Feb. 23 – Tips for extended car travel in South Island

The South Island tour was our first experience traveling on land by car for such a long time – 47 days.  We knew we would be cooking a lot of our own meals so we stayed in BBH hostels and almost every single one had a well-stocked kitchen.  Because were were moving things from the car to our room and/or kitchen we eventually simplified the process by buying things we could have brought with us, like the big plastic bins with lids.  Travel and learn.

Plastic box with lid to hold dry goods that you use every day and will take into the kitchen every day, like coffee, tea, oatmeal, dried fruit etc.
Individual plastic storage containers for leftovers or misc sizes of ziplock bags
really big zip lock bags for storing refrigerated items like cheese, salad makings, meats
big plastic bins/boxes to keep things organized in the car – plastic shopping bags don’t work well
Masking tape or big labels to label your boxes, fridge bags, anything you take into a communal kitchen
ziplock bags of misc sizes – for collecting sand, shells, excess anything (rather than having it spill in the car)
headphones (for ipod, ipad, computer) for those times you can’t sleep or want to have some personal time
ipod with car adapter for those times when you’re bored (hopefully your car has jacks or you know a good radio station)
umbrellas (I can’t believe we forgot them, in NZ no less)
DVD player with DVDs or load some on your computer for those times you want to be entertained
hammock (there were several times I would have loved to relax in the shade & it takes up no space)
separate small duffel or suitcase for each person’s clothing & essentials rather than share one big bag because the room can be small and a big bag gets in the way plus someone might be a space hog so let them deal with their own stuff

What we did bring that we found useful or essential:

A towel for each person – some places provide some don’t
Converter plugs and a surge protector to charge multiple items
2 pair of long pants (for when you fall in the river)
2 pair of shorts
hiking boots that fit and are broken in
hiking poles if you have bad knees like me
laundry soap
1 set of nice clothes for an evening out (it never happened but hey, it could)
bathing suit
clothes suitable for very hot to very cold, very wet and dry
scissors (Jim laughs but we did use them frequently)
bathrobe or something to put on quickly for going down the hall
shoes for all occasions or that fit your interests
Rain jacket with hood
flashlight & headlamp

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