While it can be hard to know how to start planning this type of trip, the truth is that there are few wrong turns you can take. This list is a good start in planning the perfect family holiday in New Zealand.
1. Set Your Family Budget
One of the most important steps is to set a budget to work within. Does your family love dining out or do they prefer outdoor activities? With so many adventure activities such as white-water rafting or walking on the famous glaciers, the cost can sneak up on you! Be sure to break your budget down into separate categories such as accommodation, food, and entertainment/activities.
2. Choose Accommodation Based on Needs
A family has specific needs when travelling. Choose a holiday rental that can help to meet those needs with a kitchen for stocking snacks and drinks, and laundry facilities. Your family will be able to spread out in the extra space a holiday rental provides – which is a bonus after a long day of exploring & enjoying NZ’s beauty.
3. Don’t Over-schedule
There are so many appealing & exciting things to do in New Zealand; it can be easy to try and pack too much into a single day. Remember that one goal of the trip is to spend quality family time together, so stick to one major thing to do a day while allowing for time to relax. Some activities like horse-riding or fiord trips can take a large portion of the day, so don’t tire yourselves out too much!
4. Involve Your Family
Half the fun of a holiday is the planning. While some people take the lead and plan a trip, it can be fun to involve the family. What are your kids interested in learning or doing? Do they want to bungy-jump (depending on age of course!) Or would they rather check out glowworm caves? What amenities does your family need while looking for the perfect holiday rental? By involving the whole family in planning, you can be assured that everyone is happy!
5. Take the Time to Learn Something New
Many families bond when they have the chance to learn something new. It can be easy to stick to old favourite activities like hiking or cycling, but New Zealand is full of opportunities to learn something new as a family. During your trip, sign up for one new activity, whether that’s rafting or paragliding – or even fishing.
6. Utilize Local Knowledge
Often, the best advice comes from a local. Once you’ve made a reservation for a holiday rental, ask the property’s owner for some local advice. What is the best local restaurant? The best kid-friendly beaches? Family activities everyone will love? Many owners are happy to share their inside tips to make sure you have the perfect getaway.
7. Don’t Underestimate Your Kids
Many parents fear that kids will grow bored with long drives or ferry rides, but don’t underestimate your kids. One of the best ways to stimulate their imagination is to let them free in a place with dramatic scenery. From scenic drives on the famous Milford Road to the Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry crossing between the North and the South Islands, your kids might be more entertained than you anticipate.
8. Always Have a Plan B
One of the best strategies for family travel is to be equipped with a Plan B. Wake up one day and it’s raining? Knowing about local museums or heritage sites can be a life-saver. A car journey taking longer than expected? Break out some snacks from the boot of the car. By thinking ahead and planning for obstacles, your family can go on bigger and better adventures.
Follow these tips and your holiday to New Zealand will be the most relaxing yet!
Cross Cook Strait through the Marlborough Sounds on a Bluebridge ferry and enjoy some real Kiwi hospitality. We carry passengers and vehicles between Wellington and Picton up to four times daily and offer a range of fares to suit your budget.