The ‘U S of A’ has become a much cheaper place to fly to in the last couple of years due to increased competition on the NZ-US flight routes between Air NZ, Qantas and a variety of US carriers. Whilst the NZ Dollar is a bit softer against the greenback currently, those lower airfares are tempting and it’s always fun to head Stateside  and grab a slice of Uncle Sam!

With Air NZ now flying direct from Auckland, we’ve noticed a lot more clients are stopping in New York City en route to Europe, but the other popular stopover cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago are getting plenty of love as well, and the Qantas route from Sydney to Dallas and Air NZ route from Auckland to Houston throws up some intriguing excursions into the ‘Deep South’. JetBlue seem to have shaken up the domestic flight market with their fun approach and great service and even LA Airport staff are being told to smile at visitors!

Popular options include self-driving California & Nevada, either the coastal route or inland to explore the amazing National Parks, or joining a small group (camping or accommodated) tour to do the same. As the US is so big, coach tours continue to be a popular option here, especially in the Far West and the New England. We’ve noticed a lot more interest in the South, especially Memphis, New Orleans and a river cruise along the Mississippi River that connects them. Another emerging destination for Kiwis is the vast ‘Great Lakes’ region with expedition cruises providing options for the adventurous traveller.

In 2026, the USA will host the Football World Cup and it’ll also be the 100th anniversary of the famous Route 66.


We’ve been travelling lots to the USA. Check out our journals:

The American South

New York