresh or dried fruits and nuts when going hiking. These snacks will give you an extra energy boost when hiking. Of course, more food is needed when going on a multi-day hike.
It's better to bring more food then you need on a particular day or evening. You never know what each night will bring or where you'll be camping that night. Lots of campsites in New Zealand have minimal facilities so don't expect camping shops at these campsites. If you do have left-over foods at the end of your road trip, please donate it to people in need or leave it on the recycle/re-use table at our depots, then the next Space Travellers will take what they need to there trip.
7. In case of an emergency
We always hope there won’t be a situation where you need to call the New Zealand emergency phone number. However, being prepared and knowing what to do in case of an unplanned event is always smart. To call for emergency services in New Zealand (fire, police or an ambulance), dial 111 from any phone- mobile or landline. Dialling this number is free, even if you have no credit left on your mobile phone.
Important phone numbers when it's urgent but not an emergency
If you need roadside assistance for your Spaceships campervan or have a question or issue that isn't an emergency, call the Spaceships crew or roadside assistance crew via our toll-free number 0800 772 237. Simply call the free 0800 number, no need to add +64, from any payphone, courtesy phone or mobile phone (even with an overseas SIM card). Call the Spaceships freephone number 0800 772 237 and you'll have the following options in the phone menu to choose from:
- Select 1 to book a Spaceship (talk to the sales team)
- Select 2 to talk to a Spaceships crew member about your booking or transfer (you can always call us during your road trip to ask questions, report something or just to have a chat. The Spaceships crew is always happy to help and would love to hear from you)
- Select 3 to talk to New Zealand Roadside Assistance (NZRA) aka our roadside assistance provider in case of technical or mechanical issues, accident or a breakdown (they are available 24 hours a day). NZRA is an external organisation that we have hired to offer you 24-hours roadside assistance, which comes included with every Spaceships campervan, no matter the insurance level you have selected. All Spaceships come with roadside assistance.
8. Protect your documents
Before leaving, photocopy your passport and ID. Keep the copies in a separate place from the originals. It would also be wise to give a copy to a trusted person, like a parent. Another idea is to take photos of your documents and upload it to a secure cloud storage platform you like to use, for example, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or Tresorit. Additionally, always keep your passport and license with you at all times.
9. Let someone know what you are up to
Before you leave your hometown, make sure friends or family are aware of your plans. Don't post your detailed travel plans on Facebook but send the important people in your life your itinerary, including flight details. When you're in New Zealand having fun on the road, make sure to check in with the people back home on a regular basis. And let them know when you will be doing off the beaten patch activities that might bring you off the radar for a few days.
When going hiking or enjoying the amazing scenery of New Zealand, stick to the outdoor safety code:
- Plan your trip (be prepared)
- Tell someone your plans before you go (tell hostel/campsite staff, your family or friends or sign in at a visitor centre)
- Be aware of the weather (the weather in New Zealand can change suddenly)
- Know your limits (do walks or hikes you can handle)
- Take sufficient supplies (bring enough water and snacks or food)
Use the Mountain Safety Council's Safety tool to plan your outdoor activities, to get tips & advice and to create a schedule for the people back home.
10. Use cards instead of cash
Don't bring too much cash on your solo trip to New Zealand. Mastercard and Visa (credit and debit cards) are widely accepted throughout New Zealand. From buying a cup of coffee in the morning to paying for cash, no matter where you are, almost every merchant in New Zealand has an EFTPOS machine (payment terminal) so you can pay safely by card instead of cash. Make sure to bring two debit or credit cards, a main one and a back-up one, just in case you lose one or one gets blocked due to security rules of your credit card company (they sometimes do that when there are lots of expenses made in a country you haven't been to before).
Tip for European male and female solo travellers... If your debit card is a Maestro card - just Maestro and doesn't have the Mastercard logo on it - you will only be able to use ATMs to get cash. Unfortunately, these Maestro cards cannot be used to make payments in stores in New Zealand. Your debit card needs to have a Mastercard or Visa logo on it.
11. Solo female travel New Zealand is common
Men and women alike choose New Zealand as a place to travel on their own. Solo travel here is super common. If you are hoping you will blend in and not stick out like a sore thumb, you will find New Zealand is the place for you. So many people travel on their own here that you can go about your business and no one will think twice about your solo status. No worries.
12. Travelling alone doesn’t mean you have to be alone
Many people travel alone so they can do as they wish without having to worry about someone else. Just because someone likes to enjoy the solitude of their own company doesn’t mean that they have to be alone the entirety of the trip. The best part of travelling alone means you get to choose when and where to meet or hang out with others. When the time is right to socialize, there are always plenty of other solo travellers on campsites or in hostels willing to make a new life-long or short-term travel friend. Either way, when you are ready not to be alone, the travellers in New Zealand will embrace you with open arms.
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