Trips of a Lifetime
Trip No. 5: New Zealand
How to Save
New Zealand is at its priciest in the Southern Hemisphere's summer (December through February). Book your flight for an off month such as March, May, June, October, or November, and you'll save up to 25% off high-season fares, says Warren Chang, vice president and general manager of Fly.com. For the warmest off-season weather, pick March, when the average high temperature is a balmy 74 degrees.
Getting around New Zealand typically requires a mix of flying and driving. For longer hops, it's often cheaper (and definitely faster) to fly. For example, the five-hour drive from Christchurch to Queenstown will cost you over $300 in fuel and rental car costs, while flying the same route on Air New Zealand costs as little as $77 and takes 50 minutes. Fliers should plan ahead, since flights do sometimes sell out, and "prices can fluctuate by up to 50% depending on airline capacity and frequency on any given day," says Niamh Walsh, a Travelzoo Australia producer.
For shorter trips, though, you will likely need to rent a car. Find one for less by skipping the big, international brands and renting from a local outfit like Apex, Jucy, and Omega, says David Eastes, director of car-rental comparison site VroomVroomVroom.com.