Exploring New Zealand on a Budget

We all have looked at those amazing Instagram posts of van life and the associated freedom that comes with it. Sometimes it just looks too good to be true. Otherwise, everyone would be doing this, right? This is probably the greatest illusion of our time, and we are here to prove to you that this lifestyle is not only possible but also very affordable!


First, consider all the major costs in your life, like rent, mortgage, bills, etc. Now imagine suddenly all of this gone! Better yet, you can rent out your house or flat and earn extra income while on the road. 


This is the only constant expense in your life that will always be there (unless you grow your own food on a farm, but that’s a talk for another time!). Whether you eat a box of cereal in the morning in your kitchen or in your camper – the cost is exactly the same. The latter, however, has a much better and free view! 

There are no temptations around, like getting a takeaway or going out for a cocktail after work. Life becomes simple, and every meal becomes more enjoyable. Surrounded by incredible views and great company, you will forget about that new restaurant that just opened. And this is all free! Don’t get me wrong, you can still go out and treat yourself once in a while, but making your own food on most days is definitely an affordable way to exist.


It is too easy to fill up a house with things you don’t actually need, and you don’t even realize how many things you own until the moment when you have to pack. When buying new things, I ask myself every time, ‘Would I use this in my camper?’ If there’s any doubt, that means you don’t actually need this. Space is precious in a camper and is meant to be filled only with things that will help you survive and live somewhat comfortably. Again, you can sell all your unnecessary belongings right now, and you already have a traveling budget to get you started!


Yes, going skydiving is amazing. It is also expensive. Develop a mindset where you weigh the cost of things by how many hours you’d have to work to get that or by how many meals you could buy instead. Working 20 hours or having 100 meals instead of a single-day experience? If it’s worth it – absolutely, go for it. But you’ll likely notice a change in behavior where free or cheaper experiences are as valuable as expensive activities.


Essentially, your car is your house on wheels, and you have to look after it like any other house. Sometimes things break or need repairing, that would be the case wherever, and however you choose to live. 

Before you set off traveling, learn at least the basics of car maintenance. Carry essential tools for fixing basic problems that occur on the road. If possible, find a local mechanic to learn from or find some free online courses. This is the best investment you could ever make that will save you a ton of money and headache. 

The main cost associated with life on the road will always be fuel. However, remember that you don’t actually have to always be on the road. Find a campsite and stay in one place for at least a few days. Go exploring on foot and get to know your surroundings. Those will be the best memories and is all free!


If you don’t have a reusable water bottle yet, this is your sign to get one! Let’s say you buy 2 liters of water every day for a month, and if you’re not traveling by yourself, that’s a lot of money and waste that can be avoided.  


If it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it. I know we all would love to upgrade that down jacket that already has a patch on the sleeve, but do you really need to do it yet?


If you’re really short on cash but are not ready to finish your adventure, there are always plenty of places that offer a bit of cash/ food/ accommodation in exchange for a couple of hours of work. Check out websites like WWOOF or Workaway and be inspired by the amazing projects you could be a part of. 

When you really want something, there is always a way. And we are here to help make your dreams come true!

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