Budget travel in South Africa
Travelling in South Africa inspires my soul – our magnificent landscapes, diverse cultures, fabulous food and amazing people are just magic! I’m lucky that the nature of my work allows me to travel Mzansi a lot. I’ve been to a lot of places, but everywhere is on my list .Travel isn’t cheap though. It’s something that needs to be budgeted for. Your holiday budget can go a long way if you’re smart about it. Here are my top tips for travelling locally on a budget:
Plan, plan, plan
Planning is key for travelling on a budget. Low cost airlines such as Mango, Kulula and Fly SafAir often have flash sales valid for a few hours or a day where you can pick up super cheap airfares. Sign up for airline newsletters to get the low down on the latest deals and flash sales. If you can’t plan in advance look out for cheap last minute fares.
Packages deals can be a great money saver. Our local low cost airlines have some super affordable packages that include car rental, airfare and accommodation that end up being cheaper than booking individually. Fire your soul with a local weekend getaway!
Travel off season
Travelling in school holidays and long weekends will always cost you more. If you can afford to travel outside peak season, you can take advantage of lower rates and have more to spend on the fun stuff like activities.
Eating out all the time will take its toll on your budget. Self-catering apartments, holiday homes, or backpackers with a kitchen will allow you to cook your own chow and save moola. Save your money for a nice restaurant rather than eating crappy takeaways.
Road trips are my favorite way to travel and they are easy on the pocket. The freedom of the open road fires my soul. I love exploring country roads and stopping spontaneously when at a cool padstal or a stunning look out point. Besides being an affordable way to travel, road trips allow you to explore more budget friendly off the beaten track destinations.
Where to stay
One of the biggest costs when you travel is accommodation. I prefer spending less on accommodation so that I have more to spend on food, drinks and activities.
South African’s haven’t really caught on to the hostel trend. Backpacker travel is not just for gap year students from Europe & the US, South Africans should take advantage of the budget options available. We have so many excellent backpacker hostels in SA from city poshtels (more like boutique hotels) to local community backpackers in rural villages. You don’t have to share a dorm room, most hostels have private rooms with en suite facilities.
Backpacker hostels offer a social vibe, perfect for youthful and solo travellers. You get to make friends, stay within your budget and get to spend your money on the fun stuff like adventure activities
AirBnb and Vacation Rentals
AirBnb not only offers a local experience, you can really save a lot by using their service, especially if you’re travelling in a group and sharing a house. They are so much cheaper than hotels, and they provide some interesting options. I’ve even stayed on an Airbnb catamaran in Durban!
National and Provincial parks
SA has an amazing diversity of national and provincial parks, many of which have budget accommodation options. SANParks offers a variety of accommodation options – from hotels to self-catering cottages and huts to camping. In KZN, check out KZN Emvelo Wildlife and Cape Nature. You have to book early during school holidays but you can often find last minute options off-season. Doing a guided game drive at a national park is super affordable too.
I’m a happy camper! The initial outlays for camping can be a little pricey but it works out much cheaper in the long run. Camping is easy on the budget, and you get to experiences some really wild places. There’s nothing like camping on a beach campsite with the sound of waves lulling you to sleep
Here’s to more South African travel to #FireYourSoul.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Zappa, but all views and opinions expressed are my own. #FireYourSoul
Share this post
South Africa is rich in ghost stories and haunted places. For those who can’t resist the urge to have their skin crawling and hairs standing, check out these Top 10 Haunted Places in South Africa and feed your horror curiosity this halloween. Perhaps even pay a visit… if you dare
When it comes to travelling across South Africa, I am definitely a veteran, which I regard as an incredible honour. Although I was born in Namibia, I have lived in the Rainbow Nation my entire life. It is my home, I love it here and I want to see as much as possible. This drive to explore my country makes me reflect on an important matter though. The age of content creation has brought a new dimension on what travel means to us, especially via platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.
Within reasonable bounds, I have always been a big advocate for embracing the fact that mistakes happen and that they are a necessity to life that you need to learn how to turn into a positive. Through the last couple of years I have also learnt how to apply this ethic to my travels. Many mistakes were made on my part, which is why I am super excited to share a few tips and hacks so that you don’t have to make them.
Every creator has a few local spots that they love more than any other; I am no different. Before I share my top picks with you, allow me to divulge some wisdom – if you can call it that: A location is only as good as your eagerness to be unique and drive to be creative. Regardless of how ordinary or spectacular, you want to get as much out of it as possible, and I say this from both a creative and traveller’s perspective. I definitely urge you not to be limited by location. With the right mentality, anywhere can become magical.
So you have managed to get that extra special time off with your mates and head down to the coast for that much needed break. Once you have booked your holiday, filled the tank and sorted out last minute items there is only one more thing left to do, pack your suitcase.
Are you a travel blogger and want to be a part of LocalIsZappa?
Complete the form below and we will contact you to discuss