Looking forward to travelling this summer to your dream destination? Glancing through pictures on instagram of exciting places to travel to, daydreaming of your next vacation? (Guilty *raises hand in the air*). You tell yourself “I can never be able to afford that, that looks hella expensive”. Grab a seat while we spill the tea on how to travel without having to break your account.
1. Visa-free Destinations
Travelling as a Nigerian passport holder can be such a daunting and strenuous task speaking as a proud owner of one myself. From visa application fees to transportation costs to visa application centers, you are bound to break a sweat and a bank trying to get your visas. Why go through all the hassle when several destination hotspots are willing to welcome you with open arms without a visa. From the birth country of Rihanna (Barbados) to the beautiful islands of Dominica down to the incredible beaches of Fiji Island all the way to the exotic islands of the Maldives. Explore these visa-free destinations and have yourself an incredible vacation.
2. Use an incognito window for searches
Websites and search engines such as Google track your online activity to effectively market to you. However, there are two sides to this coin. You benefit as you do not need to remember all your online searches as it has already been stored for you. But on the flip side, this could be detrimental as you end up not getting the best deals out of your searches. By going incognito, you appear to the website as a first-timer and by so doing you get better deals helping you save a buck or two.
3. Look out for all-inclusive deals
You can search on Expedia and Momondo for all-inclusive vacations covering your flight + hotel + meals and sometimes even transportation. Also, compare prices of flights and hotels to see if the all inclusive deals are really deals. Not satisfied with the deals coming your way? Set a flight price alert to notify you on the best deals.
4. Check for deals at odd times and days
Many destination travellers can swear by this hack as it has been noted that you get the best deals at night and early hours of the morning compared to during the day. I can also say for certain that this is a tried and tested hack as I did this during my recent trip to Punta Cana. Flight costs at night were relatively cheaper than during the day and I sure did save a lot. Also, try booking on Tuesdays as you could get very good deals.
5. Be flexible
Be as flexible as possible with your travel dates. Travelling at peak times of the year could be way expensive than off-peak times so always put this into consideration.
6. Book in advance
Don’t be a last minute traveller. Always book in advance. For flights, book at least three months before your intended date of travel to get the best of deals.
Using your international debit cards in a foreign country can accrue charges for you and we don’t want that at all. It’s obvious you are trying to save money and that’s why you are reading this. Try using apps such as “Monzo” to withdraw and spend your cash for free in the country at good exchange rates. Before travelling, you could also convert your money to foreign currency at the post office as you could get the best rates from them. Save up for your vacation months before so you don’t end up digging a huge well in your pockets. Lastly, always check your spending by converting to your national currency to give you a good grasp of reality (for our Nigerian readers, so you don’t end up soaking garri when you get back).
8. Deals Deals Deals!
Check out for cheap and fun things to do while vacationing using Groupon and Expedia.
Transportation costs in your destination could be overwhelming especially as the locals can smell foreigner on you. They could hike the prices to vehemently rip you off. Make use of apps like uber and lyft while vacationing to save up on spending. Also, you could hire a car using Expedia to get to places of interest for your own convenience.
10. Be super smiley and friendly
Always smile and be friendly to the front desk staff at the hotel, airport and basically anywhere you need help. You could get upgrades as a result of your personality and countenance. This is a hack I have tried and it worked for me. On one of my trips, I was upgraded to a VIP suite with a personal butler in the hotel while I was grinning from ear-to-ear after a very long flight. However, always keep in mind that this depends on who is at the front desk but it never hurts to smile as a smile could save a penny.