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View from Mission Bay, Auckland, New Zealand

A great holiday does not necessarily have to be overseas. New Zealand has plenty to offer its local residents, and a holiday at home can be just as exciting as a holiday overseas. Whether this means staying at your own house or venturing to a nearby hotel, Cover-More has the complete guide for Kiwis travelling locally.

Prepare for your staycation

Set your budget

Your holiday at home is just like any other trip you have taken in the past, so prepare for it like one. Save for the holiday and set a budget Make the most of your travel allowance during your adventures through your homeland.

Transform your home

Make sure any household duties are taken care of and prepare your house as if you were leaving for an overseas destination. If you plan to stay at your house during this holiday, use some of the money you might have spent on airfare on gourmet groceries, a home cleaning and laundry service to transform your house into a hotel. This means cleaning up the kitchen and doing the laundry before the holiday—you wouldn’t spend a trip abroad doing chores.

Prep yourself

Get in the right mind set. If you keep reminding yourself that spending a few days away in a neighbouring town, or even travelling throughout New Zealand is only a holiday at home, then you might not enjoy your trip like you would if you were venturing overseas. Look forward to your holiday, and prep yourself for one—pack in advance, buy a new swimsuit, and set an out of office response on your email.

Where to stay

Reserve your hotel room

If you are planning on getting out of the house during your holiday, find a place for you and your family to stay. Book accommodations as you would if you were abroad. Your hotel should be relaxing, clean and luxurious, everything you would want from a hotel if you were staying overseas.

Try camping

Not interested in a hotel? New Zealand has some of the best coastal camping grounds in the world. Take a few days and enjoy the great outdoors at Poukaraka Flats, Whakanewha Regional Park, Waiheke Island or camp seaside at Waipatiki Beach Farm Park, Hawkes Bay. You will immediately forget you are only a few miles from home while you sleep under the stars and listen to the ocean roll in.

Book a Bach

Of course, as many Kiwis know, a bach is always an option. Baches are holiday homes that can range from humble cottages to modern mansions. Staying in a bach is a great way to have the amenities of home while you are travelling.

What to do

Be a tourist

A local holiday is your opportunity to really get to know your homeland. Pick out a destination—or a few—that you have always said you will visit or spend more time at, and actually do it. Head to Queenstown and experience the Original Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump, visit the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch, or hike in the Waitakere Ranges in Auckland. These tourist hotspots are main attractions for a reason, and just because you are a local does not mean you should not enjoy them too.

Relax on the coast

For many travellers, an enjoyable holiday means being able to relax, and the coastline of New Zealand is the perfect destination for that. Head over to Mission Bay in Auckland for a beautiful, family—friendly getaway where you can relax by the water and walk over to the cafes when lunchtime comes around. Venture to Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula for a soak in a natural springs spa. Travel to Wainui Beach in Gisborne and not only get a peaceful day on the water, but experience the reserves and protected land that surround this natural beauty.

Enjoy the cuisine

As a local, you probably have had your fair share of the authentic New Zealand cuisine. But have you been to the top restaurants in the area to try it? Search for the best spot for Fish and Chips, or look for a restaurant with the best lamb dish for you to dine on. When travelling abroad, tourists always look to try the local delicacies so a holiday at home is the perfect time to have the best of the best when it comes to dining out.

Have a first time experience

Plan for some first time experiences and rediscover your sense of adventure. While holidaying through your homeland, break out of your comfort zone. Trying something new will transform your holiday at home to an exotic endeavour. These first time experiences do not have to be huge, maybe eat something different or opt for an outing you would not regularly spend the money on.

Last Minute Rules

Set a departure time

To help make the mental switch to holiday mode, set a start and end date. Whether you start your holiday at home when you wake up one morning or after the car is packed, declare the beginning of your holiday like you would if you were heading overseas.

Switch off the world

If you are travelling your homeland, you will still be able to use your mobile phone without the hassle of purchasing a global SIM card or relying on Wi-Fi. But having your phone on you holidaying is not necessarily a blessing. Disconnect yourself from the world, whether that be from work emails or text messages from friends. Use your holiday to escape from the real world and enjoy your travels.

Abandon Routine

The best part about being on holiday is the feeling of letting go. If you are a stickler to your well-balanced diet, indulge on a Hokey Pokey Ice Cream or skip your daily morning run. Take a nap in the middle of the day on the beach, maybe even let the kids stay up way past their bedtime. Holiday does not always happen so often, so let loose and enjoy yourself.

Create travel memories

Simply because this is a holiday at home does not mean you will not want to remember it later. Capture your memories by taking photos and buying souvenirs.Send post cards to family and friend and even yourself—however, you like to create memories to remember your travels.

If you are a Kiwi travelling locally, it is still important to purchase domestic travel insurance. Domestic travel insurance will protect you no matter where you go, whether you are 20 miles from home, or caravanning across your homeland.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Jaafar Alnasser; cropped from original