I used to travel on budget during student days, even later while working when travelling on personal basis. Kind of fun staying in hostels around NZ, Australia and some other European and American cities.
Right now in NZ, it is nostalgic to be staying from hostel to another hostel. Either youth hostel or backpacker hostel. NZ is heaven for backpackers. Abundant options with right prices and locations.
I will encourage my kids to travel the world by backpacking. Meeting new people from all over the world is refreshing and interesting. They are from all ages, well, my ensuite room neighbour is an American with some white hairs like me. On the same floor, there is a Fijian family, an Indian group, Swedish blondes and Korean students.
I met a lot of not-so-young backpackers around, senior citizens who enjoyed travelling within their means. Sometimes, it is not about budget constraint. It is about adventure.
If we have time and love meeting other strange backpackers, this option is a great way to enrich our experience and knowledge.
Booking is easy, either online or by phone. Immediate and fast. Simple. Yes, it is simple life as ordinary travellers.
There are so many web sites, not to mention brochures available. NZ of course is a tourism country where information is everywhere. Friendly people who will assist you.
One good web site is BBH World Traveler Accommodation NZ.
Another one is Nomad backpacker Blog.
Nomad Hostel in Wellington is managed by a Malaysian lady.
WHAT IS BACKPACKER ACCOMMODATION
In NZ, Backpacker Accommodation is BBH Accommodation, and it's REALLY different to backpacker accommodation anywhere else.
With over 350 independently owned and operated hostels, BBH is everywhere you're going to be. The essential ingredient of a BBH hostel is people. Different people doing similar things and similar people doing something completely different, all brought together in the informal communtity of a BBH hostel. The average size of a BBH hostel is only 36 beds, so you'll rarely be reduced to just a booking number on a computer screen. Chances are, the same person who checks you in will still be there later to help with information and probably to check you out at the end. Chances are, it will be the owner or sole helper. Chances are, you'll be recognised if you return. And more than 350 self-catering hostels are all different. Spoiled for choice, you'll KNOW you've dropped out of your comfort zone into something even better!
There's a variety of room styles:
- Single - one person per room.
- Double - two people per room in one double bed.
- Twin - two people per room in separate beds
- Share - up to 4 people per room.
- Dorm - more than 4 people per room (often in bunks).
Fees are low because hostels cater for travellers who are prepared to think and act for themselves. There is no valet parking for the Porsche, no bellhops to carry the Louis Vuitton, the Maitre d' may be out back sweeping the yard and you are expected to clean up after you've cooked. Bedding is available, but for added economy, you can bring your own sleeping bag or sleep sheet. There are no age restrictions though some hostels are unsuited to children, so check when making a reservation.
BBH hosts are usually flexible enough to let you change your mind any time before check out time (normally 10am) so you can take advantage of opportunities that arise on the spur of the moment.
It's a wonderful and unique system. Make the most of it.
Take care not to be processed as a Backpackage. Don't be pursuaded to pre-book hundreds of dollars of transport, activities or accommodation before you arrive - or when you've just flown in - jet lag isn't conducive to good decision making! It can be expensive or even impossible to get refunds if you want to change your mind. Most operators can deal with you making decisions the night before or on the day. That way - if weather causes cancellations & you need to move on or you simply get a better offer - refunds are easily arranged on the spot. Remember - your local host is the local expert. Book and pay locally.