How to move to New Zealand: five steps

Destinations, Moving Abroad, New Zealand, New Zealand

How to move to New Zealand: five steps

4 Comments 13 June 2013

You’ve taken the plunge.

Despite all your 20-something friends getting married and having babies, plus your parents pressure to find a “real job” and settle down, you’ve decided to leave your home country for one year and move abroad on a working holiday visa.

And what a plunge it is.

New Zealand.

Land of the long white cloud. One of the most scenic and most peaceful places to live on earth. A place where there are more sheep than people and even hobbits are celebrated. For most, it’s the other side of the world. Two large islands floating out in the Pacific. Not far from Australia or Antarctica, you don’t get much more off the map than here.

That can be daunting for people planning to make a home there for the year, but it doesn’t have to be. The truth is that New Zealand is one of the friendliest nations in the world and I’ve found, one of the most accepting of foreign guests. These five steps will help those 18-30 years old move to New Zealand on a working holiday visa.

1.) Start saving

You’ll want to separate your budget into two things for New Zealand, flights and money required on arrival.

I point out flights, because no matter where you are flying from, a one-way ticket to New Zealand is not cheap. Expect to pay about $US1,500 for a one-way ticket. Add $US200 on if you are flying somewhere other than Auckland.

After putting money aside for your flight, the rest of your budget depends on what you expect to do upon arrival in the country.

New Zealand’s immigration website states that people must have a minimum of $NZ4,200 to be eligible for the US Work Holiday Scheme. I’ll be completely honest and say that they don’t verify it. I didn’t have to prove I had those funds before applying, nor at the airport upon arrival.

That said, I really recommend having at least that much. I wasn’t checked, but you might be. Plus that is a good safety net for anyone unsure of when or where they will be finding a job in their new country.

I would recommend no less than $US2,000 to feel secure from the time you arrive until the time you find a job.

People should also consider whether they will be working, soon after arrival or after traveling around a bit. New Zealand can be an expensive country to travel. It has a lot of extreme sports that you would be silly not to try, but it’ll cost you.

Milford Sound

Head to the bottom of the South Island to see Milford Sound. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

2. Apply for a working holiday visa

Just do it! I don’t know why people, and by people I mean me, put this off. Most are happily accepted and if they are not, it’s usually for a very valid reason. You’ll be asked to pay an application fee, which varies depending on where you’re from. When I did it, it was free to US citizens, at the time this post was written it cost $US140, but it can change so click here to see how much it will cost you to apply.

The process is pretty similar for all the countries eligible and it’s very straight forward. You can apply online. To do so, you must fill in all your personal information, including passport number. You must answer questions about your health and your character.

Depending on your answers, you may be asked to submit more information, such as a medical, but usually you won’t be. Just follow the process and be honest.

While on the topic of applying, NZ immigration requires visitors to have travel insurance. If you’re from a country that does not have national healthcare or something corresponding the the New Zealand healthcare system, I highly recommend getting travel insurance. It literally could be a lifesaver.

sunset mount maunganui

Another beautiful sunset in Mount Maunganui. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

3. Book a flight

I mentioned the cost of flights earlier, but there are a few more things to consider when booking a flight to New Zealand.

For starters, don’t buy a return ticket. I’ve done this twice on long term trips and both times I had to pay ridiculous fees to change my ticket. You have no idea where you will be or what you’ll be thinking at the end of your working holiday experience in New Zealand, so save yourself the money and don’t book a return flight. Plus, on a trip like this, it’s better to not have an expiration date.

Remember that with a working holiday visa people are NOT required to have a return ticket to enter New Zealand. Just keep a copy of the visa as flight attendants at the check-in counter almost always ask about this.

The easiest place to arrive is Auckland, but also look into Wellington and Christchurch. Those destinations are usually the next most affordable landing spots. Research and consider where to land seriously as flying and moving around in New Zealand is expensive.

If you are flexible about dates then do some research and find what time of year has the cheapest airfare. I would set a date early, so you have enough time to save and prepare. Some things to consider; seasons (ski season is big in Queenstown, but you’ll want to get there at the start of it), the holidays, obligations at home (housing contracts, etc.) and the amount of time it will really take for you to save up.

Queenstown Air New Zealand

I arrived in Queenstown via Auckland when I first came to New Zealand. Fly Air New Zealand if you can. They’re amazing. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

4. IRD number and bank account

Both an IRD number and bank account are needed to work in New Zealand.

Inland Revenue will supply you with your IRD number. For US citizens, this is similar to a social security number and important for tax purposes. To apply, you must fill out an application and present your passport as well as another form of ID, such as a driver’s license (it can be from overseas). All documents must be verified and photocopied.

This cannot be completed online. You must visit either a post office in New Zealand or Automobile Association Driver Licensing Agent. The post office should have applications available. The process is very quick. You should receive your IRD number within 8-10 days

Setting up a bank account is pretty similar everywhere. Be sure to bring your passport, another form of identification and proof of address.

Proof of address could be the letter your IRD number arrived in or it could just be a note written about by a staff member at your hostel stating that this is the address where you are living at the moment and signed. Don’t stress over how long you’ll be staying at that address. It’s not extremely important, especially if you are applying for an online banking account, which you should be.

Some banks charge a fee for people to hold certain bank accounts. Most places offer online banking accounts, which are free and the best option for temporary visitors only in need of an account to be paid into. I had accounts with both Kiwibank or Westpac. Neither of them charged for online accounts and I actually got a really good interest rate for my savings account with Westpac, earning $NZ12 some months.

Hobbiton

Hobbiton was one of my favorite tours in New Zealand. Photo by Bobbi Lee hitchon

5. Find a job

Backpackers or temporary workers will find the most jobs available in hospitality, agriculture, raising money, telemarketing and publicity.

I’ve actually tried all these things while working abroad and suggest hospitality for the most fun, best money and most interesting experience. That said, the jobs available to you depend on where you are located and your experience.

The best source for finding jobs online in New Zealand is Trade Me. You can also find a job just walking around town. Make sure you are prepared with a CV and other things needed. Also, make sure your CV caters to the industry you’re applying for jobs. Don’t present a resume that list your IT experience when applying for a job as a cook. I know this should make sense, but it’s lost on a lot of people.

Most of the New Zealand population are located in its major cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Besides a few holiday towns and some heavy farming areas, most of the country is quite rural. I only mention this because it makes finding a job in certain areas a bit more difficult.

It was really easy for me to find work in Wellington. I had about seven interviews after looking for only one day, but I struggled in Blenheim, which is a small town. The jobs offered there were mainly on farms, which usually require you have a car and I didn’t. I use this as an example of things to consider about where to live and work first. A lot of times, the best option may be in a city or a place where people can get around without private transportation. That way you can save up for a car and buy one if you want.

Most places will ask you to commit to six months or a season. So try and get to a place at the start of a season as more jobs will be available and you can fully commit.

I spent a few months working in the kiwifruit industry in Te Puke to get an extension on my working holiday visa. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

I spent a few months working in the kiwifruit industry in Te Puke to get an extension on my working holiday visa. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

By the end of these steps you should be working and holidaying in New Zealand. This experience is so special, because every activity in a new country, even the mundane ones like work, is different from home. It’s a new experience, which is what makes this opportunity so special.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;) – See more at: http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com/2013/06/going-back-in-time-at-the-blitz-party/#sthash.nylXurU4.dpuf

Ready to go? Apply for your working holiday visa here NOW! Not interested in New Zealand? Check out How to move to Australia: five steps.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about 😉

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;) – See more at: http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com/2013/06/going-back-in-time-at-the-blitz-party/#sthash.nylXurU4.dpuf
Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;) – See more at: http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com/2012/03/a-day-in-hobbiton/#sthash.WvPTTER6.dpuf
Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;) – See more at: http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com/2012/03/a-day-in-hobbiton/#sthash.WvPTTER6.dpuf
Wish you were here: Auckland to Bangkok

Blog, Destinations, New Zealand, Thailand, Wish you were here

Wish you were here: Auckland to Bangkok

2 Comments 27 September 2012

Dear Readers,

Hello from sunny/rainy Bangkok, Thailand! We made it here…eventually.

In the past week, we’ve touched down in three countries. God it feels good to be on the move again. After a few sad goodbyes to our friends in Mount Maunganui and lots of cider and dancing at Mount Mellick, Ric and I left our New Zealand home of seven months for Auckland.

We’ve lived in New Zealand for the past 14 months and only spent a few days in Auckland here and there, so we thought it best to spend some time touring the country’s biggest city before leaving. Though I must admit we did more eating there than touring.

An Auckland food montage: Ric at a pork bun cart near the Auckland Art Gallery (top left), Food Alley on Albert Street (middle), Teriyaki Noodles from Food Alley (bottom) and No. 1 Pancakes on the corner of Wellesley & Lorne Streets. Photos by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

I think we were really ready to get to Asia, because throughout our “last day in New Zealand” all we did was eat Asian food. It started with pork buns in the morning, continued with Korean pancakes as a midday snack and finished with Teriyaki Noodles at Food Alley on Albert Street (Thanks to Henry Lee at Fotoeins Fotopress for the suggestion). Each meal was cheap and delicious.

After catching up with one of Ric’s friends from Port Douglas over $NZ5 Heinekens at Father Ted’s, we headed to bed early to be well-rested for a full day of flying or so we thought…

We arrived at the airport the next day buzzing about the start of our five-month vacation. We checked in, ate breakfast and bought sushi for our meal-less 10-hour Jet Star flight to Singapore. We even boarded the plane. But after about 30 minutes of sitting on it and putting up with an awful screeching noise, the captain announced that the mechanical problem on the plane was a lot worse than they first anticipated and that we would have to get off for about an hour while it was being fixed. Nek Minute: “We’re sorry to announce that Flight JQ217 to Singapore has been canceled.”

I felt my stomach drop, but thought, we’re still on vacation and we’ll just get there tomorrow. Though the delay was gutting, I must say that Jet Star really looked after us. They put everyone on the canceled flight up in a nearby Holiday Inn and provided us with breakfast, lunch and dinner, completely free. Our hotel room had a king-size bed with goose-down pillows and meals were served buffet style. We were happy.

Most amazing bed at the Holiday Inn Auckland. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

The next day, it was time to try again. Everything went to plan. Jet Star even gave us complimentary meals on the plane. You usually have to pay for everything on the budget airline. After ten-hours we touched down in Singapore, where our excitement turned to exhaustion. I slept through our two-hour flight to Bangkok and still woke up exhausted.

Luckily Luke, one of Ric’s best friends from home, was waiting at the airport for us. It was great to finally meet him after chatting with him on skype for over two years. He’s been living out here with his girlfriend Felicity for the past year, teaching.

We’ll be staying with them while in the city and their apartment is absolutely amazing. Centrally located, extremely roomy, nice bed, even better views of the city and a rooftop pool. I don’t think life could get any better.

Nothing like a roof top pool in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo by Richard John Hackey

As usual, arrival excitement fueled my body through the night, as we dropped off our bags and headed out at about 10 p.m. for some drinks. After a few at a restaurant next door to their apartment, we got right into the nightlife and headed to Soi Cowboy, which is one of Bangkok’s seediest streets. I forgot how much fun it was to just sit in a bar and watch people here. Thai guys on motorbikes, decrepit 70-year-old men with gorgeous 20-something Thai girls, neon lights, food carts. You really never know what to expect at night here.

The view of Soi Cowboy on our first night. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

Luke warned us with our fourth Chang beer how bad the hangover is from it, but we kept going anyway. He was right. I think that’ll be the last Chang I’ll ever drink. It’s worth paying a few baht more to not feel as terrible as I did the following day.

Our first official day in Thailand was spent lounging, wandering about MBK, eating as much street food as humanly possible and saying, “We’re here,” every ten minutes. I even fit in a one-hour Thai massage for THB200 (about $US6). It felt like my masseuse was pushing for cracks the entire massage. Finally at the end my back completely released, clicking for about ten seconds as she bent my body back over her knees.

Release.

At night we had a few drinks at home then took our first ride on the sky train to Soi 38, where everybody ordered something different from the 12 stalls on the street. I tried egg noodle wontons with crab meat. Another amazing meal less than THB100 ($US3).

I didn’t want the day to end, but jet lag completely took over my body. It was time for bed.

As I write this, I sit next to a napping Ric and keep looking out at what is by far one of my favorite cities in the world. Still on New Zealand time, we woke up at about 6 a.m. this morning and have already spent three hours just wandering around. I don’t know if it was the condensed milk coffee or the two bottles of water I drank this morning to counter an extremely spicy breakfast, but I feel absolutely amazing.

I didn’t think it was possible, but I love this city even more. It just feels like home. No schedule or plans, I think today we might spend a few hours sunbathing and swimming on the roof, visit a drag show later and just see where the night takes us. Like I wrote before, I don’t think life could possibly get any better.

Lots of Love,

Bobbi xxx

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I lived my dreams in New Zealand

Blog, Destinations, Dispatches from Down Under, New Zealand

I lived my dreams in New Zealand

14 Comments 24 September 2012

As I write this, half my body hangs out the sliding door in my room, being warmed by the sun. It’s Spring in New Zealand and while the grass is always green in this country, you can really feel nature come alive here as the temperature rises.

Big Jet Plane by Angus and Julia Stone is playing, something I always like to listen to when I’m about to go on a big trip. Up until this moment I’ve felt nothing but excitement about visiting Thailand and Malaysia as well as my family in the States and Ric’s in England. But at this moment, it hits me, going there, means leaving here, New Zealand.

My body stiffens up and temples start go tense.

We came, we saw, we created a home and once again it’s time to leave.

I have to say it’s much harder to leave a home made in a foreign country, not because you love the people there more than those of your real homeland or because it’s better, but because you know you might be leaving forever. Ric and I have every intention of coming back, more on that in future posts, but that’s not promised, nothing ever is when your dealing with a home in a place that’s not naturally your own.

I’ve been traveling now for almost three years and have visited and lived in a lot of places, leaving and saying goodbye to people never gets easier.

New Zealand was a completely different experience for me for a lot of reasons. For one, I arrived here with my partner. We made New Zealand our home together and I think there’s a lot of sentiment with all things involving young love. We struggled together when we first arrived and looked after one another throughout our time here. We moved to Wellington together. We played in the Coromandel together. We watched the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup together. We even put on a Thanksgiving dinner here, together.

Ric and I at the top of Mount Victoria, days before saying goodbye to our first home in New Zealand, Wellington.

I treated New Zealand as more of a home than any other place I’ve ever visited. Prior to coming here I spent a year in Australia, which I can only compare to my childhood. I had no intentions, no responsibilities. I partied and played day and night. While New Zealand had a bit of that here and there, I definitely felt myself grow up here. Maybe it’s because of that, because I treated this place as more of a life than a play date, that it hurts so much to leave.

Maybe there’s just something about this place that feels right, that feels comfortable, that feels…like home. It’s in the kindness of strangers here, the welcome of new friends and the rapture of the land.

New Zealand is the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. I’ve said that a few times before and I stand by the statement completely. I expected it to be pretty, but not to be in aww of every sight.

Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful places I visited in New Zealand. Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

It’s one of the easiest places I’ve been able to settle into over the years and it’s a place that really gives its people the freedom to be creative, live how they want and do things a bit differently from others.

After winning an Oscar for The Muppets, Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords said this about his native New Zealand to the New York Times, “It’s a great place to grow up, you can do whatever you want there. Whereas I think in America, everyone is obsessed with their careers, New Zealand I think you just get to live your dreams.”

Living here for just over a year, I definitely feel that.

Maybe that’s why so many people do end up staying here. It’s definitely why I’m coming back.

So New Zealand, thanks for the sunshine, for sweeping me off my feet and making me feel at home. It’s not goodbye, but till next time.

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Kiwifruit Packing: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Destinations, Moving Abroad, New Zealand, New Zealand

Kiwifruit Packing: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

3 Comments 06 September 2012

One of my favorite things about working while traveling is that you never know what you’ll be doing for work. When you’re on a working holiday visa you work out of necessity and interest more than anything else. Out of your own necessity for money and visa requirements, but also out of an area’s necessity for workers like you.

The Bay of Plenty, where I’m currently residing in New Zealand, got its name because the land here is perfect for farming. In this area of the country you can find avocado orchards, vineyards, even orange trees, but no fruit has left a greater mark here than kiwifruit.

To sum it up, the first kiwifruit seed from China was planted in New Zealand in the early 1900s. Since then the town of Te Puke has become the kiwifruit capital of the world, exporting gold and green kiwifruit to over 70 countries, creating a billion-dollar business for New Zealand. Today, the kiwifruit industry makes up a large portion of the jobs available here from farm work to packing even to exporting, that furry little fruit has created big opportunity for people in the area, including me.

I knew nothing of anything mentioned above before arriving in the Bay of Plenty. What I knew was that I needed to work in New Zealand’s agriculture sector for at least three months to earn a three month extension on my one year working holiday visa for the country.

Looking through job listings online and in newspapers, I soon figured out just how big the kiwifruit industry is here. Like I said above, jobs acquired while traveling come out of necessity to you as well as the area you’re visiting. So in March of this year (the start of Autumn in New Zealand), I became a full-time kiwifruit grader and packer at one of the many pack-houses in the area.

I stayed in the industry for five months, working at three different pack houses. As you can imagine it wasn’t the most glamorous job I’ve had on the road, but like any job, it had its good, bad and ugly side.

The Good

Kiwifruit packhouses mainly offer seasonal work with their busiest time being in Autumn. They keep on a few contracted workers all year, but most of the contracts are not permanent, which may not be so appealing to residents looking for security in the area. But it’s a perfect fit for travelers looking for a no-strings job to save up a bit of money over a few months.

My packhouse employed about 40% foreigners, 30% retirees and another 30% New Zealand students or general workforce. This is more than ideal for travelers. Not only do you meet New Zealanders, but you also meet people from all over the world, learn about different cultures and maybe even pick up a few words in a language foreign to your own. I met people from Chile, Argentina, Germany, France, China, Taiwan, Vanuatu, Tonga and more.

The companionship can make those few months a big party or at least a good laugh, all while saving up quite a bit of money. Though kiwifruit packers only earn minimum wage ($NZD13.50), when the season is in full force, there is plenty of work to go around at least six days a week, usually ten hours a day. If all goes right, you could save up enough for a few months in SE Asia or plan an epic trip around New Zealand.

The Bad

But even the good has its bad. While the idea of having loads of work to save up loads of money is nice, the reality is harsh. Working ten hours a day means you arrive in the dark and leave in the dark, whether working a day or night shift. You’ll spend most of your day on your feet and while the work isn’t hard, standing up for that long does hurt the body. I would come home, back in knots and legs aching, to eat and go straight to bed, only to wake up the next morning still exhausted.

The body takes a beating and so does your social life. Remember all those friends you met and money you made? Well you won’t have any time to take advantage of that. Most pack houses only give one day off a week. While having a few drinks with friends would be nice, a hangover on top of a 60 hour work week is not.

The Ugly

Imagine ten hours of staring at kiwifruits on a conveyor belt or ten hours of placing a plastic sheet then a plastic egg crate into a cardboard box. No matter what job title you have at a kiwifruit packhouse, the work is repetitive and boring. I will say that the way management planned out breaks at my packhouse and the company there made the day go by a lot quicker than I thought it would. Still, you will be looking at the clock and wondering how on earth could it only have been five minutes since you last checked it.

This is all of course if you actually do have ten hours of work a day, six days a week, because the truth is, that none of that is guaranteed. Working a seasonal job in agriculture is dependent on a million variables; weather, disease other sectors, market demand.

Rain is a huge factor. If it rains, farm workers cannot pick fruit, which means no fruit is delivered to the packhouse, which means no work is available for packhouse staff. This past season the disease PSA destroyed millions of dollars worth of plants. I’m not complaining about it, especially because so many people lost their livelihood due to this disease and I just lost hours at a seasonal job, but the reality was that less fruit was available to pack, so less work was available to workers like me.

On top of being a seasonal work, you are also a casual worker, which means you owe the company very little and vice versa. Sure you are not obligated to give the job two weeks notice before leaving and there is always some other able body to take over your job if you need a day off, but all this means you are dispensable. If you miss a few days in a row, there is someone right behind you to take your job and like you don’t need to give two weeks notice, the company doesn’t need to give you that either. The first packhouse I worked for told us the season was over only four days before our last day. Another packhouse only required their staff to give 24 hours notice before their resignation.

One of the retirees I worked with has been returning to the same packhouse for three years. She doesn’t have to work, but said she does a season there to meet new people and learn about a different job.

Every job has its positives as well as its negatives. For me the biggest benefit of working at a kiwifruit packhouse was that I got to stay in New Zealand a little bit longer. Agricultural work, in all forms, is hard, but it’s extremely important. As tedious as some days were, I enjoyed meeting all the different people there as well as learning a bit more about a country I’ve come to love so much.

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The price of travel around the world-meals

Australia, Destinations, England, New Zealand, Other, Thailand, Tips & Facts, USA

The price of travel around the world-meals

5 Comments 30 August 2012

We’ve decided to finish off this series the same way a lot of people would finish off a vacation, with a meal.

Earlier this week we covered cheap eats including street foods and meals on the go. This post is dedicated to longer, sit-down, restaurants or just more upmarket meal prices while traveling. However, don’t expect the price of each country’s top restaurants. That will almost always be expensive. These meal prices are at budget-friendly restaurants.

You’ve drank your beer, stayed some place nice, mastered a country’s public transportation system and eaten a few cheap tasty treats along the way. Now it’s time to sit back and dig in. Here is the price of meals around the world brought to you by 14 featured bloggers.

Meal world price guide

Country Food Blogger
USA $10-15 Runaway Juno
Australia AUD$13-25 ($13.50-25.85) yTravel Blog
New Zealand NZD$20 ($16) BackpackingMatt
England £10-15 ($15.85-23.75) The Aussie Nomad
Spain €12 ($15) Christine in Spain
Germany €5-10 ($6.25-12.50) Travels of Adam
Turkey TRY5-8 ($2.75-4.40) Iced Chai
India INR40-200 ($0.70-3.50) Globetrotter Girls
Egypt EGP15 ($2.50) Iced Chai
Iran N/A Iced Chai
Indonesia (Bali) RP40,000 ($4.20) Sit Down Disco
Thailand THB200 ($6.75) Heels and Wheels
South Korea KRW3,400-11,300$3-10 Waegook-Tom
Colombia COP14,600-18,300($8-10) 20-Something Travel

Additional information from participating bloggers on the price of meals around the world

  • Backpacking Matt recommends visiting a pub in New Zealand for one of its budget nightly feeds.
  • Chris, the Aussie Nomad, uses a curry meal at a restaurant on London’s Brick Lane as an example of the prices given above.
  • Travels of Adam’s prices range from a good meal to an excellent meal with drink.
  • Christine in Spain’s price is for the menu del dia (lunch special which includes a starter, main course, dessert, bread and drink).
  • Lavanya at Iced Chai gave the same information for cheap eats and meals in Iran.
  • Globetrotter Girls Dani and Jess have given a wide range of meal prices in India. These price points range between more expensive restaurants in non-tourist areas to meals at tourist restaurants in beach destinations.
  • Adam at Sit Down Disco’s price is for a cafe meal with non-alcoholic drink in Bali.
  • I supplied the price above for Thailand. This price is for an average restaurant in the country, not street food, including a drink and a starter.
  • In South Korea, Waegook-Tom says it’s hard to try Korean barbecue on a budget when solo traveling. He says it’s best to round up a few people to share the cost. If this isn’t an option and you want something authentic, he recommends Korea’s “orange restaurants” named so because of their signage. He says one of the priciest meals there, donkkasseu (pork cutlet) with kimbap, should cost no more than $US6. The cheapest meal there, rabokki – ramen mixed with spicy rice cakes, costs about $US3. The higher end prices he mentions are for pizza and fried chicken at a non-chain store.
  • Stephanie at Twenty-Something Travel says her price in Colombia is for “a non-set meal at a slightly nice place”.

Note: Exchange rates were calculated on 30 August 2012 using XE and are the approximate conversion. These rates change constantly, so check the most current exchange rate before any trip.

Also, prices vary throughout a country, especially larger ones like the USA. If you do not agree with the price provided, please write about it below and we’ll adjust our chart.

Is there another country you would like to see in this post? It’s an open post, so share the price of meals in another country of the world in our comments section and we’ll add your tip to the chart.

Thanks to all our bloggers for their help!

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The price of travel around the world-cheap eats

Australia, Destinations, England, New Zealand, Other, Thailand, USA

The price of travel around the world-cheap eats

13 Comments 28 August 2012

There’s nothing quite like a colorful Pad Thai from a street vendor on Khao San Road in Bangkok or a massive slice of pizza from a no-frills joint on Carmine Street in New York City. When traveling, street food or eats from a corner shop are not only an ideal way to taste a nation, but also a cheap alternative to sit-down meals.

This week, we’ll dive straight into what is on the top of many travelers’ list of things to try in a different country; food. Our food section of The price of travel around the world comes in two installments, first is cheap eats, including street food, classic sandwiches and even proper meals that are lower in price, but not in taste. Next is budget meals, because it’s always nice to have a few good restaurant meals when on vacation.

Just like with our beer, accommodation and public transportation posts, this one includes a chart featuring the price of cheap eats in 14 countries around the world, brought to you by 14 different bloggers who have either lived or thoroughly traveled the country they provided information for. Each price is in the specific country’s currency as well as US dollars. Next to the price is an ideal of what you’ll get for that. Below that is any additional information from each blogger.

Now that you know the rules, let’s eat!

Cheap eats world price guide

Country Food Blogger
USA $1 pizza slice Runaway Juno
Australia $3 ($3.10) sushi rolls yTravel Blog
New Zealand $4 ($3.25) meat pie BackpackingMatt
England £5 ($7.90) fish and chips The Aussie Nomad
Spain €1 ($1.25) Churro wheel Christine in Spain
Germany €1.50-3 ($1.85-3.75) Döner kebab Travels of Adam
Turkey TRY5 ($2.75) kebab Iced Chai
India INR25 ($0.45) street food Globetrotter Girls
Egypt EGP5 ($0.80) falafel/shwarma Iced Chai
Iran IRR55,000 ($4.50) pizza/fast food Iced Chai
Indonesia (Bali) RP10,000 ($1) local meal Sit Down Disco
Thailand THB20 ($0.65) street food Nomadic Matt
South Korea KRW1,000 ($1) ddeokbokki Waegook-Tom
Colombia COP6,000 ($3.50) set lunch 20-Something Travel

Additional information from participating bloggers on the price of cheap eats around the world

  • Though a slice of pizza is one of the most common cheap eats in the USA, Runaway Juno adds that Falafel costs $2.
  • Caz of yTravel Blog says street food isn’t common in Australia, but sushi rolls, priced above, are. She also says takeaway shops, which sell non-chain fast food, also offer cheap eats in the form of fries, burgers, fish, sandwiches, wraps, calamari and other seafood for $AUD4-12.
  • The Aussie Nomad adds Chinese food is another common cheap eat in England.
  • While Christine in Spain says street food isn’t extremely common in Spain, people can find Churro wheels and chestnuts in the winter.
  • Globetrotter Girls Dani and Jess say you’ll never pay more than INR25 for street food in India. They add that meals like curries, Indian Thalis and Dosas cost INR25-50 at Indian food halls.
  • Lavanya at Iced Chai says the price provided above for cheap eats in Iran will feed two people.
  • Adam at Sit Down Disco says that a tea is often included in the price of a local meal in Bali.
  • Common street food in Thailand includes Pad Thai or Tom Yum Soup, which can be purchased for very little from street vendors around the country.
  • In regards to cheap eats/street food, Waegook-Tom recommends ddeokbokki (spicy rice cakes) at $US1. He adds that in the winter, street stalls set up selling hoddeok (sweet potato cakes), which cost $US1-2 for a bag of five.
  • The set lunch Stephanie of Twenty-Something Travel refers to above, includes a soup, main, fruit juice and sometimes a salad or dessert.

Note: Exchange rates were calculated on 28 August 2012 using XE and are the approximate conversion. These rates change constantly, so check the most current exchange rate before any trip.

Also, prices vary throughout a country, especially larger ones like the USA. If you do not agree with the price provided, please write about it below and we’ll adjust our chart.

Is there another country you would like to see in this post? It’s an open post, so share the price of cheap eats in another country of the world in our comments section and we’ll add your tip to the chart.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

The price of travel around the world-public transportation

Australia, Destinations, England, New Zealand, Other, Thailand, USA

The price of travel around the world-public transportation

No Comments 22 August 2012

Thus far in this series, we’ve covered beer and accommodation, next on the list: transportation.

I’ve always loved the en route part about travel. It is after all the time you spend actually traveling. However, this aspect of travel might be the most daunting for people on any budget. Whether it be by plane, train or automobile, moving about the world doesn’t come free.

Luckily, usually after a long-haul flight, local transportation only ever amounts to pocket change. Since local transportation is what defines the cost of travel in a particular country, that’s what we are going to cover in this part of The price of travel around the world.

Popular local public transit ranges from trolley to boat to cab depending on the country or city of travel, but buses are usually always available and affordable. So the prices on the chart below are for single local bus fares unless noted otherwise. Below this chart, you’ll find more on local transit in each specific country.

Local transportation world price guide

Country Price Blogger
USA $1.95-5 (subway) Runaway Juno
Australia AUD$2-4 ($2.10-4.20) yTravel Blog
New Zealand NZD$2 ($1.60) BackpackingMatt
England £1.35-2.30 ($2.15-3.65) The Aussie Nomad
Spain
€1-2 ($1.25-2.50) Christine in Spain
Germany €2.30 ($2.85) Travels of Adam
Turkey TRY2 ($1.10) Iced Chai
India INR5-20 ($0.10-$0.35) Globetrotter Girls
Egypt EGP1 ($0.15) Iced Chai
Iran IRR2,500 ($0.20) Iced Chai
Indonesia (Bali) IDR3,000 ($0.30) Sit Down Disco
Thailand THB7.50-12 ($0.25-0.40) Nomadic Matt
South Korea KRW1,250-1,950 ($1.10-1.70) Waegook-Tom
Colombia COP900 ($0.50) 20-Something Travel

Additional information from participating bloggers on the price of local transportation around the world

  • Runaway Juno gave subway fare prices, but she says local public buses are about the same.
  • Caz at yTravel Blog says for urban centers, one-way bus fares usually cost about AUD$2-4 in Australia and one-way train journeys usually cost AUD$3-10, depending on where you are going and when. “It is cheaper to travel after 9a.m. (off-peak), she adds. “On Sundays in Sydney there is a special family pass where for $2.50 per person you get unlimited rides on bus, train and ferries.”
  • While the price above for New Zealand is for a single bus fare in the city, Backpacking Matt suggests healthier and even more affordable means of getting around. “Most of New Zealand’s cities are really just big towns and the need for public transportation is almost nonexistent,” he says. “Outside of Wellington and Auckland, a 20 to 30 minute walk or cycle will get you as far as you’ll need to go.” For travel throughout the country, he says bus companies such as NakedBus offer fares as low as NZD$1.
  • Rates for England are taken from the Transport for London website and range from one-way rates with or without an oyster card. The Aussie Nomad says he has always used his oyster card and adds that it costs him £27.10 for a weekly zones 1 and 2 Oyster Travel Card, which is unlimited within those zones. He suggests that travelers purchase a Daily Card, which costs £8.40 and includes unlimited travel in zones 1 and 2 for a day.
  • Christine of Christine in Spain says people can find bus fares as cheap as €1 in smaller towns in Spain, but a one-way metro ticket in Madrid costs €1.50 and €2 in Barcelona.
  • The price Adam from Travels of Adam supplied above is for the Berlin Metro, which includes train, bus and tram. These tickets can be used for up to two hours after their purchase. He suggests visitors buy a day pass (about €6) as it’s a more affordable option for people touring the city. He also adds that travel from city to city in Germany is fairly cheap, people can sometimes find tickets for €10.
  • Other than bus journeys, Lavanya of Iced Chai says taxi rides in the city limit usually cost $US3-4 in Iran. The price she provided above for Egypt is for local bus fares in Cairo. She adds, “A taxi ride around Cairo is $US1 for every 2kms, if you can find a metered taxi that is, and a local bus ride from the center of Cairo to the Pyramids was only $US0.33 one way.” The price she’s provided above for Turkey is based on Istanbul.
  • Danni and Jess of Globetrotter Girls gave local bus fares above, but add that trains are the cheapest way to travel around India. They say a train ticket for say a one hour journey can costs as little as INR25.
  • While Adam at Sit Down Disco gives the price of public bus fares above, he doesn’t recommend taking it. “Public transport in Bali is not the best way to travel around Bali because it rarely does point to point travel between tourist destinations,” he says. Taxis or mopeds are a popular way to get around locally in Southeast Asia.
  • On his website, Nomadic Matt provides prices for bus journeys around Bangkok, which can be found above. The price difference is based on buses with or without air conditioning. He writes the Sky Tran and Metro costs THB10-40 per trip and THB100 in a taxi will get you to most points in the city.
  • Waegook-Tom says local transportation varies throughout South Korea. The prices above range from one-way bus fares in smaller towns, like Sokcho, to express bus fares in cities like Daegu. In Seoul he advises people to use the subway instead of buses as the traffic is “horrendous”. “Expect to budget about $5 per day if you’re using the extensive subway system, which is almost always quicker than the bus system,” he says.
  • While the bus fares in Colombia are quite cheap, Stephanie at Twenty-Something Travel recommends people take taxis as its not as confusing and never amounts to over $US10.

Note: Exchange rates were calculated on 21 August 2012 using XE and are the approximate conversion. These rates change constantly, so check the most current exchange rate before any trip.

Also, prices vary throughout a country, especially larger ones like the USA. If you do not agree with the price provided, please write about it below and we’ll adjust our chart.

Fares are for the base rate unless noted otherwise. Sometimes prices are higher for longer journeys with in a city, say to zone 3 in London.

I must add that this photo was taken of me in front of a tuk tuk in Cambodia. While this form of transportation is interesting, different and often affordable, travelers should beware of scams associated with this and all forms of transportation for that matter. Always ask for the metered-fares in taxis and always try to check out what others are paying on public buses.

Is there another country you would like to see in this post? It’s an open post, so share the price of transportation in another country of the world in our comments section and we’ll add your tip to the chart.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

The price of travel around the world-accommodation

Australia, Destinations, England, New Zealand, Other, Thailand, USA

The price of travel around the world-accommodation

5 Comments 21 August 2012

With the biggest necessity, beer, out of the way, let’s move onto to shelter.

Accommodation varies a lot around the world, but also in each city. In most places you visit you’ll almost always find an expensive place to rest your head. It’s the cheaper, but still nice places that are hard to find.

The good thing about accommodation is that sometimes you won’t even have to pay for it. These days organizations like WWOOF or Couchsurfing, even house sitting websites, can help travelers find a free place to crash anywhere in the world.

This option may not be for everyone though. For those who prefer their own rented space, here is the price of a good night’s rest around the world. Take note that the prices below are for an array of budget accommodation, from campgrounds to hostels to affordable hotels.

Accommodation world price guide

Country Price Blogger
USA $25-70 Runaway Juno
Australia AUD$26-110 ($27-115) yTravel Blog
New Zealand NZD$25-30 ($20-24) BackpackingMatt
England £20 ($32) The Aussie Nomad
Spain €15-40 ($19-50) Christine in Spain
Germany €10-20 ($12-25) Travels of Adam
Turkey TRY25-75 ($14-42) Iced Chai
India INR250-900 ($4.50-16) Globetrotter Girls
Egypt EGP40-100 ($6.50-16.50) Iced Chai
Iran IRR306,000 ($25) Iced Chai
Indonesia (Bali) IDR100,000 ($10.50) Sit Down Disco
Thailand THB150-800 ($5-25) Nomadic Matt
South Korea KRW11,300-90,500 ($10-80) Waegook-Tom
Colombia COP19,000-58,000 ($10.50-32) 20-Something Travel

Additional information from participating bloggers on the price of accommodation around the world:

  • Runaway Juno went into more detail about accommodation in the USA, saying campgrounds cost between $25-30, hostels; $30-35; and older motels; $55-70.
  • Caz at yTravel Blog says a bed in a hostel dorm in Australia will cost about AUD$26 and a private room, AUD$80-110.
  • Backpacking Matt’s price range is for your average hostel in New Zealand. He says, “New Zealand offers up a range of budget accommodation for the discerning traveler. Shy away from the chains of Nomads or Base and rather look for BBH member hostels for comfortable, clean and character-filled hostels. “
  • Chris, The Aussie Nomad, says hostels are by far the cheapest option in England. The price he gave is an average, so he advises people to check out prices on sites like Hostelworld and Hostelbookers for a better idea.
  • Christine from Christine in Spain offers price points for a shared hostel room, €15, and a private “hostal” room, €30-40, which is a no-frills hotel.
  • On Travels of Adam, Adam offers further advice on finding a cheap room in Germany. “Most of the big name hostels (those mentioned in the guidebooks) run about €20,” he says. “But you can find cheaper dorms in the city as well, usually around 10-12 euro.” He wrote a post about Wombats in Berlin and high recommends it out of the “big name hostels”.
  • Lavanya of Iced Chai, who provided information for Iran, Egypt and Turkey adds that the price given for Iran is for a budget room that sometimes comes with a shared bathroom and sometimes a private bathroom, and that accommodation in the other two countries varies tremendously. She says she paid anywhere from EGP40 for a private room with private bathroom, but no air con in Luxor to EGP100 for a private room with shared bathroom in Alexandria. She says in Turkey, Istanbul has its own price points, but for the rest of the country a budget private room costs between TRY25-75.
  • In India, Danni and Jess of Globetrotter Girls say, “A double room in a guesthouse usually runs between 250 and 500 Rupees, the highest price for a budget hotel room we have seen was 900 Rupees.”
  • Adam at Sit Down Disco gave the price for a private guesthouse room with cold water and a fan in Bali, but adds that visitors can find even cheaper rooms if cleanliness is not a concern.
  • On his site, Nomadic Matt notes that hostel dorms range between THB150 and 600 depending on location. He says private rooms in a guesthouse start at THB200. Budget hotel rooms cost THB400-800 per night. All these prices are based on Bangkok.
  • Waegook-Tom adds some really great information on finding accommodation in South Korea. The prices given above are based on cities like Seoul and Busan. Outside the country’s cities, hostels are almost non-existent. He says visitors can choose between a yeogwan, “love motel”, which costs $US40-80 per night for a private room, or a jimjilbang, traditional Korean bath-house, which costs $10 per night for a mat and spot on the shared floor to sleep. “These are everywhere in Korea,” he says. “When you pay, you’ll be given a special outfit to wear, and then go to your designated area (male or female). Here, you can either change into the outfit and go into the (mixed sex) sleeping area, or choose to use the sauna facilities first, which I’d recommend, as this functions as your shower in a jjimjilbang. However, you do have to be completely naked.”
  • The prices Stephanie of Twenty-Something Travel provided ranges from a shared dorm room to private room. She adds that this price goes up in more touristy areas.

Note: Exchange rates were calculated on 21 August 2012 using XE and are the approximate conversion. These rates change constantly, so check the most current exchange rate before any trip.

Also, prices vary throughout a country, especially larger ones like the USA. If you do not agree with the price provided, please write about it below and we’ll adjust our chart.

Finally, each price above is based on per night rates. When these rates apply to hostel dorms, the price is per person, per night. When a private room, guest house, hotel or motel is mentioned, the price is per room, not per person. Accommodations have different policies on how many people can stay in one room per night.

Is there another country you would like to see in this post? It’s an open post, so share the price of a room in another country of the world in our comments section and we’ll add your tip to the chart.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

The price of travel around the world-beer

Australia, Destinations, England, New Zealand, Other, Thailand, USA

The price of travel around the world-beer

20 Comments 20 August 2012

Money is one of the most important things to consider when planning a vacation. Travel may seem like a luxury or big budget activity, but it doesn’t always have to be, depending on where you go.

While it’s possible to budget travel anywhere, some countries, like Australia or England, are going to be a lot more expensive to travel than say somewhere like Thailand or India. Instead of ruling out a trip this year due to not having enough money, maybe just consider visiting a destination where you can get more for your money.

With the help of some fellow bloggers, I’ve put together listings of the price of travel around the world. This five week series on Heels and Wheels will include the price of beer, accommodation, local transportation, street food and restaurant meals at a few countries around the world. Each blogger referenced in these listings has traveled or lived in the countries they comment on for an extended period of time, so they know their stuff. The price is given in the country’s currency, as well as in US dollars.

Since no country is alike, on top of a general price point, we’ve listed further information on buying these things in a specific country below the chart.

This is the first post of this five-day series, so we’re going to get right to the important stuff…beer. Below you’ll find the price of your average beer bought at a bar for 14 countries around the world. Since beer is served differently around the world, we’ve included the term used for purchasing a beer in each country and common serving size.

Beer world price guide

Country Price Blogger
USA $1-3 330ml bottle Runaway Juno
Australia AUD$4-5 ($4.20-5.20) 375ml schooner yTravel Blog
New Zealand under NZ$6 ($4.85) 425ml handle Backpacking Matt
England £3-3.50 ($4.70-5.50) 568ml pint The Aussie Nomad
Spain €1.50 ($1.85) 177-296ml caña Christine in Spain
Germany €2.50 ($3.10) 475ml pint Travels of Adam
Turkey TRY5 ($2.75) 500ml bottle Iced Chai
India INR55 ($1) 650ml bottle Globetrotter Girls
Egypt EGP8 ($1.30) 500ml bottle Iced Chai
Iran N/A Iced Chai
Indonesia (Bali) IDR25,000 ($2.65) 750ml bottle Sit Down Disco
Thailand BHT60 ($1.90) 330ml bottle Nomadic Matt
South Korea KRW3,000 ($2.65) 330ml bottle Waegook-Tom
Colombia COP2,500 ($1.35) 500ml bottle 20-Something Travel

Additional information from participating bloggers on the price of beer around the world:

  • The prices listed for USA are for larger brewing companies such as Budweiser, but Runaway Juno also mentions a 12 oz bottle of micro brew (smaller breweries) costs $3.50-4.
  • While Caz at yTravel Blog says most pubs only sell schooners, pints go for AUD$7-8. She also added that a glass of house wine costs AUD$4-7 at bars and restaurants.
  • Backpacking Matt says New Zealand is better known for its wine, but it’s possible to find some tasty microbrews in the country. While a budget price is provided above for a beer like Speights, he says expect to pay NZD$8-10 for a pint of hand-crafted beer “brewed with love”.
  • Chris otherwise known as the Aussie Nomad says that the price of beer in England varies on the pub. While the price listed above is the average, he adds, “Cheap pubs run by Samual Smiths Brewery can get you a pint for as little as £2.40.”.
  • Christine of Christine in Spain clarifies that a caña is just a small glass of beer. She says wine is often a bit cheaper than beer.
  • Adam at Travels of Adam offers an even better deal for drinking in Germany than the average price of beer listed above. He says, “It’s legal (or at least mostly legal) to drink in public (in Germany) so most people buy a beer at the späti for as low as 60 euro cents.” He compares spätis to convenient stores and adds that a good bottled beer purchased there costs no more than €1.50 usually. Read about his night of cheap drinking in Berlin here.
  • Lavanya at Iced Chai provided all prices for Turkey, Egypt and Iran. She says, “For starts, beer is not available and all alcohol is banned in Iran so we can’t help you there. Though we were told we can get some illegally but since we didn’t try we don’t know how much they would cost.”
  • Danni and Jess of Globetrotter Girls say Kingfisher is the most common beer in India, but not easy to find everywhere. The prices above are for bottled beer purchased at special government liquor stores. It’s much harder to find beer in restaurants, but when they did it cost between 70 and 120 rupees. They added that alcohol is completely illegal in some states in India.
  • Adam at SitDownDisco says the price provided is for Bintang a beer in Indonesia, which is the local brew and “quite delicious”.
  • Waegook-Tom has provided the price of local beer purchased at a bar above, but for something even cheaper and stronger, he recommends people grab a bottle of Soju, which is a type of vodka made out of rice. “Koreans drink this straight,” he says. “And a bottle of it is more than enough to send you off into a merry mood for the night – all for the sweet, sweet price of USD$0.90.”
  • Stephanie Yoder of Twenty-Something Travel gave the price for Aguila, Costeno or Club Colombia.

Note: Exchange rates were calculated on 20 August 2012 using XE and are the approximate conversion. These rates change constantly, so check the most current exchange rate before any trip.

Also, prices vary throughout a country, especially larger ones like the USA. If you do not agree with the price provided, please write about it below and we’ll adjust our chart.

Is there another country you would like to see in this post? It’s an open post, so share the price of beer in another country of the world in our comments section and we’ll add your tip to the chart.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

Hump day photo: Franz Josef Glacier

Destinations, New Zealand, Other, Photography

Hump day photo: Franz Josef Glacier

4 Comments 16 August 2012

It’s nothing I thought I would ever see in person, let alone walk on; a massive glacier, edged between mountains, rolling onto land. It was in Franz Josef New Zealand that I toured my first glacier.

Franz Josef Glacier is the world’s steepest and fastest flowing commercially-guided glacier. Located on the West Coast of the South Island, the town of Franz Josef is completely dedicated to the glacier. We visited in January and opted for a half day ice walk up the glacier with Franz Josef Glacier Guides.

Photo by Bobbi Lee Hitchon

This photo, which was taken with my GoPro, is looking up at the glacier from close to the bottom of it.

The size of the glacier is what stunned me most. We walked up it from the ground, but people actually take a helicopter to the top of it to visit a more untouched piece of ice. When helicopters are involved to reach the top of something, it must be massive.

This was by far the most interesting tour I did in the South Island and it’s well-worth a stop on any visit to the country.

Like what you see? Follow me on Bloglovin’, Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what I’m writing about. ;)

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