Tips to Find Great Places to
Stay in the Pacific
Learn more about accommodation in the following countries.
Australia and New Zealand are the main two destinations in the Pacific. Other interesting destinations include Fiji and several of the South Pacific Islands. In the two largest countries of Australia and New Zealand, hotels are generally comparable to those found in other westernized countries. There is a large presence of chain hotels, but you will also find many smaller, locally owned options as well. Australia in particular is known to have a strong backpacker scene and there are many hostels that provide a great opportunity to socialize and meet up with fellow travelers. Many people often decide to travel together to save money on transportation and food. Joining a group is a great way to enhance your trip. In New Zealand, many people enjoy camping in the national parks. It is easiest to have your own tent, but if necessary you may be able to find a tent for rent. Alternatively, some people choose to travel with an RV, or stay in cabins or lodging that may be available in some national parks. Most people who travel to Fiji or other Pacific Islands often do so for an exotic and luxurious vacation. There are some very nice, luxurious resorts on many of the islands. These resorts often sit right on the water so you begin to feel like you're really immersed in the environment. Fiji in particular is an excellent honeymoon destination with many of the resorts offering romantic getaways for couples looking to escape it all for a week or two. You can expect to pay dearly for these packages, but the experience is truly once in a lifetime. If you have the opportunity to vacation on any of these remote Pacific Islands, do not pass it up.
Suggestions and Advice
For many travelers, accommodation is the most expensive part of their trip. It's easy to spend upwards of $200 a night on a hotel, but this is not required during any trip to New Zealand or Australia. There are plenty of options available to budget travelers who are hoping to travel longer for a lower cost. If you're hoping to cut back on costs, consider traveling with companions. This can save you money on many things. If you begin your trip alone, it's actually quite easy to make friends along the way. Your first night in the country stay in a hostel that is known to have an active social scene. Many hostels have weekly barbecues where guests can get to know each other. Put yourself out there, and you'll quickly find other visitors who are heading in the same direction as you. They'll likely want to partner up as well so you can cut back on transportation and food costs also.
One of the most important things to consider when trying to save money is your exact itinerary. Some areas are more expensive than others, so you have to prioritize what is important to you. As a general rule, towns on the coast tend to be more expensive. Consider diversifying your trip so that you visit some less expensive destinations as well. Head inland to the mountains or choose some national parks that are known for their scenic beauty. You'll enjoy your trip more because you'll see a range of different things, and you'll save yourself some money. It's also nice to get off the beaten path when you're traveling in a country as popular as Australia or New Zealand.
Most travelers like flexibility when they travel, particularly backpackers who like to change their itinerary on a whim. Although flexibility is good, it is still best to have reservations in larger cities like Sydney or Auckland. You'll usually get the best rate if you make reservations at least several weeks in advance. This is true for hostels, but even more so for hotels. If you're planning to stay in a hotel in a larger city, definitely plan to make reservations in advance.
Also, like anywhere else, you'll get the best rates if you travel during the off season. Because so much of the experience in this part of the world is about being outdoors, you don't want to completely sacrifice on the time of year. Weather is very important, so find a time during the shoulder season before rates increase dramatically. This is usually the best compromise.
Plenty of Options
Accommodation in Australia and New Zealand are comparable to other developed countries. You'll find a range of facility types and price ranges. Most larger cities have the major western chain hotels, as well as independently owned options that may offer a little more character. There are also bed and breakfasts, hostels, guesthouses, and some smaller motels. Whatever your travel style and budget, you shouldn't have much trouble finding a place to stay in this area.
Because of the large number of backpackers in the area, you'll likely have no trouble finding a hostel. Many hostels in the larger cities are known for their social atmosphere and fun environment. The owners of the facilities often take great pride in keeping the mood light and fun. Many hostels are staffed by young travelers as well, so they can help you with any ideas or suggestions for your trip. Most hostels also host a weekly barbecue where guests can interact and get to know each other. If you're traveling alone, this can be a great way to make some friends.
Camping is also a popular alternative in the area, particularly if you are most interested in visiting national parks and seeing the natural beauty of the area. Once you're outside of the city you'll find plenty of different types of campgrounds. The quality and style can vary, but many have full hookups and bathrooms and showers available for guests. If you have your own tent you can really save a lot of money by camping during your trip. Carry cooking equipment with you as well, and you'll have an excellent experience for a fraction of the cost. Another option that many people choose is to rent an RV to travel around. This gives you some flexibility while you're on the road, although it's not likely to save you much money.
As a general rule throughout the region, you will get what you pay for. As when you travel anywhere, consider staying at a locally owned facility where your money may take you much farther. Bed and breakfasts can be a great way to enjoy a more rural setting without sacrificing comfort. B&Bs often serve a delicious local breakfast that is usually made with local specialties. Often times the owners of the b&b are also available to chat with guests. If you're looking for a social setting but don't want to stay in a hostel, a bed and breakfast can be a great alternative. They usually have a lot of character and are located in a pleasant setting. You'll likely need to make a reservation in advance at many of the more popular bed and breakfasts, but they are well worth planning ahead for.
Renting an RV
Many people choose to rent an RV when they visit Australia or New Zealand. This is a convenient option because it lets you travel around the country freely, without depending on public transportation. It also means you're traveling with your own bed and kitchen, so you don't have to pay for hotels or meals out at restaurants. You do have to pay for gas, however, which can be quite expensive throughout the region. There are frequent campgrounds that offer RV hookups, so you will generally not have a problem finding a place to spend the night, particularly if you're traveling through some of the more popular areas. Pick up a map of the area in advance, and if you can find one that lists the campgrounds, you'll find it very useful along the way.
Before you choose your RV you need to consider several different things. There are many different sizes of vehicles. The most popular rental size is the Class C, or Cabover model, which is between 21 and 33 feet long. The Class A vehicle has the look and feel of a bus, and measures between 28 and 36 feet long. You don't want to get a vehicle that is larger than you are comfortable driving. You also don't want to get a vehicle that will use more gas than necessary, as this can be very expensive. Most RVs sleep anywhere between two and seven people. This is a question you need to ask before you reserve a vehicle. There are usually beds for adults, and beds for children, so ask the size of each bed as well.
RVing is a popular activity in this part of the world, so you'll find plenty of resources along the way. It's really a fun way to see the countryside without having to camp in a tent. It is a more expensive alternative, so do consider this prior to making arrangements. If you can split the cost with other travelers it will really help your budget tremendously.