Cheaper travel insurance for your holiday to New Zealand.
If you are planning your big getaway to New Zealand, you are in for a treat. It's a fascinating country, with beautiful landscapes, interesting cities and plenty to keep you busy. It's also the 'adventure capital of the world', so it's all the more important to do your research before you head off – and get your travel insurance right.
So here's a quick guide to some of the New Zealand travel basics. But first, a little about our New Zealand travel insurance:
New Zealand is a great place to travel. It's a little too far for a two week holiday, so, if you're going you might as well go to town and stay for a little longer. Our Single Trip policies – whether Economy, Standard or Superior – will give you up to 62 days cover, but if you stay for longer our Longstay policies can cover you for up to a year away.
Single trip policies have a range of benefits depending on the way you like to travel. Our Superior policy, for example, will give you up to £10m emergency medical expenses cover as well as gadget cover and all the usual benefits such as cancellation, public liability and loss of baggage, documents and money. You'll also get – as with all our policies – access to 24/7 emergency assistance wherever you are.
We can cover every member of your party as well as people up the age of 100, even if they have medical conditions. And since New Zealand is the 'adventure capital' of the world we can also cover you for over 150 sports and activities as standard, including bungee jumping. And if you want to do something that's not on the list all you have to do is let us know and we can add it to your policy. No worries. As they would say in the Antipodes.
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Your quick guide to travelling in New Zealand
English, Maori, NZ Sign Language
New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Entry requirements: A smooth start
If you're staying in New Zealand for less than six months, you won't need a visa for entry. Just make sure your passport isn't coming up for renewal. Immigration officials only accept passports that are valid for a minimum of three months after the date you leave New Zealand. You also need an onward or return travel ticket before entering the country. That can be pricey so if something forces you to cancel or curtail your holiday, you may not be able to get your money back unless you have good travel insurance. Our policies will cover you for up to £5000 of cancellation cover.
Staying safe: Vaccinations
Great news if you suffer from aichmophobia (that's a fear of needles): there are no specific vaccinations required to travel to New Zealand. But if you're planning on taking a dip in New Zealand's geothermal pools, there's a small risk of developing amoebic meningitis. Keep your head above water to minimise the danger. If you do develop symptoms (headache, fever and vomiting) between three and seven days after your swim, seek urgent medical attention. Remember, you're covered for up to £10 million worth of medical costs with our Superior NZ travel insurance.
Staying safe: DVT
New Zealand might be visually spectacular, but it's one heck of a journey from the UK. Flights from London are normally broken up with a stop in LA or Singapore. Either way, you're looking at around 24 hours of flying time. That lengthy period of inactivity brings an increased risk of developing a deep vein thrombosis – a potentially life-threatening blood clot that usually forms in one of the deep veins in the leg. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risks: take periodic strolls around the plane cabin, give your leg muscles little workouts in your seat, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, wear loose-fitting clothing and steer clear of in-flight alcohol. If you have any concerns, consult your GP.
Entry requirements: Customs
If ever there was an incentive to pack carefully, it's New Zealand's hyper-strict customs laws. Fines for carrying banned items can reach a gut-churning $100,000. You could even be sent to prison. Most foodstuffs are banned and you will need to be careful with certain types of footwear and tents (because of the dirt attached) as well as items made from animal skin. On your outward journey you will be given an arrivals card with the full details of prohibited items. If in doubt, declare your items at the airport with a Ministry of Agriculture official or put them in one of the bins available.
Healthcare: Travelling with medication?
In some countries the laws governing the importation of medication can be hard to swallow. Fortunately, customs laws in New Zealand do allow you to take prescription medication on your travels. Just make sure it's in the original packaging and bring your prescription as well as a short note from your Doctor outlining the nature of your condition and the medication required to manage it. You will also need to declare your medicines on the arrival card that's given to you on your outward journey. And don't forget, when you take out a policy with World First we can cover the cost of replacing medication if yours is lost or stolen.
Staying safe: The adventure capital of the world
If there's a way to get the pulse-racing in the great outdoors, you can safely bet that the New Zealanders have tried it. And who can blame them? They couldn't ask for a more beautiful backdrop. New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world and gave birth to bungee jumping, black water rafting and zorbing. Tempted? We're your perfect partner. We include complimentary cover for over 150 sports and activities with every policy as well as the option to add more at any time. So if you've got the bottle, we won't hold you back! But please remember to check that the company hosting your adventure is reputable and well-established.
Healthcare: Medical costs
When it comes to healthcare, things are different in New Zealand. An organisation called the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides free cover for the medical costs of all residents and visitors if they are injured through no fault of their own (this replaces the right to sue for personal injury). But that doesn't mean all medical care is free. Illness, injuries related to aging, injuries that come on gradually and injuries related to pre-existing conditions are not covered. That means if you were to suffer a major health event, such as a stroke or a heart attack, the ACC would not fund your treatment.
That's where a decent travel insurance policy comes in. Like ours. All of our policies come with cover for medical costs and 24/7 access to an emergency medical assistance helpline. We cover thousands of medical conditions too, so if you worry it'll stop you from travelling don't. We won't hold you back.
Laws and customs: To tip, or not to tip?
There's no obligation to tip in New Zealand's bars and restaurants. But if you've had a particularly delicious bite to eat then it's perfectly acceptable to leave behind some pocket change. 5-10% of the bill is the norm.
Staying safe: Don't over-expose yourself
You might be surprised to hear it, but New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. So it's important to take precautions against sun exposure. Between 10am and 4pm – when UV is at its strongest – apply a decent sunscreen. And remember to keep topping up if you're kicking back in the sun all day.
Staying safe: Changeable weather
Like the UK, the weather is a law unto itself in New Zealand. Clear skies and sunshine can quickly change to high winds and driving rain, which can cause problems if you're in a remote area. Keep an eye on local weather forecasts and if you're heading for the countryside, inform friends, relatives or the local authorities of your route.
Staying safe: Beware of the little biters!
No amount of insect repellent is too much for keeping New Zealand's pesky sandflies at bay. Slop it on liberally before hitting the coast. Repellents with a high concentration of DEET or Picaridin are proven to work. Or for something a little more natural (though perhaps less effective), try coconut oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil or citrus juice.
Hiring a car is a great way to see more of New Zealand at your own pace. And the good news is that UK driving licences are valid. But go carefully. Although road conditions are generally good in New Zealand, roads can be narrow with plenty of twists, turns and tricky ascents. Oh, and if you're travelling through a particularly beautiful spot, don't do the scenery the injustice of chancing a glance while you're behind the wheel. Pull over and have a proper look. Chances are that the moment you take your eyes off the road will be the moment you encounter one of New Zealand's great hordes of sheep standing idly in the road.
Staying safe: Don't leave valuables in your car
You'll be happy to hear that violent crime is rare in New Zealand. However, theft – especially from cars – is a growing problem. The main car parks in tourist areas are among the areas worst affected, so avoid leaving valuables in your vehicle.
Staying safe: Can you drink the tap water?
Water, water everywhere and you can drink it all! Tap water is universally safe in New Zealand.
Staying safe: Earthquakes
The same reasons that contribute to New Zealand's breathtaking beauty can make it gravely dangerous too. New Zealand is located in a seismic zone and the tectonic activity that pushed up those towering mountains and bumps in the countryside can also trigger earthquakes. Of course, earthquakes are rare events. But it's prudent to keep an eye on local media updates while you're in New Zealand and follow all advice as necessary. If you are unlucky to get caught up in the aftermath of an earthquake, your World First policy will include cover for delays and cancellations caused by natural disasters.
New Zealand: Know Before You Go
For up to the minute travel news that doesn't make the headlines, check out the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's website. Their Know Before You Go site has information on all risks to all travellers in more than 255 countries and territories around the world.
See the latest information at Know Before You Go HERE.
Follow the FCO on twitter HERE.
Of course, if you have any questions about our NZ travel insurance, please call us on 0845 90 80 161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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