24 November 2016

How to Save Money on Travel in New Zealand | Study With New Zealand

Sri Themudu
Malaysian NZ Aid Scholarship student

Travelling around New Zealand while you study is an exciting experience. But as a student you’re always afraid that you'll starve for weeks after once you’ve spent all your money on travel.

Travelling can be an expensive affair if you try to plan it all by yourself and don't take advantage of deals and promotions offered by travel companies.


Food, accommodation and transportation are the three aspects that you should consider while travelling as these can drain your bank balance if you don’t plan well. Below are the options that you could consider if you’d like to travel on a minimal budget.


  • Self Cooking
  • Shared cooking with hostel mates


  • Couch Surfing
  • Work to stay
  • Shared bunk beds


  • Hitchhiking
  • Public transport – bus
  • Shared transport – fuel and rent
  • Relocation deals

My personal advice and tips are:

1. Plan your travel journey with your best like-minded mates

Travelling with like-minded mates makes your travelling journey a great experience. Bear in mind travelling isn’t serious stuff – it’s a fun and exciting journey.

Just imagine travelling without booking a hostel and sleeping in a car or staying in a farmhouse by shearing sheep as rent. If you wish to try this type of exciting journey, like-minded mates are the best companions. Travelling with like-minded friends can save money and help you travel within a small budget.

Travelling with friends

2. Keep an eye out for vehicle relocation deals

Do you want to travel from Christchurch to Auckland by car and get paid to do so? If so, keep an eye out for vehicle relocation deals.

Car rental companies love travellers like us who can relocate a vehicle from one point to another as their customers will often leave their vehicle in a different point to their pick up on their departure from NZ. Here is a website link that I always refer to as it consolidates all the relocations in one place: https://www.rentalcarrelocation.co.nz/take-a-peek.php

3. Work to stay

Hostels such as YHA offer travellers work in exchange for accommodation. All you need to do is sacrifice your time (2-3 hours) and energy to clean rooms and toilets to score free accommodation. This is a really worthwhile deal if you’re up for it.

4. Use public transport

Travelling by car is a costly affair. Not only fuel and car hire but also traffic offence tickets. If you are not familiar with driving in New Zealand please book your travel by bus. If you are lucky enough you may get a $1 ticket deal to travel from one place to another – Nakedbus.com offers these deals. Plan your travel early to score these cheap deals.

Explore New Zealand

Check out Education New Zealand's NauMai NZ website for more information about travelling around New Zealand as an international student.

The tips that I shared above are based on my own personal experience. I hope you enjoy the fun and joy of travelling on the cheap as much as I have.

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About the contributors
Sri Themudu
Malaysian NZ Aid Scholarship student

Sri Themudu is a budding entrepreneur from Malaysia. He is studying for a Master of Entrepreneurship at Otago Commerce School, University of Otago, where he is able to build his business networks. "I’ve been able to meet CEOs of companies through the university."