There’s more you can explore on a budget than just Bangkok and Bali
You did it! You survived all the exams, group projects and papers – now it’s time for your well-earned break! One of the best things about graduating is going on a grad trip with your friends to celebrate your newfound freedom. But when the whole world is suddenly your oyster, you'll realise that your bank balance isn’t exactly your best friend at the moment that makes planning for a far-flung vacation something of a challenge.
So we’ve done the research for you and put together a list of budget-friendly trips that doesn't sacrifice your fun and excitement. Our advice is to explore the hidden gems around us in the vast and diverse regions of Asia and Oceania. Whether you’re looking for a spiritual or intellectual experience, a food or adventure paradise, there’s a vacation spot to suit your interests and personality.
Photo: New Zealand Travel Organiser
10. For the History Buffs: Rotorua, New Zealand
You know the songs to Moana, but how much do you know about the Maori culture that inspired the Disney movie? Lucky for us, we’re just a short plane ride away from the chance to experience this rich indigenous culture of New Zealand. With many Maori activities organised for tourists, Rotorua is the perfect place to learn more about Maori culture first-hand. Spend an evening or even overnight at the Tamaki Maori Village or Mitai Maori Village, where you can take part in the powhiri (formal welcome ceremony), traditional dinner, and fascinating dances and games. For an exciting look at the Maori connection with nature, visit the historic Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, where the huge pools of bubbling mud and geysers spurting hot water are captivating sights to behold.
Where to stay: Astray Motel and Backpackers is centrally located, offering rooms with a wide array of room types suitable for families and backpackers, at competitive rates.