New Zealand is one of the safest countries to travel in – but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be a little cautious. It’s still worth taking precautions to travel safely regardless of your destination, as small things can go wrong anywhere with disastrous consequences for your holiday. In many cases, staying alert and careful is enough to keep on top of things, but New Zealand does offer a few challenges for those who are looking for a more intrepid journey in particular.
- Keep your valuables secure at all times. Even though New Zealand is a country with a low crime rate and rare instances of pick-pocketing, even simply misplacing important travel documents can completely derail your holiday. You can purchase special travel wallets that can be strapped to your chest or worn beneath your clothes, so this keeps passports, cash and visas especially safe.
- Bring a card rather than cash. Some banks have prohibitive international fees, but if it’s possible to get a low-cost travel card this is definitely the best option. Almost all shops and restaurants in New Zealand have card payment services available, and if not an ATM will usually be nearby. This means you aren’t carrying large quantities of cash with you, and if your card goes missing you can report it and cancel it right away.
- Don’t underestimate the weather. The one aspect where New Zealand can be more dangerous than other countries is the weather and environment. It can change at a moment’s notice, and if you don’t have the right clothing and equipment you may find yourself in a dangerous situation due to lack of preparation. You need to have both warm and cold weather clothes on hand all times, especially while tramping or going somewhere you’ll be out of human contact – many areas in New Zealand are quite remote, and may not have cell coverage. Metservice offers an accurate daily weather forecast, but you should still plan for any unexpected changes.
- Drive safely. New Zealand roads are well-marked and smooth, but many are winding and curvy due to the natural environment. There are different give-way rules around towns and cities, and visitors from North America and Canada will find we drive on the opposite side of the road. Brush up on local road rules and driving tips for tourists.
Travelling safely in New Zealand is mostly a matter of common sense, being aware of your surroundings and paying attention to any change in weather. Be prepared and do regular checks of all your possessions to make sure you still have everything.