Tips On Packing For The Budget Conscious Traveller

  • First Aid Kit

If you don’t carefully think about taking ONLY what you need on the trip you’ll end up lugging around heavy cumbersome luggage that will end up costing you more money and headaches. Think about this – most discount airfares you’ll receive (which you probably have since you are on a budget) have restrictions on the amount of luggage you can bring on board.

Make sure you also bring a supply of things that it would cost you more on a trip to replace. Have you ever had to go into a hotel gift shop to purchase a toothbrush or toothpaste? If so, then you are well aware of why you should pack all things like razors, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant so you don’t have to waste precious dollars on them once you arrive at your destination. (Note: if you are flying, you may want to check with airline regarding restrictions on what you can carry on, particularly around liquids, aerosols, and gels).

When it comes to packing, a cost conscious traveller will also be sure to pack no more, but also no less than what they will need while on holiday.

Will you be exercising? If so then, you’ll need your workout shoes. Do you plan on having a fancy evening out? If so, you’ll want to pack something dressy. The key is to pick out items that are versatile and can go from day to night if necessary (the last thing you want is to be forced to spend money on something because you forgot to bring it with you).

If you are planning on flying, packing light is critical to saving money; there will surely be a charge for bringing more than a carry-on bag. These days there are weight restrictions for each piece of luggage, not to mention the extra charges most airlines will charge for checking your bags in at the gate.

But don’t get sad, there are ways to make up for having packed less for the sake of saving extra cash. If you do some background checking upon arriving, you can save extra money by finding a laundromat to wash any soiled clothing to be worn again. If you’re really thrifty you may even consider bringing along a bit of detergent for quick hand washing of any items you may need to wear more than once.

Here are some tips to save money by packing smart and with your budget in mind:

  • Avoid expensive airline fees for bag check-in (as well as weight restrictions)
  • Having any medicine or first aid equipment (prescriptions, aspirin, ibuprofen, band-Aids, etc) will save you money should you have need for them.
  • Create low cost entertainment options by packing things like playing cards or dominoes to be enjoyed on a day at the beach (Who says you have to pay for scuba lessons?)
  • Bringing your own snacks can save you a ton of money. Whether you are going through an airport or stopping along the road at rest stops, buying food on the way to your destination has the potential to be a huge budget buster.


The main thing to remember about taking your own snacks when flying internationally, particularly to Countries protected by the ocean like New Zealand (who have strong quarantine laws around importing food items) is to consume all of the snacks before getting to your destination so as to not leave yourself open to fines for being in possession of prohibited items.

Paying a fine for having an apple found in your bag is definitely not on the list of acceptable costs for the budget conscious traveller! If in doubt – ditch any food you are not sure about in the bins as you arrive or just leave it on the plane.

Related links -

Information about entering New Zealand and restricted items from Biosecurity New Zealand

Guidelines from Air New Zealand around prohibited and restricted items in cabin baggage