Holiday hotspots – top tips for a safe and smooth summer trip


As the cities empty out and the beaches fill up, NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is encouraging people to plan ahead for safe summer road trips.

NZTA has updated our popular online holiday journeys traffic prediction tool, which shows predicted traffic flows over the Christmas and New Year holiday, based on previous year’s travel patterns. This handy ‘trip hack’ is a great way to plan your trips and avoid the worst delays.

Holiday journeys traffic prediction tool(external link)

NZTA wants everyone to get to their destinations safely. More cars on the road, tired drivers and people driving on unfamiliar roads can all add up to make holiday driving stressful and risky. But there are simple things we can all do to stay safe.

We encourage everyone to check that their car is safe before heading off, keep your speeds down, drive sober, watch for signs of fatigue and share the driving on long trips.

Always drive to the conditions, which can change quickly. Check the weather forecast before leaving home, as well as our real-time traffic updates for any incidents or closures.

Journey Planner website(external link)

Tips for safe driving on your summer holiday

Drive to the conditions, allow plenty of time and take regular breaks to stay alert.

  • Be patient when driving this summer so everyone can relax and enjoy the holidays together.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.
  • Drive to the conditions – whether it's the weather, the road you're on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads.
  • Take regular breaks to stay alert.
  • Allow plenty of time. You're on holiday, no need to rush. 

Vehicle safety

  • Your vehicle must be safe to drive before you set off on your summer holiday.
  • Check that the Warrant of Fitness or Certificate of Fitness is up-to-date on any vehicle you plan to drive, including rentals.
  • There are basic checks you can do yourself, including:
    • Tyres – minimum tread is 1.5mm but the more tread, the better the grip.
    • Lights – check that all lights work so your vehicle is visible in poor light.
    • Indicators – ensure all indicators work so people know which direction you are moving.
    • Windscreen and wipers – check for wear and tear so you can see the road safely.

For more information on self-checks, visit our Check your car web page

Check your car – safety basics