A word of advice: there is no such thing as paranoia while traveling !Crucial during travel is the possession of a passport and visa or permit to visit the country which should have at least a six month validity just to be on the safe side.
New Zealand has strict visa schemes (most recently a woman was denied a resident’s visa because the government felt her obesity would ‘put a strain on the country’s resources’) However, there are a number of countries the residents of which do not require a visa permit to travel or stay in Kiwi land for a period of three months or less as long as they have valid passports. Some of those countries are France, Brazil, Ireland, Greece, Belgium, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, and Malaysia etc.
Keeping copies of all documents ready in case the originals are misplaced or stolen is a necessary precaution. Inform a relative or friend to be ready to fax or e-mail you copies of any documents necessary in case the situation arises. Traveler’s insurance is a must and can be claimed in case any luggage is lost or stolen. As a side note there is no need to worry about snakebite kits, as the country has no snakes!
People wishing to travel the length and breadth of the country are well advised to backpack across it and stay at the simple yet affordable youth hostels of the International Youth Hostel Federation located in most areas (and can be booked via the Internet). Rent a caravan or other inexpensive vehicle to drive across if walking won’t suit you (though be warned that the cost of petrol does add up) since looking to public transport to travel everywhere will cause quick cash outflow.
There are beaureaux de change and foreign exchange kiosks in most places. Major credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted across the country so carrying cash isn’t necessary. For students the possession of an international student I card will get you discounts on entry fees at a large number of museums, theatres, movies etc.
Eating well especially if you’re on an adventure holiday or backpacking is recommended but having every meal at a restaurant is not .It will cost approximately$25-$45 a head per meal. Preparing your own food is the best option. Youth hostels generally allow guests to cook for themselves in their kitchens. Shop for necessities at small local shops, not big department stores where rates are higher. In case there isn’t a kitchen to cook your own meals in the vicinity buying snacks off roadside vendors is another good way to eat well within a budget while experiencing local flavor. The country is very clean and any such food is reasonably hygienic. Avoid expenditure on alcohol, Internet, camera film etc as it adds up substantially.
Summertime is the busiest and most expensive. It’s smarter to visit during the off seasons. The climate is cool so carrying warm clothes (but not too many) is a good idea. Remember, while traveling packing light is the golden rule especially if backpacking or any kind of walking is on the agenda. Heavy trunks and suitcases full of unnecessary accessories are not the way to go. Do not carry pair upon pair of shoes. Wear a sturdy pair and your feet (and back!) will thank you.