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Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: January 21, 1:02 PM ET
Traveling Circus heads to NZ


Before stepping off the plane in Christchurch, our knowledge of New Zealand didn't extend much beyond ski videos and the Lord of the Rings. After a few years of coming up with excuses ("I need to work all summer" and "It's too expensive"), we decided it was time to stop talking and start doing. It was 2012, the world would clearly be ending soon and it was time to obnoxiously say YOLO over and over.

Here are a few things we learned which might help you plan your maiden voyage to the land of hobbits and mince meat pies.

Transportation


DO: Live in a camper van and see as much of New Zealand as possible. Combining your transportation andlodging is key to keeping costs low and your schedule flexible.
DON'T: Forget to drive on the left. Don't expect to keep any part of the van clean, inside or out. Pretty much every ski area has a 15- to 35-minute dirt road going up to the parking lot. Lots of mud, lots of dust.

Lodging


DO: (See Transportation.) If you don't want to sleep in a freezing car or van, you'd better make some friends fast. There's always the hostel route, too.
DON'T: Stay at an expensive hotel.

Food


DO: Sample the various pies available at every bakery, convenience and grocery store. Set aside $25 for Ferg Burger in Queenstown. You will not regret it.
DON'T: Eat too many meat pies or you will get sick and the van will smell even worse.

Skiing


DO: Ski as many areas as possible -- some have lift ticket deals with car rental companies. Make sure to check out club fields, the small local areas run with amazing terrain and very few people.
DON'T: Only ski at Snow Park all day, every day.

Other Advice


DO: Chase sheep. If in Wanaka, go to the dock and feed the eels. If you're extreme, swim with the eels.
DON'T: Try to chase sheep if there is a farm or house in sight. Don't get your fingers bit off by lake eels.