How I afford to travel on a Tight Budget.
One of the most asked questions I get is, how can I afford to travel on a tight budget? Well, there are ways you can follow and afford to do your vacation or safari without breaking the bank.
I will be giving you the tips or secretes in a few but before that. Did you know you should be doing at least a Safari or Vacation once a year? Yes, it is highly recommended for mental health.
You need to break away from the normal daily routine, home-work-eat & sleep. Stretch your adrenaline once in a while, it needs exercise as much as the physical.
Many people live a lifetime without setting an eye for example a lion or an elephant while others only see the beach in movies, magazines.
You don`t have to be in these statistics just because there is this myth, vacations and Safaris are expensive and only the rich can afford them.
Am here to change this narrative and without much ado let us dive in and see how you can afford to travel on a tight budget.
1.) Be Accommodation Savvy.
What do I mean by being Accommodation savvy? Be attentive and shrew when it comes to choosing your accommodation.
You are on a tight budget and one of the tips to afford travel is to book budget hotels. Embrace Hostels, they offer the most affordable accommodation. Check Hostelworld. Com.
Sacrifice your comfort just for a few days and am not saying hostels are not comfortable but don`t expect 5-star facilities in a hostel.
You can use various online Hotel booking engines such as Booking. Com or Airbnb for Apartments and holiday homes. Use these platforms to check which befits your interest and budget.
2.) Travel at Night.
One of the secrets I use to afford to travel on a tight budget is using this tip. Let me give you an example so that you understand.
Now, let us say you are flying to Kenya for a Safari or Vacation. Did you know you can avoid night accommodation by spending the night on your flight?
Sleep on the Plane and before you touch down, refreshen. Dress right and step out as if you slept in a 5-star hotel ready to start your day fresh.
Another Example. The Kenya SGR introduced a night Travel from 10:00 PM to arrive in Mombasa around 3:00 AM.
Did you know you can use that train and avoid spending any accommodation but still enjoy your Beach time?
Here is an itinerary you can use.
Day 1: Nairobi – Mombasa.
Board the 10:00 PM Train, to arrive in Mombasa the following day.
(Day 2: Mombasa) at Around 3: 00 AM. Chill around their lobby take your coffee as you wait for 5:00 AM.
Catch your Taxi to Diani. It is a 2Hours Drive without Traffic. So, latest you will be in Diani at 8:00 AM.
3.) Get Creative.
Enjoy your south coast vacay up to around 7:00 PM and catch a Taxi back to SGR Station arriving around 9:00 PM. Board the SGR at 10:00 PM.
Day 3: It is a good night, the second night on your way back to Nairobi. Arriving around 3:00 AM.
So, basically, you leave Nairobi on a Friday at 10:00 PM Arrive in Mombasa on Saturday and spend the whole day.
Then back in Nairobi on a Sunday. 3 Good days without spending a coin on accommodation.
Your total expenditure will be around Kes4,000 or $40. Now tell me how travelling is only for the rich?
However, please note to manage such a rush you will need to be physically it. This is why you should travel while you still got the energy.
4.) Embrace Public Transport.
As much as you would like privacy by taking a private means (Taxi). You can cut down your transport cost by up to 80% if you use public transport.
Get used to taking on Trains and Buses. For Example, if you are in Nairobi and want to do Karen Blixen Museum and Oololua Nature Trail since they are a stone throw away.
You can take a Matatu (Bus). And pay less than Kes100 or $1 one way. If you take Taxi (Uber) the price will not be less than Kes1000 or $10 depending on the time it can go higher or lower. So, why hurt your pockets?
5.) Use VPNs.
What does VPN stand for and what does it do? This is another tip I use to afford to travel on a tight budget. So, how does VPN work and how does it help?
VPN is Virtual Private Network.
Basically, you can use VPN to disguise your location to get favours in online shopping and more importantly get cheaper flights.
Check flight ticket prices in different locations and book the most affordable. Did you know this? Then keep reading for more…
6.) Pack Like a Backpacker.
Yes, you will pack only what you need and not what you want. Pack light at the same time don’t pack too light to prompt you to start buying stuff because you didn’t pack enough. Check the ultimate guide on how to pack going for a Safari or Beach Vacation.
7.) Haggle over.
You should make a bargain part of you. Don’t ask for a price and just cash in to get your goods or services immediately after the first price.
Haggle over, bargain but in a friendly not annoying manner. Be nice to vendors, smile and be polite you will win over them especially if they are the opposite sex.
We tend to be more lenient naturally to the opposite sex even when we have zero intentions or interest in them.
8.) Treat Yourself.
You have sacrificed your comfort to afford travelling on a tight budget. It is time to treat yourself in a fancy restaurant during lunchtime.
Before you start asking why should you waste your money on a fancy restaurant. Here’s the deal, most fancy restaurants have crazy offers only during lunchtime.
Check out as you roam the streets. You are most likely to come across a crazy lunch offer. Grab the opportunity with both hands and treat yourself.
9.) Browse in Hush.
Did you know when booking a plane ticket but keep on browsing the cookies monitor your activity and the more you browse in search of cheaper options the more the prices will go up?
To avoid this, search your flights in the incognito window. To open an incognito window, open your browser, on the far up-right corner click on the 3 vertical dots or use keyboard short cut: Ctrl+Shift+N.
10.) Book Flights Weekday.
Precisely Tuesday is the cheapest day of the week since not many travels on this day. However, this is not always the case but all weekdays are way cheaper than weekends (Friday, Saturdays and Sundays are the most expensive). Even most of the City hotels have a different package for weekday and weekends.
The weekday package is relatively cheaper and more affordable than the weekend Package. Same thing with the road transport services.
City tour shuttles have a more lenient package than on weekends. I know it is hard to avoid travelling at weekends but whenever you get the chance.
Use wisely on the weekdays. You will even get to enjoy more space in hotels since only a few guests will be booked on a weekday. Enjoy the pool as you own it before massive crowds join you on weekends.
11.) Avoid Peak Season.
The peak season is the period when the demand to travel is at its highest point due to weather, holiday or national celebrations.
If you have been following my past blog posts I have always advised you to cease movement during peak season.
If you are on a budget travel this is not the time for you to travel. However, if you have the finances and you don`t mind crowds then you can.
Right here in East Africa, we have four seasons namely.
This is the time to travel if you are on a tight budget. You will get all manner of hotel and tour operator offers but it comes with a price though.
It is a rainy season making it not ideal for the beach and if you are on Safari, the roads are almost impassable and there will be tall grass that will hinder you from spotting the wildlife.
However, the weather is changing by the day and the rains sometimes shift so, you could be lucky enough.
Low Season Time Period: 1st April – June 30th
This is relatively a good time to travel, it is in the middle class where the prices are still affordable and the weather is still favourable.
High Season Time Period: January 3rd – March 30th – 1st November – 23rd December
This is the best time to travel but the prices. If you are on a tight budget since everything just triples avoid but if you got the finances this is the time.
Especially if you are going for a Safari in Kenya and Tanzania. Read my post on the 7 Secretes of Planning a Budget Safari to Masai Mara.
It is time for the wildebeest migration the world 7th Wonder where Millions of wildebeest, Zebras and a mixer of Gazelles migrate in unbelievable volumes in search of green pastures.
Peak Season Time Period: 1st July – 30th October.
I have always had a quarrel with some of you regards to the festive season but, how wise is it to pay triple plus festive supplements to stay in the same hotel I can pay way less in a few months to come just because it is on a festive season?
Apart from paying heftily, the hotels are always crowded and if you`re on the beach. You get to meet all manner of people from the drylands who come to the beach with full office suites.
I never travel during the festive season but immediately everybody is back in the city. Now that is the time, I will travel with fewer people, no crowding and more importantly pay less. This is one of the tips I learned early and it helps me afford to travel on a tight budget.
Festive Season Time Period: 24th December – 2nd January.
12.) Make use of the ISIC Card.
What is ISIC Card and how can it help you afford to travel on a tight budget? Well, ISIC stands for, International Student Identity Card.
This is bona fide proof of Students internationally. It grants them access to a diverse selection of benefits and discounts around the world. A student can redeem points for travel or accommodation.
If you are not a student the organization also issues (IYTC) International Youth Travel Card and if you are a teacher, lecturers and professors you can get (ITIC) International Teacher Identity Card. Prices vary in different countries for these cards. Get the cards and enjoy the benefits. Your pockets will thank you.
13.) Pool Hop.
This one is a no brainer but equally important. You see most hostels or budget accommodation doesn’t have a pool. So, what do you do yet you like swimming?
Well, you book a budget accommodation near a luxury hotel whereby you can just walk and enjoy the services. Most of the big hotels are generous, they will allow you in if you buy their food.
While others, don`t beat around the bush and you will be needed to pay for the pool which is still okay considering the money you have saved had you booked the luxury hotel. Check Hotels with Heated Pools in Nairobi.
14.) Be a Tourist at Home.
Charity starts at home, there is no point in travelling overseas yet you don’t even know or exploring your home town or city.
In my case Nairobi, I made sure I explored all these Touristic Sites within Nairobi. So, you unearth your home town before you can proceed to another major destination.
Be a tourist within your home. Contribute and then after you can start spreading your wings to other touristic destinations in and outside your country.
15.) Try Woofing.
Some countries are simply expensive the likes of Canada when it comes to food and accommodation. But tell you what? There is a way you can do it and pay no dime for the said needs.
You can stay up to 1 year in these countries without worrying about Food and Accommodation.
How? Sign up here for Woofing, this is a program that you exchange work on farming for free accommodation and food. You will learn about organic farming and cultural experiences first hand.
You work 4 -6 hours a day or out of the 7 Days 5.5 Days a week. In the free time, you are free to roam the city.
Some are even generous they can offer you transport means to tour the tourist places in your free time as a local.
You can afford to travel the world on a tight budget through woofing. To sign up is $40 only and you will get to choose your host.
Always try and buy travel insurance whenever you are travelling you never know what can happen when and where.
To play and stay safe, grab yourself and your family affordable Travel Insurance from World Nomads.
Thank you for the read and share!
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