Q: My daughter and a friend would like to visit New Zealand for a about a month this summer. Do they need a visa? They are thinking of staying in youth hostels and using public transit to get around the country. Any specific web sites to check out?
A: They don't need a visa unless they stay over three months. Public transportation is inexpensive and easy to navigate, and youth hostels are a great way to save money and meet people. You can find everything you need to know about planning a trip at purenz.com, the official tourism site. And just a side note, New Zealand is one of the world's most beautiful countries, a place I'd gladly revisit if I had the time (I actually prefer it to nearby Australia). And a tip about airfare: your daughter and her friend should definitely compare fares on Air New Zealand's web site. Air New Zealand doesn't charge extra if you stay over 30 days, as most airlines do, and they usually have lower fares on their site than you'll find on Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.