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Keeping in Touch
How will I keep in contact with my friends and family when I am so far from home? Very, very easily!
:: Internet Access
Internet Cafes in New Zealand seem to breed like rabbits so internet access is cheap, reliable and easy to come by. Prices start at around £1 an hour and machines can be found in hostels, shops and cafes. You will have no excuse not to email the folks and to make friends back home jealous! If you are taking out a laptop then wireless points are starting to appear or you can sign up for dial in / pay as you go services at reasonable rates.
:: Mobile Phones
There are two main phone networks in NZ, Telecom and Vodafone. You can easily get yourself a Pay as you go NZ sim card and put it in an existing phone or you can buy a phone in NZ. If you are going to use your own phone make sure that it has been unlocked by your service provider. Calls on the Vodafone network cost from as little as 49 cents to call the UK 24 hours a day! You can also text the UK for 20 cents so there's no excuse for not keeping in contact.
:: Phone cards
If you want to make a call home to the UK, or to any other country in the world for that matter, it’s a good idea to get yourself a phone card. All you’ll need then is a phone box and someone eagerly awaiting your call at home! These are inexpensive as you can choose how much credit you buy, and are widely available from hostels and newsagents.
:: Snail Mail
It's coming up to your birthday and mum wants to send some pressies through but where does she send them? Well luckily there is a very simple solution. In New Zealand there is a service called Poste Restante. Basically you can have mail sent to the major post office in a town or city and they will hold it for you free of charge until you pick it up. Mail should be sent in the following format:
< Your Name >
Then pop into the local post office with some photo ID and pick up your pressies!
If you just couldn’t resist that third cuddly kiwi toy or maori souvenir and have managed to amass quite a collection of souvenirs of your travels, don’t lug them all around with you, send them home! There are a number of companies who will ship things home for travellers for a fee; it’s not always incredibly cheap but will save excess baggage costs on your flight home! Ask at your hostel or nearest backpacker agency for details or try a company like Mail Boxes Etc. (www.mbe.com). That way you can hit the shops again!
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