Travelling on a Budget
Travelling is often associated with big spending and widely seen as first world problems. It is often perceived as only for a certain skin colour, but with communities like Mzansi Travel Movement we are changing all that. Having a piece of mind, relaxing, finding yourself, exploring, empowering yourself and others should not cost that much. With the few tips I am going to share with you, you will find exactly that.
All of us could afford travelling if we explored all the possibilities surrounding us, if we learned a thing or two about it and following the right people or companies of social media to name but a few. Choosing the right circles also helps. Hanging around people that share the same passion as you always bring you a step closer to realising your dreams, no matter how big or small.
When you are done reading this article you will know how easy it can be to travel the world with minimal/ no budget at all. Let’s dig in:
Select your destinations wisely: the best thing to do is search for destinations during their off peak seasons. Always check when is the best time to make your trip so that you can get the best rates possible. In some instances, because most people chase summer it helps to visit during the winter season if the city you are visiting is not a skiing city. Skiing cities or destinations are at their peak during the winter season and therefore visiting in summer would be your best option.
Travel in groups: this always helps in minimising the costs. When you travel in groups you’re always at an advantage. Even airlines subsidise group travels, you get special rates. Even with the accommodation, instead of booking into a hotel you can go for villas and chalets that accommodates more people and charge you per villa instead of per person.
Source sponsored travel: this form of travelling requires that you have strong ties with either the airline or the accommodation establishments. You can strike this deal by maybe offering some service that will benefit your sponsor. These may include offering to write awesome reviews about the place or run a huge marketing campaign on social media in exchange to free accomodation/ flights.
Make use of budget hotels: as much as we all would like to sleep in a 5* hotel it is always advisable to go for budget hotels instead, in this way you will save a lot of money. What we must understand, by budget hotel, it does not mean very low standards or unhealthy living. Therefore, do not be shy to go for this option. I personally would rather save money for activities, creating a valuable experience of the city than going for the most expensive hotel there is.
Hostels and airbnb must be your friends: if you are really into saving a whole lot of money on accommodation then you need to look for hostels and back packers. In all cities you will find a whole lot of budget accommodation, you just need to know the right channels to use to get them. Use the Internet to your benefit, look for accommodation is websites like bookings.com, agoda, safari now, Expedia, daddy deals, trip advisor, airbnb to name but a few.
Budget airlines: you get most of these when you travel abroad. In recent years that have increased a lot and have been capturing most of the main routes so they are easily accessible. There is also availability locally and are doing very well. One thing about budget airlines is that they have strict restrictions when it comes to language, it helps to ensure that you read their terms and conditions so that you can know in advance if you have to pay for your luggage separately or rather stick to the specified kilograms per passenger.
Stay just outside the CBD/ tourists areas: the further you move from the city centre the cheaper the accommodation, but be careful not to move too far out and deprive yourself of other amenities. Be mindful that you will need transport, therefore do not stay in areas where there is no public transport because you will be forced into using maxi taxis that will charge you exorbitant prices.
Make use of loyalty programs: these go a long way and saves you a great deal of money especially when combined with other specials. You can even get vouchers for activities, all you need to do is do your research before embarking on a journey. You can go as far as subscribing to local ‘deals’ websites in that city so that you can be in a better position to get all the specials as they are released. In this way you can plan your activities well in advance.