THE KIWI TRAVELLER
When you travel the world as a New Zealander you can bet on meeting amazing people from various cultures, and tens of thousands of other Kiwis! We’re not just packing our bags to fly the coop for the thrill of greener pastures, but rather for the love of travel that’s in our blood.
Consider our roots: Hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus and his gang of pirates, er, seamen, worried about sailing off the face of the world, Maori travelled across the Pacific Ocean in their waka and became some of the first inhabitants of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Maori culture continues to be integral to our national identity.
Our early European settlers came from far and wide to establish farms and settlements here. These men were fearless, taking a chance on heading out into the great unknown, unaware of what they would encounter when they docked their fleets. It’s this resourcefulness and ingenuity that has peppered the New Zealand character. These days we might not be hopping in our boats to discover untouched lands and riches, but a new generation of young Kiwis are heading out globally to establish their careers. From Rio to Tokyo, you’ll find Kiwis who have feathered their nests in major cities, and minor ones too, all across the world.
The Call of the Wild
It’s no secret that Kiwis love the great outdoors! As a nation we’ve become a go-to destination for adrenaline seekers looking to connect with nature in thrilling ways such as bungy-jumping, rafting, and sky-diving, and as travellers we seek the same kinds of thrills elsewhere.
Being surrounded by water has made us water sport fans, and you’ll find Kiwis surfing, sailing, and scuba diving in places like Australia, Indonesia, and anywhere else that has access to luscious bodies of water!
No strangers to camping, hiking, and fishing, our love of outdoor pursuits extends wide and far, all the way up certain famous mountains, following in the footsteps of one of our most infamous travellers Sir Edmund Hillary who climbed and conquered Mount Everest in 1953. Mountains, rivers, oceans, and forests in every country have felt our footsteps as New Zealanders love to experience the thrill of travel-nothing stops us!
Fly My Pretties!
Did you know that on your average day more than 80,000 New Zealanders are off travelling the world on short trips for business and pleasure? This number is separate from the 45,000 citizens who leave annually for a permanent move or a long term trip with work visas. Often a lot of our Kiwis have ‘homing devices’ deep in their hearts as many of our travellers return, bringing their partners and children with them. While not all of us return, we do travel back to New Zealand often enough to stay connected with this great country.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, Kiwis travel to over 150 countries with the majority going to Australia, followed by Fiji, USA, UK, China, South East Asia and Canada. Judging by these stats, it’s clear that travel is important to all New Zealanders and we make it part of our lifestyle.
In Case of Emergency…
Kiwis may be a brave and innovation people, but that doesn’t mean we’re not susceptible to nasty surprises, natural disasters and bad luck bears like theft and crime. The easiest way to soften these blows when travelling abroad is to plan ahead while help prepare you for the unexpected!
Here are some things to keep in mind before you start packing those bags:
- If you’re travelling somewhere off the beaten track you need to be prepared vaccination-wise! And if you do need immunisations or vaccinations, then you’re going to have to see your doctor at least 6 weeks before your date of departure. Hepatitis A, B and C are the most common ones to get, but make sure your Tetanus is up to date as well.
- Be sure to have in-depth medical and dental check ups before your trip unless you’re open to contracting serious infectious diseases during surgery! It’s good to be aware of any health problems so that you know exactly which medications to bring with you.
- Don’t even consider leaving the country without proper travel insurance. Knowing exactly what your policy will cover you for in another country will not only ease the hassle when things go wrong, but it’ll give you peace of mind! Bring any prescriptions with you and wear a medical bracelet if needed. You can never be over-prepared when it comes to your health!
And here are some handy hints for you while you're traveling:
- Remember, you are what you eat so eat carefully! If you’re going to a country with a more relaxed attitude to hygiene, you’ve got an increased risk of delightful traveller’s diarrhoea (also known as Delhi Belly or Beaver Fever!) Well-cooked foods are the safest, and while you shouldn’t necessarily avoid the delicious street food from vendors try to stick to a vegetarian diet. Drinking water from commercially-sealed bottles or drink carbonated beverages will help you avoid toilet mishaps! And avoid ice at all costs.
- If you're going to a country with an increased risk of mosquito-borne disease, protect yourself against insects by packing insect repellent that contains DEET as it work the best. Bed nets aren’t the sexiest apparatuses while you’re sleeping, but they’ll keep the bities at bay!
- Countries with a high risk of malaria are par for the course when you’re out looking for adventure spots. Start taking malaria tablets before you leave for your trip, during your travels and for 4 weeks after you get home.
- When swimming in freshwater lakes and streams be aware that you could be exposing yourself to some nasty diseases. Proper immunization and vaccination can help with this, but pack some antibiotics if you think you’ll be partaking in water sports abroad!
- When travelling within a foreign country be sure to buckle up! While your average tuk-tuk might not have safety belts, try not to ride in vehicles without them. When riding motorcycles and scooters, wear a helmet!
Things to include in a first-aid kit for traveling
- Your prescription medicines, in their original containers.
- Medicine for diarrhoea and upset stomach.
- Cough and cold medicines.
- Pain medicines, such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
- Decongestants and antihistamines for allergies. The kinds that don't cause sleepiness are better when you're traveling.
- Antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, hydrocortisone cream, moleskin for blisters, sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and lip balm.
- Hand wipes and hand sanitisers.
Get in touch and ease your worries!
If you’re looking for a value-for-money travel insurance policy to ease your worries before heading off on your own voyage, you want to talk to us. We’d love to hear about your travels overseas and whether or not we’ve left off any valuable information from the lists of handy hints mentioned above. Tell us about your experiences! As a nation of travel bug bitten adventurers, we know you’ve got some great stories, so share them with us!
Further Reading for Kiwi Travellers: