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Should I buy a self drive tour?

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Should I buy a self drive tour?

I am traveling to the South Island for 8 days in December and I am trying to figure out if I should I buy a self drive tour from a company or just plan it myself?

I have priced out all the components of a tour I saw online and it looks like they are making a lot of money on me but I know there are costs I am not including (taxes, airport transfers, etc.).

I'm not constrained by a budget but I'm a big fan of saving money. Any thoughts or experiences that folks can share? Thanks.


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1. Re: Should I buy a self drive tour?

Hi Kyle,

there are no end of ideas and itineries you could cut and paste from on this forum, so i supose the question is how much time do you have to actually do a bit of research and book some stuff up, i find the research bit fun and it wets the appetite for the actual holiday,

sounds like you have already done half the job anyway if you have compared prices all you got to do is book it .

which is real easy to do

we go to nortyh island mid Dec and i have only booked the car so far and will probably prebook about 50% of accomodation to allow for flexibility.

If you are there over Christmas its prob. wise to prebook 24,25,26th though!

please pardon my spelling

whatever you do have fun


Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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2. Re: Should I buy a self drive tour?

Whilst money may not be an issue why pay someone for doing what comes naturally. There are more itineraries on the NZ forums that you could ever use. Spend a few hours going through them. Use the search engine to assist you. For piece of mind by all means book ahead for accomodation and special events, but leave your self some flexibility in case you change your mind at last moment. When planning for going from A - B allow a max of 6 hours driving time plus stops and allow a max of 80km/hr . This will allow for travel through towns and any road works one may encounter. If you drive for more than 6 hours a day you are going to feel awfully tired by trip end.

Takapuna, New...
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3. Re: Should I buy a self drive tour?

Hi Kyle

I have difficulty getting my head around the concept of a self drive tour package. To my mind, self drive gives flexibility in where you go and where you stay. You tend to lose that when it is all packaged.

I wouldn't think there would be additional costs that you haven't included when looking at prices. It is very rare for tax (GST) not to be included in quoted prices in NZ. If you were to look at wotif.com for the cost of accommodation, that is all you would pay. No additional tax. Also, tipping is not the norm in NZ, so you don't need to budget 15% extra. If you are picking up your rental car at the airport, I wouldn't think there would be any cost for airport transfers.

If you were looking at buying a self drive package in the US, there might be US tax on that, which you would not encounter if doing your own booking on line and the package wholesaler might try to con you by stating that all gratuities are included, when in fact there wouldn't be any.

Edited: 23 September 2012, 22:00
New Zealand
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for South Island
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4. Re: Should I buy a self drive tour?

Welcome to the Kiwi forum Kyle :)

No need to buy a tour - all the info you need is right here. take a look at the many itineraries posted here on the forum to see what's possible in your 8 days.

Once you have an idea of where you want to go post it here for our comments. We can later add details such as rental car, accommodation and so on.

Happy planning :)

5. Re: Should I buy a self drive tour?

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