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New Zealand - 14th March 2020
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Kia Ora,

For those of you joining me on this NZ trip, it’s going to be a great tour.
I will meet some of you either at check in or in the courtesy lounge at Heathrow.
A few of you are doing the Singapore pre-tour, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your visit, I’ll look out for you at the departure gate for the flight to Auckland.

For those of you making your own way, I look forward to meeting you in Auckland.

In response to some of the questions often asked about what /what not to take, I have the following suggestions:

Luggage allowances
Just You Baggage policy for 2020: this has been set at one piece of 20kg per person, regardless of higher allowances given by airlines or the class you are flying in.
The coach drivers and porters have to lift our luggage and this limit is to respect their physical safety.
In any case you should keep your luggage weight a few kilos below the allowed limit as you are highly  likely to pick up some souvenirs during the tour so the weight will increase!!
Smart casual – we should have mild weather in NZ but it is moving from Summer to Autumn, so some days and  evenings may be chilly, taking a light jacket/fleece and a waterproof jacket is a good idea. 
Also, comfortable closed-toe shoes (such as trainers or lightweight walking shoes) as in some places we will be walking on rough or uneven ground.
Do bring a dressy outfit or two, (Ladies: nice dress, skirt/trousers & top; Gents: smart shirt & trousers), although dress-wise things are quite casual in NZ, we do have a couple of included dinners where it’s appropriate to get dressed up.
Take enough for 6-8 days; most hotels have laundry facilities (washers and dryers), they have washing powder you can buy, the rooms have irons and ironing boards.  No need to pack a travel iron!
Remember to pack suncream and mossie repellent

Most rooms have these and supply tea/coffee, sugar and milk (don’t bring any powdered milk or substitutes – see quarantine restrictions below).  No need to pack a travel kettle!

Food stuffs
Biscuits and sweets are okay, but don’t bring anything else.  NZ has enough supermarkets so you can buy snacks once there. 
New Zealand Quarantine restrictions are strict!  All edible items need to be declared.
Bring a reusable bottle with you, tap water is safe to drink in NZ and it’s essential to stay hydrated.
This will need to be empty to take through airport security but airside there are water bottle filling stations and on the flights the crew will be happy to fill the bottle for you.

Credit and Debit cards are widely accepted, also pre-loaded currency cards are good and can be used in the same way – at ATMs, to pay for meals, in shops and for all of the optional flights.

Current world health situation
General good hygiene practice is always important, particularly when we travel but is essential now.  Using soap and hot water for handwashing are the key but bringing a pot of hand sanitiser would be a good idea.  Of course, these are readily available in New Zealand.
I look forward to meeting you all soon,
Happy Packing,
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