Article submitted by jamesc
September 26th, 2012
New Zealand has long attracted travellers from all over the world. From Polynesians, to Captain James Cook, to backpackers from Australia, Europe and beyond, New Zealand will always hold a special appeal to the traveller.
For many of us, getting to New Zealand involves a long flight which takes a huge chunk from our travel budget and leaves us wondering exactly how many apples will we have to pick in order to claw that back? Accommodation is just one of the outgoings that eats at our budget, but perhaps more importantly when we come to talk about visiting a country where many of us go to “find ourselves” or at least experience something a little different to what we were used to back home, it’s one of the parts of travelling that can easily become very uninspiring.
Thankfully there are a few alternative ways to stay in New Zealand
If the idea of staying in someone else’s house for free, in return for a few chores such as looking after pets, watering the plants and collecting the mail fills you with joy, then it should. Although not an entirely new phenomenon, the internet has made house sitting feasible for travellers. In the past it was the remit of pet and house sitting agencies, but today sites like Trusted Housesitters makes it easy to make direct contact with pet and home owners who need someone to take care of things whilst they’re away. Most gigs don’t pay, but accommodation-wise that’s a small price to pay for not having a price to pay.
No this isn’t another pet minding opportunity, WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s another bartering opportunity, giving something in return for free accommodation and in most instances it involves looking after plants or farm animals for a couple of hours a day in return for a bed and often at least one home-cooked meal.
See New Zealand in a Campervan
While this isn’t a free accommodation option, it is an accommodation alternative and sometimes when you’ve slept in hundreds of hostel dorms and hotel rooms, that’s just what’s needed. Hiring a campervan through sites like Mighty Campervans not only gives you an alternative bed for the night, it gives you a means of getting around the island as well.
Couchsurfing is a website that connects travellers with people who are willing to give up their couch, or bed, or whatever sleeping surface they can offer. More than just an opportunity to put your head down for free, Couchsurfing is a way of making new friendships on the road, meeting locals and getting to see how Kiwis live life in their towns and cities.
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