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Time to plan your once-in-a lifetime trip to New Zealand, but you just can’t decide whether to go it alone or hop on one those guided tours? Well, both have their advantages, but the best option for an adventure-seeking backpacker like yourself, is to grab a Bus Pass and do it alone! Here’s why:
1. It’s Cheap!
Lets face it, as a backpacker you’re most likely on a tight budget. You’ve already spent a ton on that flight over to the land Down Under, so you don’t exactly have a massive wad of cash to spend.
Thankfully, Bus Passes don’t require you to have a massive wad of cash the way most guided tours do. They work out cheaper simply because, unlike a set guided tour, you can decide how much you want to spend and be in control of your budget.
Simply choose the number of destinations you want to explore (and can afford to) and purchase a cheap Bus Pass that will cater exactly to that. Guided tours include set destinations, accommodation and usually activities at those chosen-by-the-tour-company destinations. You can’t decide to cut a few places and lower the cost – you simply have to go where the tour takes you – but really, why should you pay to go to places you really don’t want to?
2. Flexibility and Freedom
Having the freedom and flexibility to do what you want to do is a basic right of being a backpacker – and one that should not be compromised.
Set guided tours are exactly that. Set. In stone. You want to go to a more ‘off-the-beaten track’ place your friends have been raving about? Want to avoid all the tourist traps and cliché ‘must-see’ location lists? Well tough, you can’t. Why? Because your itinerary said so, that’s why.
Flexible and freedom-loving Bus Passes, on the other hand, allow you to unleash your inner nomad and have the experience of a lifetime - thanks to an itinerary created by YOU.
There are NO fixed itineraries and most passes are all valid for 12 months, so you have the freedom to explore New Zealand your way. Go wherever you want, stay for as long as you want and do whatever you heart desires…it’s your trip, so it should really be YOUR choice!
And lets not forget - you also have the freedom to choose your own accommodation. You don’t have to worry about ending up at some fancy high-end hotel you can barely afford or worse, at some worn down hostel where an uncomfortable night of sleeping on the equivalent of a wooden log awaits you…
3. Nationwide Bus Networks
When you purchase a Bus Pass from a bus transport company, the world (or in this instance, New Zealand) is your oyster.
This is because long distance bus companies give you access to a massive nationwide bus network – which usually covers not only the popular, well-known destinations, but also many smaller towns, which guided tour companies simply don’t have access to. From the KeriKeri to Invercargill and everything in between – a Bus Pass will allow you to create your dream New Zealand itinerary.
4. Make it personal…
When it comes to travelling, everyone has different tastes. Hopping on to a guided tour that has done the same old routine for the past 10 years, providing the exact same experience for all the 30-40 other people on board the tour doesn’t really scream ‘experience of a lifetime’!
What makes backpacking so fun is being able to be as adventurous as you want! Sure, tick off some of the popular destinations New Zealand has to offer, but throw in a few days of exploring the hidden gems of New Zealand - places that are less traversed and give you the opportunity to interact more freely with the locals and really absorb and experience the culture of a place – at your own pace.
A Bus Pass will take you to your chosen destination but then it’s up to you to create your unforgettable adventure. Brave enough for a Skydive? Do it. Want an authentic Kiwi adventure? Try bungy jumping in Queenstown. Want to simply grab a good book and chill out on a golden sand beach? Choose from the hundreds of secluded beaches scattered around New Zealand…
Some might argue that a set guided tour eliminates the hassle of planning. But really, planning your trip is almost as fun as the trip itself! Researching a country isn’t rocket science - grab a guidebook, hop online or ask around, then make a list – it’s as simple as that.
5. Make friends! (With those you want to make friends with…)
Sure on a tour group you have automatically gained access to 30-40 new friends. But they aren’t exactly people you necessarily want to be friends with. They just happen to be there. Every minute, of every day for the entire tour – whether you like it or not.
When you venture off with your Bus Pass, you’ll meet different people everywhere you go. On the bus trips, at your hostels and even while you’re just chilling out at the local pub. Keep the ones you like and keep away from the ones you don’t – rest assured that you won’t be stuck with that annoying bubble-gum-balloon-popping girl for the rest of your trip.
NakedPassport.com provides a range of cheap Bus Passes and uses the well-known NakedBus.com bus network. From 3 trip passes right up to an awesome Unlimited pass, as well as passes including Ferries and accommodation – there is a perfect Bus Pass for every traveler to New Zealand.