Monthly Archives: February 2017

How I planned our NZ itinerary

Our trip to the South Pacific was originally planned as a trip to New Zealand. I am still not sure how I managed to convince my husband to let me add on Australia….

The Australia itinerary was pretty easy to plan. New Zealand though created quite a challenge to cover everything we want to see. My husband’s primary interest there is seeing suspension bridges. I actually enjoy seeing the bridges too, but I also want to see awesome things in NZ. So one thing I did was plotted out all the suspension bridges I could find (husband had this info) on a map and see if an itinerary came up that way. I knew we didn’t want to check in and out as well every night so I needed to find places we could stay for a few nights at a time.

Here is what the maps looked like (note – we are not stopping at all markers, they were just used to help me figure out routes that would line up with a majority of these markers):

North Island:


South Island:


I also knew we needed to end up in Auckland to return home. So I needed us to end up in Auckland….which meant starting our trip on the South Island.

Using the map I determined three different starting locations – Queenstown, Nelson, or Christchurch. Ultimately Christchurch won as the starting destination as it was easier to get to from Australia than the other two cities 🙂 

It honestly took me over a month to arrive at the NZ itinerary. Hopefully it all goes well.  In NZ we are seeing a lot of stuff but we don’t have a lot of days of long driving, so there will hopefully be time to go on hikes and hit other roadside attractions. 155 days until our vacation begins and I cannot wait!

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Categories: New Zealand | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Wire transfers 

We have five rental places during our big trip. Most of these rental places have required a banking deposit and not a deposit paid with a credit card.

At first I worried how to do this without incurring high transfer fees. I eventually found the website Transferwise. This site is great when you need to send someone money in a different currency. Recently I sent around $750 USD and the fee was only around $5.00. If I had paid by credit card I would have incurred a $14 fee, so the transfer by bank account has made things easy.

I get the feeling that people in Australia and New Zealand are used to bank-to-bank transactions. In the US we seem used to credit card transactions. Another thing I have noticed is that if you do paying credit card, most places assess an additional 2% fee, so it is better to do the bank-to-bank transactions instead of paying by credit card.

Categories: Financial | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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