New Zealand | don't know where to begin?

Sally Forth comic strip, March 31, 2018

Sally Forth is one of a handful of comic strips that I read regularly. In today's episode, Sally asks her family, "What is the one thing you'd like us to do together as a family?" After a moment's pause, Hillary answers, "New Zealand." Ted is immediately turned on by the idea of visiting the beautiful place where the three Hobbit movies (An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug, and The Battle of the Five Armies) were filmed. Sally responds with two practical concerns, the cost of air and where to begin.

"I don't know where to begin" is not infrequently the first hurdle encountered when contemplating our bucket list. Start with Google? 46 million websites come up when searching New Zealand, 3.6 million responses for New Zealand travel, 2.68 million options for New Zealand tours, and 1.79 million answers for New Zealand tourism.

How can anyone evaluate so many options? My answer to the Forth family ... find a travel advisor with experience planning travel to New Zealand, who has relationships with multiple destination management companies there. Instead of starting with millions of choices, I'll begin planning your trip with a half dozen vendors curated in terms of their expertise and reliability. Once I know your budget and the kinds of experiences you want to have, I'll know exactly where to begin.

A knowledgable travel advisor will save you time and money. New Zealand has some of the most gorgeous lodges in the world, and you can benefit from Virtuoso amenities that will provide added value during your stay. Even if your budget is more modest, our on-the-ground partners will know the best moderately priced options for your stay — as well as providing assistance if needed with looking for "bulk" air.

black sand beach (c) 2018 by David Ourisman, all rights reserved

New Zealand is one of the two most gorgeous places I've ever been, Norway being the other. To whet your appetite, here are some articles I wrote about my April/May 2009 trip with Swain Destinations.

Kauri Cliffs | New Zealand golf and beach luxury
what to do in Queenstown, New Zealand
Napier, New Zealand | the Art Deco city
morning mist at Huka Lodge
black sand beach near Auckland
New Zealand | incredible scenic beauty
Virginia Fischer | New Zealand luxury lodges
more New Zealand Luxury Lodges

copyright (c) 2018 by Ourisman Travel LLC. All rights reserved. We provide Virtuoso and other Preferred Partner amenities as an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso® Member. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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