Off to New Zealand…

I had a wonderful day with my cousins in San Francisco. My last meal in America was the most delicious pizza ever from Delfina. Thank you for a great day! 

Currently I am sitting in the surprisingly quiet San Francisco airport waiting two more hours for my 11 hour flight to New Zealand. I will not have a September 14th 2016 since I will land in NZ at 5:30am on September 15th. I’m so excited to time travel! Hopefully I can sleep on the plane. Wish me luck! 

All Packed:

I am finally all packed and ready to go to New Zealand! Since I will have all four seasons in NZ it was very difficult to decide what to pack. I listened to many travel podcasts about packing and read blogs such as, Her Packing List. I was very proud of myself because my bag only weighs 25lbs!

Bags: From my research I found that the best bag to bring to New Zealand for a year is a 65L backpack. I also decided to buy packing squares so I could roll my clothes into separate areas of my backpack. These will help me keep my clothes organized which is extremely important. My purple carry-on backpack will be used on hikes and travel throughout the country.

When packing for long-term travel it is important to be sure all clothes can be layered. It rains a lot in NZ and the weather can change throughout the day so I brought a raincoat, fleece jacket, scarf, sunglasses, 1 pair of jeans, 3 yoga pants, 2 shorts, a few dresses, 2 long sleeve and short sleeve shirts, 3 tank tops, 1 bathing suit, 1 rash guard top, 1 hat, bug spray, lots of sunscreen, hiking shoes, flip-flops, and the best walking shoes ever!

If I need any other clothes (especially once it is winter) I plan on possibly buying a winter jacket and anything else I’ll need in NZ.

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Where to stay…

I have been researching different places to stay in New Zealand that are free or cheap. Here are a few options:

Kiwi House Sitter: This is my favorite option so far…because it is free to have an entire house! I made a kiwi house-sitter account and I am now in the process of applying to house sit for families that go on vacation and need someone to look after their home and pets. So far I have contacted many house owners. I am booked for a stay in Kerikeri in the Northland from September-October and in Wellington for December!

WWOOFing: Stands for…World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. This is a volunteer travel website. You make a profile and then put skills that you have to offer a host family (usually on a farm) then you live and eat with the host family. You are able to see what each host family needs on their farm and apply to help them for a few days or months. The family will teach you skills and you volunteer for a few hours each day and get accommodations, a room and meals. I am very excited about this opportunity to learn new things, help farms and meet new people. So far I have a few WWOOFing experiences booked! September in Matakana Warkworth. October: Rotorua, Tirau, and Hamilton.

Airbnb: This is also a great option to stay in a house for pretty cheap. Sometimes even cheaper than a hostel. People rent out their entire homes for use and you pay to stay. I am excited to be staying in an Airbnb for a week in Auckland once I arrive to New Zealand.

Hostels: Another cheap and quick option to find a place to stay. A great way to meet people!

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How am I going to get there…

So I only decided a month or so ago that I wanted to travel. I researched many blogs and listened to hundreds of podcasts about travel. I discovered the best places to go for first time travelers…and New Zealand was at the top of the list. I was lucky to already have a passport. 

Step 1. Visa: I found that a NZ Working Holiday Visa was the easiest way to travel to New Zealand. I applied online for free and it only took two days before my visa was in my inbox!

Step 2. Flight: Fortunately enough, I have a wonderful cousin in San Francisco that allowed me to split my long 20+ hour flight up. I decided to fly from NJ to San Fran…stay the night…and fly the next night over the ocean to New Zealand. Time travel!

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