6 essential tips for post-lockdown NZ travel

Mountain scenery on road to Mt Cook in New Zealand

Local holidays are back on the agenda! And that’s awesome news, because some of us were starting to go a tad stir crazy. Has anyone else started having long, in-depth conversations with their pets? No? Okay, me neither.

So, we know many of us are keen to get away. But how does travel work in the post-lockdown world? Can we still have amazing holidays that are healthy, safe and responsible? Yep, we can! Just follow these six essential tips for COVID-19 travel.

1. Do your research

Now more than ever it pays to do your holiday research. COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted throughout the country, except for strict border controls, but it’s worth checking that your favourite cafes, galleries and bars are open for business before you make a trip to visit them.

It’s also a good idea to check out your planned destination’s tourism, council and social media sites as well to make sure they’re welcoming visitors. Most destinations are but it’s good to double check 😊

Beautiful mountain scenery on road to Mt Cook in New Zealand

2. Keep it flexible

Leaving your options open is a great idea at any time, but especially this year. Look for hotels and travel options that offer free changes and/or cancellation so you won’t have any headaches if your plans change. You can also look for hotels with Book Now, Pay Later options so you won’t have to pay anything until you check in.

Insider tip: If you book a free cancellation stay with Wotif, you can change or cancel your booking yourself any time using our free app. You can also easily search and book new stays while you’re on the go – perfect for road trips.

Wotif.com app


3. Sanitise those hands

There mightn’t be any reported cases of COVID-19 in the country, but hand hygiene is as important as ever, especially with the cold weather and flu season around the corner. That’s why hand sanitiser is the ultimate 2020 accessory. You’re probably carrying some already, but whack an extra mini bottle or two in your bag before you go away. No-one likes wasting precious holiday time shopping for essentials and you definitely don’t want to run short while you’re out and about exploring. At the risk of sounding like your mum, remember to regularly wash your hands with good ol’ soap and water too.

Insider tip: Remember the golden rules of hand washing and sanitising! You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice) and only use hand sanitisers that are at least 60% alcohol.

4. Get out there!

With the recent restrictions, most of us have spent a lot more time cooped up indoors than we’re used to. So how better to spend a post-lockdown holiday than by getting out and exploring the great outdoors? All over the country, awesome lakes, reserves and national parks are opening up to visitors. That means picnics, BBQs, walks, fishing, 4WD-ing and more are all back on the holiday table. It’s a great time to tick off some of your local travel bucket list too ✔️

Best of all, you don’t even have to go far if you don’t want to. Every region and town is blessed with incredible (and accessible!) natural wonders and gorgeous, chilled-out getaway destinations. Check out some of the awesome holiday spots near you – we bet you’ll be blown away.

Roy's Peak covered with snow in winter, Wanaka, New Zealand

5. Hit the road

Did someone say ‘road trip’? No? Okay, then we’ll say it: rooooooad triiiiiiip! They’re brilliant fun at any time but especially this year, when there are fewer flights available. If you don’t have your own wheels, don’t worry – you can always hire some.

One of the best things about road trips is how flexible they are. You can pretty much do whatever you want, whenever you want. Want to stop and check out that random tourist attraction? Done! Kids itching to run around for a bit? Hey, there’s a playground! Craving a mid-morning ice-cream? You’re the boss!

Lenticular cloud covering the peak of Aoraki (Mt Cook) in New Zealand, seen across the water of Lake Pukaki.

6. Embrace it

Like all of life, travel is going to be a bit different in 2020 – and that’s okay! More than okay, in fact, especially if you’re lucky enough to live in a country like New Zealand, with so many incredible destinations to explore in your own backyard. We’re talking snow-capped mountains, gorgeous lakes, unreal geothermal sites, awesome cities, charming towns, the world’s friendliest locals (why even try to be humble? 😜)… What other country can boast all that?

Sure, there might be a few bumps along the way as we all get used to the new ways of doing things. But if we keep our plans flexible and go with the flow, we’re still going to have amazing, once-in-a-lifetime holidays. And it’s the little things that will make them special. Ice-creams by the side of a lake, family sing-a-longs in the car, perfect sunrises and sunsets. The precious memories we make ourselves, even close to home and without breaking the bank.

Heads up! Due to COVID-19, government restrictions are in constant review and travel guidelines may change. We strongly recommend that all travellers seek further information about destinations and attractions before scheduling trips or making bookings, take extra care and follow all rules.
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