The last days before take-off are dominated by anticipation, but can also be a bit hectic.
Keep calm, I will start with something you do not need :):
- Vaccinations, pills or a visa. New Zealand does not have diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever or rabies, so you do not need any vaccinations or pills. If you are traveling as a Dutchie to New Zealand for a holiday less than three months, you do not need a visa in advance. If you are not from the Netherlands, you are planning to stay 3 months or longer or you are not visiting New Zealand for holiday purposes please check this website. Please do make sure your passport is still valid a month after leaving New Zealand.
Some things that are good to check before you leave:
- Is your bankcard valid in New Zealand? In the Netherlands you have to pay attention to change your bankcard settings to ‘worldwide’. We experienced that we could not pay with our bankcard in a lot of shops, with a MasterCard this is possible. If you do not have MasterCard, it is possible to withdraw cash from an ATM with your bankcard. Though, be aware that some banks charge high processing costs, which can force you to withdraw high amounts. The best bank to withdraw cash regarding processing costs is ANZ.
- Same goes for you health and travel insurance; make sure that it covers damage world wide and extreme sports (if you are planning to do so). Check if repatriation is part of your travel insurance; this means that they will deliver you to your home country when you’re dead or badly injured (God forbid). Note the policy number and the alarm centre phone number of the company in your phone.
- Leave relevant information to someone you trust; flight numbers, hotel(s) information and also a copy of your ID and information that may come in handy in case something happens to you and you are (temporary) not able to direct your own life (think of: paying your rent, opening (e-)mail, going to work).
- Download music or/and series; on most intercontinental flights entertainment is well arranged. But during your trip you will find yourself chilling in your ho(s)tel or in the middle of nowhere and if you appreciate me-time, it’s nice to have your own music/movie/series. Second, as I said in my other blog the car radio reception in New Zealand often is really bad, therefore it is recommended to bring your own music!
- A last tip for keeping that post-vacation feeling. You probably recognize this situation: you are totally relaxed, but as soon as you open your inbox and you see mail coming in like a tsunami that feeling is gone instantly. If you boss let you, try this: let people know in your out-of-office reply that their mail will not be read, who they can contact during your leave and if they need you, that they can contact you when you’re back. Back at work, you move all your unread e-mail to a separate folder and start with a clean slate. People who desperately need you will send an e-mail or call you when your back.