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About Explore New Zealand with National Geographic Journeys

Explore the stunning country of New Zealand with adventurous singles!  We’ll travel by plane, train, boat and even gondola as we sample local wine, walk through an ancient rainforest, and learn about local legends and cuisine from the Maori.

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$4559

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Only 12 members will have the opportunity to embark, with STI, on an unforgettable journey through New Zealand. We will spend 12 days exploring the North and South Islands of this small country packed with wonders. While traveling by train, gondola, boat, and plane, we will sample local wine, walk through an ancient rainforest, and learn about local legends and cuisine from the Maori. Our adventure is packed with National Geographic Exclusive Excursions such as visits to Waieke Island Wineries, Meeting a Maori Elder and a resourceful Ōtautahi Walking Tour with a Local Expert. There is so much beauty to see and adventures to be had, with like-minded singles and this is an opportunity to knock a big one off that bucket list! Take a deep breath to fill your lungs with the impossibly clean air here — and fill your soul with the legendary Kiwi spirit!

Why choose Singles Travel International?

INCLUSIVE FEATURES OF OUR TOUR:

  • 11 Nights Accommodations in 4 Cities: 2 Nights in Auckland, New Zealand at CityLife Auckland Hotel; 2 Nights in Rotorua, New Zealand at Millennium Hotel Rotorua; 1 Night in Christchurch, New Zealand at Chateau on the Park Hotel; 2 Nights in Franz Josef, New Zealand; 3 Nights in Queenstown at Peppers Beacon Hotel and 1 Night on a Doubtful Sound Cruise. *
  • 11 Breakfasts (B) and 2 Dinners (D); This will provide opportunity to join new friends and plan out your days!
  • Overnight on a Houseboat for a Doubtful Sound Cruise
  • One way Flight from Rotorua to Christchurch
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusive Tours:
    • Waiheke Island Wineries
    • Meet a Maori Elder
    • Resourceful Ōtautahi Walking Tour with Local Expert
  • Optional Tours and Excursions in every City; including Maritime Museum Visit, Whakarewarewa Geothermal Village Visit, Hot Springs, Whitewater Rafting, Mountain Biking, Hells Gate Geothermal Park, Franz Josef Quad Bike, Helicopter Hike, Franz Josef Kayaking, Ice Explorer Guided Hike (Heli Transfer), Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Vineyard Tour, Scenic Horse Riding Tour, Earnslaw Steamship Cruise, Bungee Jumping, Skydiving, Shotover Jet Boating, Paragliding, Ziptrek, Canyon Swing and Shotover Canyon Swing/Shotover Canyon Fox!
  • Intimate Group allows us to get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, & get to know the locals.
  • Custom and Carefully Designed Vacation Elements so You Don’t Have to Plan, Just Show Up!
  • Services of a Professional, English Speaking Tour Leader throughout our Trip
  • Complimentary Roommate Matching Via our State-of-the-Art Member Profile Feature
  • View Member Profiles and Meet Fellow Travelers Online Before You Go.
  • Private and Secure Chat Reserved Exclusively for Members on Your Vacation – Topics Include Optional Tours, What to Pack, Who’s Coming Early etc., to Assist Members in Coordinating Activities in Advance. Create your own Topic and have fun!
  • Exclusively Singles Only Events and the Company of Other Like Minded Members with a Passion for Travel
  • Hotel Taxes & Service Charges

*Please Note – Due to the style and exclusive nature of our accomodations, ALL rooms will be shared in Franz Josef and for the Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise (Nights 6, 7 and 9).

Inclusive features and hotels are subject to revision at the discretion of STI. Ages listed are not meant as a restriction, but are simply used as a guideline. Singles Travel International does not guarantee the number of guests, ages or ratios.

STI has partnered with a local company and our program includes a Tour Manager, familiar with our itinerary, and will be with our members to help us get orientated in each city. With only a select number of spots available, this will be a small group and STI will not include a concierge.

Itinerary

Sat, May 9:  Auckland, New Zealand – Optional Pre Tour Hotel Package Arrivals
Sun, May 10:  Auckland, New Zealand – Arrival and Welcome Meeting
Mon, May 11:  Auckland, New Zealand – National Geographic Journeys Exclusive Waiheke Island Wineries
Tue, May 12:  Rotorua, New Zealand
Wed, May 13:  Rotorua, New Zealand – National Geographic Journeys Exclusive Meet a Maori Elder
Thu, May 14:  Christchurch, New Zealand – National Geographic Journeys Exclusive Resourceful Ōtautahi Walking Tour with Local Expert
Fri, May 15:  Franz Josef, New Zealand
Sat, May 16:  Franz Josef, New Zealand
Sun, May 17:  Queenstown, New Zealand
Mon, May 18:  Fiordland National Park
Tue, May 19:  Queenstown, New Zealand
Wed, May 20:  Queenstown, New Zealand
Thu, May 21:  Queenstown, New Zealand – Main Tour Package Ends
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Tour Begins: Sunday, May 10, 2020
Tour Ends: Thursday, May 21, 2020

Day 1- Sunday, May 10, 2020 

Arrive at any time and make way to the hotel. Please note that normal check-in times apply but we can usually store our luggage for the day, at the hotel, for those of us who arrive early. Auckland is a fantastic city with so much to see and do so start exploring before we meet up for our welcome meeting, this evening.

After introductions, our tour manager will review the details of our tour and the rest of the evening is ours to grab dinner with new friends.

Overnight at CityLife Auckland.

Day 2- Monday, May 11, 2020 (B)

Enjoy a morning orientation walk before we catch a ferry to picturesque Waiheke Island. Here, we will get the chance to visit two local wineries and learn more about New Zealand’s burgeoning wine industry in it’s founding region. Tour a boutique vineyard and learn about the history of wine production, from our host. Learn the process of making Syrahs, merlots and chardonnays while sampling some of the local blends, of course. We will also enjoy a taste of the vineyard’s estate-grown olive and avocado oils!

When we return to Auckland, take a brisk walk with our tour manager, who will inform us of how we can get around to supermarkets, main squares and ATMs before our scenic ferry ride this evening.

Overnight at CityLife Auckland.

Day 3- Tuesday, May 12, 2020 (B)

This morning, after breakfast at our hotel, we will check out and drive to Rotorua, stopping for an excursion at Waitomo Caves. Here, snap photos on our boat ride through the cave and see thousands of flickering glowworms lighting up the walls. These glowworms are unique to New Zealand. Witness hundreds of thousands of them as they radiate luminescent light in the underground caves. This unique excursion packs in more than 120 years of culture and natural history.

Rotorua sits over an active geothermal zone with bubbling mud pits and multi-coloured pools in different areas around the town. Discover the fascinating Maori history and culture, which is tied directly to the geothermal aspects of the land.

Spend our evening, at leisure, with new friends from the group. There are plenty of places to eat and things to see!

Overnight at Millennium Rotorua.

Day 4- Wednesday, May 13, 2020 (B, D)

Enjoy a free day in Rotorua to visit the many geothermal sites. Opt to visit one with a guide, or go whitewater rafting.

This evening visit Tamaki Maori Village and receive the traditional Powhiri welcome ceremony. Sit in on an exclusive talk from a “Kaumātua” (an elder in Māori society). We will learn about the community’s traditions, myths and legends, including the Sky Father and Earth Mother. Hear about the fascinating history of the Maori people and their deep connection to Rotorua landscape and geothermal sites.

After, watch an extravagant performance about local myths and legends while dining on traditional Hangi cuisine. The Hangi meal is very similar to am Hawaiian Luau, with dishes cooked in the ground. Savour the taste of chicken, sweet potatoes, port and pudding wrapped in cabbage or banana leaves and steamed underground with the heat from lava rocks and wood. Yum!

Overnight at Millennium Rotorua.

Day 5- Thursday, May 14, 2020 (B)

Enjoy free time this morning in Rotorua before catching a flight to Christchurch. Opt to relax in one of the hot pools, fed by water coming directly from the natural springs.

Once we arrive in Christchurch, meet with a local expert and explore lesser-known paths on a walking tour of the city. This tour, specially designed for National Geographic travellers, provides a unique perspective and insight about Rekindle — a social enterprise where resourcefulness skills are shared among members to build self-confidence and create art out of under-valued materials. Learn about the history of the program, its plans for the future and how it’s helping to transform the community of Christchurch after the devastating earthquake in 2011.

Overnight at Chateau on the Park Hotel.

Day 6- Friday, May 15, 2020 (B)

After breakfast at our hotel, we will embark on one of the world’s great scenic train trips on the TranzAlpine train, crossing the scenic Southern Alps to New Zealand’s glacier region. When we jump off the train, finish the journey over the highest pass in the Southern Alps in a private vehicle before transferring to a beautiful rainforest lodge, our home for two nights.

The night is ours to enjoy at leisure.

*Please Note – ALL rooms will be shared

Day 7- Saturday, May 16, 2020 (B)

This morning, we will have breakfast at our lodge before enjoying a free day in Franz Josef! Today will be perfect for those who love hiking, as Franz Josef is a hiker’s haven! See majestic mountains, glaciers, rivers, and amazing views, don’t forget your camera! There are many different tracks, from leisurely to strenuous, be mindful of the signs! There are also plenty of local hot pools for those who prefer a relaxing dip.

We will also have optional activities to choose from such as a Guided Glacier Valley Walk, Horseback Riding among the mountains and rainforests, an Ice Explorer Guided Hike, Kayaking and Quad Biking.

*Please Note – ALL rooms will be shared

Day 8- Sunday, May 17, 2020 (B)

We will fuel up with breakfast at the hotel, this morning, before our early start towards the picturesque Lake Matheson. Sit back and relax for our scenic drive through the rugged rainforest along the west coast of Queenstown. Follow the West Coast Road, through the rainforest before stopping for a few short walks and waterfall visits. If the weather is working in our favor, we will get stunning pictures of the Southern Alps reflected in the lake.

When we arrive at our hotel, the night is ours to start exploring on our own. See our Tour manager for any suggestions and tips about the area!

Overnight at Peppers Beacon Hotel.

Day 9- Monday, May 18, 2020 (B, D)

Today, we will sit back and relax through the scenic route around Lake Wakatipu to the town of Manapouri. Here, we travel by boat and bus to arrive at an eco cruise boat. Spend the afternoon cruising through Milford or Doubtful Sound, two of the most untouched, remote places in the world. Marvel at the steep cliff walls and cascading waterfalls. Our cruise offers us excellent chances for wildlife viewing in the area, such as dolphins, penguins, seals and a variety of birds. In the evening, we head to Te Anau and take in a screening of the award winning ‘Ata Whenua – Shadowland‘ Fjordland, a Film documentary at the local cinema, before sharing a group dinner.

*Please Note – ALL rooms will be shared

Day 10- Tuesday, May 19, 2020 (B)

Enjoy early morning wildlife viewing along the fiord as we cruise back to port and return to Queenstown.

The evening is ours to explore at our leisure.

Overnight at Peppers Beacon Hotel.

Day 11- Wednesday, May 20, 2020 (B)

After breakfast, head out for a free day to explore on our own. There’s plenty to see and do in Queenstown, and we wanted to make sure that we had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax, visit a winery, or cruise on a historic steamship. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Opt to go bungee jumping, jet boating, skydiving, paragliding, or mountain biking. Our tour manager is here to assist us with ideas if we need them, just ask!

This evening, take an ungorgetable ride up to the top of the mountain by cable car gondola. Get a spectacular 220º view of Coronet Peak, the Remarkables mountain range, and Lake Wakatipu below. Another perfect photo opportunity!

Overnight at Peppers Beacon Hotel.

Day 12- Thursday, May 21, 2020 (B)

After breakfast, depart at any time and transfer to the airport for flights home.

*Note: Itinerary and hotels are subject to change at the discretion of our local operators without compensation. Singles Travel International is not responsible for the consequences of any changes.


The following Optional excursions will be available to add on in each location, with the tour leader:

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Auckland
– Maritime Museum Visit (20NZD per person)

Rotorua
– Hobbiton Tour (112NZD per person)
– Whakarewarewa Geothermal Village Visit (35-60NZD per person)
– Whitewater Rafting (89NZD per person)
– Mountain Biking (35-130NZD per person)
– Hot Springs (30-50NZD per person)
– Hells Gate Geothermal Park (35-90NZD per person)

Franz Josef
– Franz Josef Quad Bike (65-160NZD per person)
– Helicopter Hike (459-539NZD per person)
– Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk (79NZD per person)
– Hiking (Free)
– Horseback Riding (65-150NZD per person)
– Franz Josef Kayaking (99-129NZD per person)
– Ice Explorer Guided Hike (Heli Transfer) (379-409NZD per person)

Queenstown
– Vineyard Tour (254NZD per person)
– Bungee Jumping (175-510NZD per person)
– Skydiving (299-439NZD per person)
– Shotover Jet Boating (149NZD per person)
– Paragliding (210NZD per person)
– Canyon Swing (205NZD per person)
– Earnslaw Steamship Cruise (55-95NZD per person)
– Ziptrek (120-170NZD per person)
– Scenic Horse Riding Tour (165-325NZD per person)
– Shotover Canyon Swing/Shotover Canyon Fox (169-299NZD per person)

Optional tours and excursions are not included in the package and would be at an additional cost. Please see our Tour manager for more details or to sign up for any of the optional activities.

FAQs

Once you make your online reservation, an STI reservation specialist will contact you to review and recommend additional services. Depend on them for assistance with airfare, proper protection, pre and post tour services. Once that step is complete, you will receive a final invoice from us confirming your reservation details.

Congratulations on making a reservation with Singles Travel International for your next vacation!

WHAT NEXT?
Complete your profile and post a message on the chat to say hello to your fellow travelers.

REVIEW the important information on the FAQ tab for this trip .

What’s Next?
Your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group will be available on the YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS button on the left navigation bar on the trip site, 21 days prior to trip start date.

SOCIALIZE
Say hello to your fellow travelers on the chat!

DON’T MISS OUT 
Get the best deals on optional “Add-ons”. Review the Trip Options and make all reservations so you don’t miss out on any limited or time-sensitive offers.

PASSPORT MANDATORY
A passport is required for US citizens and be sure to confirm that your passport is current and will be valid at least six months after your departure. If you do not have one or need a new one, contact the State Department Passport Office in your area immediately or visit their website.

Non US Citizens are responsible for verifying their own required documentation for this tour.

UPLOAD a COLOR copy of your passport to us within 7 days of your reservation (within 24 hours if reserved after January 10, 2020). Note that a passport is mandatory and must be valid for 6 months form your return date.

Click here to upload to our secure folder.

INSURANCE:

Travel Insurance is MANDATORY for this trip and you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted. In addition to direct access immediately upon completing your purchase, you will receive a quote from Travel Guard regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation.

When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD 200,000 is required. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

If you have any questions, Travel Guard professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us, if you have not received your quote within 3 days, or CLICK HERE to go directly to Travel Guard and request a policy quote. It only takes a few minutes.

Questions and comments after you have reserved your vacation are addressed promptly when you send a message to us at service@singlestravelintl.com.

Of course not. You will be pleased to find out that nearly 90% of our guests on every trip sign up and have never met anyone before joining the group. In 25 years, we have perfected the singles vacation experience. It is paramount that our guests meet each other right away and have opportunities to mingle every day. From the moment you join our tour, our STI Concierge is waiting to meet you. Our first day begins with an orientation and the camaraderie builds as we go along. The nature of the trip is trying something new, challenging yourself and motivating those around you. The bonds that develop on our tours are by far the strongest and longest lasting.

Absolutely. Our site is so popular that we guarantee to find a roommate for you or the single room is on us! In order to take advantage of our offer, you must be paid in full by January 10, 2020. Book today as we are limited to only a few single reservations, based on a first come, first serve basis.

Roommate matches are based on the same sex, general age range and smoking preference whenever possible, but not guaranteed. STI reserves the right to make any match up until day of departure, including roommate changes once on tour for members who select the Share & Save option.

We highly recommend that our guests contact their roommates in advance. Booked members have access to our private online chat. Meet your roommate as well as the other members on your vacation. Singles Travel International makes every effort to accommodate requests, but does not guarantee the satisfaction or success of a roommate match. It’s the responsibility of the guest to contact his/her roommate and ask the appropriate questions.

Optional pre and post cruise/tour stays are not eligible for the guarantee. Chances are excellent that we’ll find you a match, but if no match found by 30 days prior to departure, member pays the single supplement.

Read more about Roommate Matching on our Frequently Asked Questions found at the Help Center.

The tour begins in Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) on May 10, 2020, and ends on the morning of May 21, 2020, in Queenstown, New Zealand (ZQN) . Therefore the tour is 11 nights/12 days. Note: Flights from North America must depart on May 8, 2020 in order to arrive in Auckland on May 10. The time change and crossing the International Dateline make the journey 2 days. Your return flight from Queenstown Airport arrives in North America on the same day, so the actual length of the trip is 12 nights/13 days (first night on the airplane.

We have reserved centrally located, basic, tourist class hotels in every location. Please view the sites for each by clicking the links on the itinerary section before you book.

The weather changes from year to year but nevertheless, prepare for all conditions. The temps this time of the year will be pleasant for touring, reaching high 50s to mid 60s and sunny. Evenings can be a bit cooler, around low 50s. Rain is possible, although not likely, but pack accordingly.

Check out www.wunderground.com for up to date predictions as well as historical data for our destination.

 

A deposit is due at time of reservation. Refer to the Price and Options tab for the amount. Final payment is due in our office by January 10, 2020. A reminder will be emailed to you 14 days prior to due date and you may choose to pay your remaining balance, via PayPal, or contact our accounting department at 877-765-6874 option 4, with your payment details, to secure your reservation. If you make a reservation after January 10, 2020 full payment will be automatically charged at time of reservation and penalties will apply. Note that on occasion, charges are processed after the final due date, so there is no need to be concerned if you do not see the charges on that day.

 

Yes. All cancellations must be made in writing to Singles Travel International and are subject to per person penalties as follows:

After deposit and at anytime of cancellation, a minimum charge of $200.00 plus credit card charges will apply in addition to other penalties listed below.

Between January 10 and February 10, 2020 – $500 penalty applies.

February 11 and March 10, 2020 – 50% Penalty applies

After March 11, 2020 – 100% penalty applies.

Note that if you elect to take a roommate and he/she cancels after our cut off date, we will do everything to find a new match. However, if no match is found, the difference in cost for a single cabin/room is the responsibility of the guest who cancels. No refund will be given to the guest who cancels, regardless of cruise or tour company policy as stated above. Singles Travel International is not responsible for costs related to cancellations after our cut off date.

For all air-inclusive packages cancelled after airline tickets have been issued, tickets are non-refundable and often times unusable.

Make sure you are at the Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 10, 2020. The trip leader will be on site to meet and greet all of our members, for our Welcome Meeting.

Singles Travel International is a vacation event company that plans singles events and markets our events at our expense to create a “singles only” experience. We do not allow guests to join the group unless the reservation has been made by STI. Our policy is firm for tours and cruises, as well as pre and post trip hotel stays. Members and friends that “show up” will not be allowed to participate.

A passport is required for cruise travel to New Zealand. Be sure to confirm that your passport is current and will be valid at least six months after your departure. If you do not have one or need a new one, contact the State Department Passport Office in your area immediately or visit their website.

Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.

Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)

From 1 October 2019, passport holders from 60 visa waiver countries travelling by air or cruise and entering New Zealand without a visa (tourists) will need to hold an ETA before travelling to New Zealand. You will be able to apply for an ETA from July 2019.

For more information and full list of eligible countries please Click Here.

Non US citizens are responsible for contacting all countries on our itinerary to secure appropriate documentation in advance.

In order to accommodate singles from all over the world, our tours and cruises are priced as land/cruise only. Therefore, airfare is additional. Singles Travel International is a licensed ticketing agency and oftentimes has low negotiated fares.

In order to be ready to begin the tour in Auckland (AKL) on Sunday, May 10, we recommend that you arrive before 4 p.m. If traveling from the US, you will need to depart on May 8. Transportation is not included on arrival.

Schedule your return flight from Queenstown (ZQN) to depart after 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 21. Transfer to the airport is on your own.

Please contact your preferred carrier directly to make your reservation. If Singles Travel International issues a promotional economy fare, granting of frequent flyer credit is entirely at the airline’s discretion. If the flights are eligible, to ensure you earn frequent flyer credit from the airline, give your frequent flyer account number when you check in for your flights. In addition, save your boarding passes and the passenger receipt from your airline ticket. You may need to submit these to the airline (not to Singles Travel International) to claim any credit allowed.

There are three main ways for visitors to get from The Auckland Airport to the centre of town.

The public bus (Skybus) will drop you off at the transit centre (stop 7018) on Customs St East (opposite Fort Lane) and takes approximately 1 hour. Tickets are $18 and can be bought in the airport or for cash on the bus. From there, the hotel is a short taxi ride away or a short 10-15min walk to the hotel.

Super Shuttle is the main minivan service – you can book tickets online or pay the driver direct – the cost will vary between $30 and $80 depending on the group size – you will be dropped at the door of the hotel.

Taxis operate from right outside the door – the cost will be about $75 to be dropped right outside of your hotel.

A taxi, in Queenstown, to the airport, will cost around $25-$35.

For lots of great information about the cities we’ll be visiting in the beginning and end of our tour, visit the links below.

Auckland, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

 

Our tour does not include airfare, 9 dinners, 11 lunches, transfers, optional excursions and extra hotel nights before or after the tour. You are responsible for alcoholic beverages (except when included in STI events), incidentals such as laundry and phone calls, plus gratuities to guides.

It has been our experience over 25 years that the best possible quality of service is achieved when our Concierge Team is compensated by tips from our delighted members. This is their best incentive to make your vacation an exceptional experience. You will have an opportunity to reward your Concierge at the end of your tour. It is customary to tip, but of course, gratuities are at your discretion and are greatly appreciated for a job well done!

Our “Baby Boomer” vacations cater to singles in their 50s and 60s but you will often meet singles ranging anywhere from 45-75. We generally have a ratio of 60/40, women to men. As a travel club, matchmaking is not our focus. Ages listed on our page are not restricted. They are simply used as a guideline. We offer an opportunity for single travelers to see the world in the company of other singles and do not guarantee ratios or ages.

We recommend that you meet the members of the STI Community online where you may view and interact with members via “Who’s Going” on every trip page. This is the best way to find out exactly who will be on your vacation.

The max luggage allowance on domestic flights within New Zealand is 1 checked bag (20 kgs) and 1 carry on (7 kgs) per person.

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible.

Please check with your air carrier for up-to-the minute regulations and fees for checked baggage.

Unique Journey Transportation

The local operator uses mini-coaches. Occasionally with smaller group sizes they will use smaller, equally comfortable 13-seater vehicles. All mini-coaches tow a trailer for luggage and camping equipment (when needed). All groups have one tour leader/Driver.

The vehicles are factory built with comfortable seats and air-conditioning. It is mandatory to wear a seatbelt while riding in any of the vehicles.

Please note that you MUST be comfortable carrying your own luggage. Between public transport and hotels you may be required to carry your luggage short distances (up to 15 mins walk), in larger cities you may travel by metro or city bus, and occasionally the group will take taxis to and from hotels.

Packing List

We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. You must be prepared to carry your luggage up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels (max 15-20 mins.)

As always, for traveling, we recommend that you pack layers with 3 main colors and accessories. Start with pants and shorts and a few t-shirts, add a light sweater or sweat shirt and then a water/wind proof jacket with a hood, just in case. Comfortable walking shoes are a must with extra socks in case you get wet.

 

The tours may last anywhere in length from 1 to 3 hours of intermittent walking and standing. Although these tours aren’t strenuous, a certain amount of stamina and health are required in order to be able to walk slowly and stand for extended periods of time. At any time, you can opt out of an excursion! After all, this is your vacation. Keep in mind that part of the charm of New Zealand, in general, is the terrain—towns are literally perched upon the sides of hills—therefore, in most locations, there will be uneven surfaces and hills to ascend and descend.

Packing Tips: Take only what you need; don’t over pack. Save room for souvenirs and purchases. Pack flat and full to avoid wrinkling. Bring wardrobe basics; mix and match 1-3 colors. Don’t pack anything valuable, fragile or perishable. Label your luggage with an outside tag, and place an identification card inside each suitcase. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. Our tour is moderately active with a lot of walking.

Essential Items: We highly recommend that you bring the following items.

– A smile and an open minded attitude
– Notepad, reading material and a travel journal to write all about your experience.
– Bathing suit, we have our own indoor pool!
– Sunglasses, sun block, sun hat or visor
– A good, comfortable pair of broken-in walking shoes
– A pair of shoes for restaurants (loafers, sandals, etc.)
– Ladies will want to bring a nicer warm wrap and gentlemen a nicer jacket, for evening wear.
– Water Resistant Jacket with light lining and/or collapsible umbrella, just in case
– Toiletries: all your daily essentials
– Prescription medications: sufficient supply for the entire trip plus legible written prescription in case of loss. Keep medications in their original, labeled container. Always pack your medications in your carry-on bag!
– Eyeglasses, contacts, contact lens solution. You may want to bring along a written prescription for your eyewear in case of loss.
– Over the counter medications: cold remedy, aspirin/pain reliever, antacid/stomach upset remedy, Band-Aids, money or other anti-bacterial medication.
– Travel alarm clock with illuminated face
– Small, Swiss Army type utility knife. Remember to pack this in your checked luggage!
– Home address book (smart phone with contacts) for sending postcards to all your friends who said they’d go but didn’t! A useful tip is to pre-write or print names and addresses of people to whom you want to send postcards on sheets of self-adhesive labels. It saves time and space in your luggage.
– Photography Equipment: Bring a sufficient supply of film, cards, extra batteries and/or chargers.
– A European adapter and converter for your electrical gadgets.

The currency used in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar.

Exchange Rates: The exchange rate fluctuates often. You may find the current exchange rates in the financial sections of newspapers and on the Internet. You may also find a number of websites by typing “foreign exchange rates” in your search engine. Two specific websites are: xe.com and money.cnn.com/markets/currencies.

Currency Exchange: Many locations will accept major credit cards, but for incidentals and small vendors you will need some local currency. ATM machines will dispense local currency for internationally accepted ATM cards and/or credit cards. They are usually conveniently located in large cities, but are limited in smaller towns and rural areas.

You may exchange cash and traveler’s checks for local currencies at hotels, banks and exchange bureaus. Banks offer the best rates, but beware, hours may be limited.

You may also purchase from your local bank in advance or get a small amount on arrival at the airport. There is always an exchange at airports.

We recommend that you bring a combination of $3-500 USD depending on your spending habits for meals and shopping, as well as a debit card for withdrawals and a major credit card, preferably VI or MC.

Credit Cards: Your credit card will be accepted to settle your incidentals bill at all hotels and in major shops and restaurants.

No inoculations are required for travel to New Zealand. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends updating all routine booster shots for travel almost anywhere. In addition, we suggest that you have a physical check-up before your trip, and discuss the type of trip in which you are participating with your physician.

You and your physician may access much more, very detailed health information for travelers (including tips on staying healthy while traveling) on the CDC website, cdc.gov. Click the “Traveler’s Health” link or call toll-free 24-hours at 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).

Travel Insurance is MANDATORY for this trip and you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted. In addition to direct access immediately upon completing your purchase, you will receive a quote from Travel Guard regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation.

When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD 200,000 is required. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

If you have any questions, Travel Guard professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us, if you have not received your quote within 3 days.

 

Your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group will be available on the YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS button on the left navigation bar on the trip site, 21 days prior to trip start date.  We suggest you leave a copy of this with your family.

For easy, less expensive communication in Europe, you may be able to use your own phone plan, generally .99-1.99 per minute (check before departure).

Internet access is available almost everywhere, including our hotels, but access is not always free. We recommend that you contact your provider before you depart to add an international roaming, text and data package. Most may be disabled once you return home.

Our office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In an emergency after hours, please contact Tammy Weiler at 815-715-6998.

All countries you will visit have laws against the purchase and export of certain items, including antiquities, national cultural property and certain animal products, especially endangered species (ivory, rhino horn, tortoise shell, coral, feathers, etc.). Additionally, the United States has laws prohibiting the import of certain items, which include many of the same things. You face having your purchase confiscated and/or heavy fines for exporting or importing prohibited items.

On return to the U.S., your baggage is subject to search by U.S. Customs. Currently, you are permitted to bring back $800 of goods duty free. Persons aged 21 or over may also bring in one liter of liquor and one carton of cigarettes. If you plan to purchase a lot of souvenirs or expensive items, it is important to retain all purchase receipts. However, please note that U.S. Customs may not accept a receipt as true cost if it seems unusually low for the estimated value of the item. You may access the regulations and restrictions governing US Customs on their official website, click here to learn more.

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What Our Members Are Saying

I just came back from a fantastic Mediterranean vacation aboard the Norwegian Epic. STI was fantastic from the office staff to our cruise hostesses June and Georgia. I look forward to traveling with STI again in the future!

Fotolia_58389435_Subscription_Monthly_M_04    Jay S.
    Milford, NH

The Epic Med cruise was fantastic. It was my first trip to Europe and was a nice taste of Spain, Italy and France. The day I saw there was a cruise without a single supplement was when I signed up. Nice group and made lots of new friends. Thanks STI!

Fotolia_58389435_Subscription_Monthly_M_04    Sharon H.
    North Tonawanda, NY