Know Before You Go: Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Passports and Visas: It is each travelers responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure and a visa not required for tourist stay of up to 90 days.
Trip Preparation: A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you’ll need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas) are in order and that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip.
Health Information: Check with your personal physician for the latest overseas travel health information, or contact the Center for Disease Control’s travelers’ hotline at 404-332-4559, web site www.cdc.gov
Climate & Clothing: New Zealand - In New Zealand the seasons are reversed compared to the United States. Spring: September – November Summer: December – February Fall: March – May Winter: June – August
Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather coat
Shopping: Shopping in a foreign country can be a wonderful experience. We do include a few stops at recommended popular shops on every escorted tour, intended to enhance your cultural experience. As you explore the country independently, you may find fantastic, one-of-a-kind merchandise. You may get terrific bargains. However, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is
New Zealand - Stores are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some are open on Saturday and Sunday, as well. New Zealand is known for crafts such as Maori carvings and abalone shell jewelry. Many fine handmade wool products can also be found.
Currency: We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country youre visiting before you leave the U.S. It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert U.S. dollars to the local currency. Its also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most U.S. ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs dont always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash or travelers checks, exchange them at banks where the rate is more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller.
New Zealand - The New Zealand Dollar is the currency of New Zealand.
Credit Cards: While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
Gratuities: This is a matter of personal discretion. You may use the following as a guideline:
Tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional compensation. There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour escort or phone our local office. Numbers have been provided in your documents for your convenience.
New Zealand - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists
Local Emergency Phone Numbers
New Zealand General Emergency: 111
Languages: New Zealand - English is the local language.
Electricity: Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.
New Zealand - The voltage used is 220 volts.
Code of Conduct: New Zealand - Shaking hands is the standard greeting and normal courtesies should be observed. Referring to Australia as the “mainland” is considered derogatory and should be avoided. When in Maori areas, try to be sensitive to cultural concerns.