Five free apps to help you save money while travelling in New Zealand!
You know when you waltz into McDonald's with your ‘buy one cheeseburger, get the second one free’ coupon and feel like a million bucks? You can feel everyone’s eyes on the back of you; “who is she?” “Is that Prada?” “Will she get the pickles removed?”. You can almost see the thought bubbles forming above their heads; “how is she scoring such a wonderfully cheesy deal?”. While silently you’re thanking your folks for spending $65 on the latest Entertainment book and praying they won’t notice that the entire C12 section has been ripped out. They don’t like McDonald’s anyway right!?
Well this is just like that. Except no $65 book required. Or stealing from your parents. Double win!
This is just a bunch of free apps that will help you get more out of your NZ travels!
Coming in first is of course Gaspy. Or Gasp-ey as my mum likes to call it. Possibly because petrol prices here are so ludicrous you do often find yourself gasping? Who knows? Mum probably.
Anyway, this app is quick, easy and simple to use. It searches for petrol prices within a set radius (we usually do 20km in towns/cities and 50km when driving in-between) and shows you the cheapest and most expensive prices. In addition to your radius, you can also set the app to your fuel type (95, 91 etc.). Because petrol in NZ has the heartbreaking ability to bankrupt you almost instantly, this app is well worth getting.
When to use the Gaspy app:
When looking to buy petrol.
Haha you’re probably wondering if this blog is just a list of petrol apps. If you have an electric car (woohoo go you – you are a real legend!!!), then please stay, I promise there might be one or two non-petrol related apps in here! Wow what a promise eh. “might be” – totally filled with guarantees.
Ok Z App gets a mention for two reasons:
Firstly when you first sign up to the Z App, you receive:
10c off per litre (coupon)
Free espresso hot drink (and it's a large too!)
$5 off a Z20 car wash
(Note all of these deals expire within 60 days).
The app also gives you featured deals quite often – e.g. save 6c per litre by scanning the app.
Now if like me, you get confused where your vouchers/coupons are in the app, they are stored under My Account > Vouchers.
Secondly, Z has just introduced Sharetank and if you’re driving up and down the country this is SO worth it!! Basically with Sharetank you can pre-purchase fuel at a cheaper price and then redeem it at any Z where it’s typically more expensive (full list provided in the app).
For example, knowing how expensive petrol is in Queenstown/Wanaka compared to Christchurch, we decided to purchase 100L of fuel in Christchurch at $2.02 and then rather than paying the eye-watering $2.42 price down south, we got our petrol at that glorious $2.02 price. This is still quite a new concept but already we are loving it. Wow I just drop McDonald’s lines all the time don’t I.
When to use the Z app:
When looking for petrol
When able to pre-purchase petrol if you're heading somewhere where it's typically more expensive.
Chances are if you’re driving around New Zealand you have already heard about this app. The CamperMate app is great for searching for a number of activities and facilities near you, including (but not limited to):
Free camps (both self-contained and non self-contained)
A big feature of the CamperMate app are the user reviews and comments, but as it's also endorsed by the Government, it means you can really trust the information provided. It's a win win really. Like getting hot chips and then finding out the tomato sauce is free.
When we are wanting to find somewhere to pull over for lunch this app is great and usually helps us to find a nice scenic pull-off. It’s also great for seeing the latest road works in New Zealand (e.g. where long stretches of highway may be down to one-lane only). Actually, just for this fact alone, I would recommend getting CamperMate.
When to use the CamperMate app:
When searching for basically anything in New Zealand! Want to know where to dump your grey water? Sit down for lunch? Where you can camp for free?
BookMe is a discount app which is focused on dining and activities (rather than goods). However the difference with BookMe (compared to your other typical discount sites/apps) is that the level of discount you receive is determined by the time you are wanting to eat or do the activity (and the number of spots left). So for example, if you're looking for a place for dinner (seriously giving myself the perfect segway for another McDonald's reference here haha) and you choose to go at a less popular time, you will get a greater discount.
Opening the app right now, I can see a Milford Sound boat cruise is 60% off, one of my favourite pizza spots in Christchurch is 53% off and the luge, gondola and buffet lunch combo in Queenstown is 25% off. You do need to note that some deals have important booking notes (e.g. you might have to vacate the restaurant within 90 mins etc.).
When to use the BookMe app:
When looking for discounted activities and dining!
Ok disclaimer, I don't actually rate the Wilderness app all that much, as compared to CamperMate I find it a little clunky (like the new WikiCamps AMIRITE) but stay with me and you'll find out why it get's a mention.
LOCATION BASED DISCOUNTS! That's why haha.
The Wilderness app offers you discounts for accommodation and tours based on your location. If you leave the app on (i.e. running in the background) and turn on notifications, you will see discounted offers for accommodation, tours, activities etc. pop up on your screen. This is especially useful when you're on the road, and entering new towns/cities.
We have been able to nab powered campsites that were down from $55 to $30 using the app. Sometimes even just booking through the app gives you special little deals too - like getting free wifi at a caravan park.
I definitely don't think it's as user friendly, or as comprehensive (in terms of locations/facilities listed) as CamperMate, but the cheeky discounts it offers are great, especially when freedom/low cost camping isn't an option.
When to use the Wilderness app:
When entering new towns/cities and looking for discounted accommodation or tours!
And that's it! Five apps that really help us save money and have the best time road-tripping in New Zealand!
PS - not an app but I would feel really bad if I didn’t tell you about this. Burger King have a coupon menu on their website and you legit feel like you’re in a Gladiator movie when you drive up to the window and say “2 B12’s”. Actually disclaimer #2 - I’ve never seen the Gladiator movie but I assume this is more or less what happens in it?
What apps do you find are most useful when travelling NZ? Let us know!