In this economy, a trip to New Zealand may seem out of reach. But, if you have some extra money to spend on travel, there are several compelling reasons to consider a trip, particularly for travelers departing from the West Coast.
For one, your budget can stretch further now that the New Zealand dollar is down—the U.S. dollar currently buys about 1.7 New Zealand dollars. You can find specific price comparisons of accommodations and activities in New Zealand and those in several European countries in this article written by The New Zealand Tourism Board.
Plus, the Northern Hemisphere's spring is the off-peak fall and early winter in New Zealand, so you'll find huge savings on airfare. From the West Coast, you can find fares well under $1,000 round-trip. Qantas is currently offering a $798 fare for travel from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Auckland—one of the lowest fares I've ever seen. When comparing off-peak April flights to peak flights in February, I found savings close to $600.
|Route||Off-Peak Fare||Peak Fare|
|Boston to Christchurch||$1,312||$1,704|
|Dallas to Wellington||$1,163||$1,729|
|Las Vegas to Auckland||$950||$1,541|
|San Francisco to Auckland||$849||$1,374|
Off-peak fares are based on travel from April 22 through 25, and peak fares are based on travel from February 18 through 25. Prices were found on Travelocity and include taxes and fees.
In addition to airfare-only deals, you can find accommodations-only and vacation package deals at a different price points. NewZealand.com's Hot Deals page has a wide range of options starting at $699.
Besides the good deals you'll find, autumn in New Zealand is also a beautiful time to visit. Trees turn red and gold, and the vineyards harvest during fall. Temperatures remain mild, allowing for endless outdoor activities in the Adventure Capital in the World.
What's your favorite off-peak destination? Share your ideas with other readers by using the comments fields below.
(Editor's Note: SmarterTravel is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc. Expedia, Inc. also owns Expedia.com.)