Life Advice, Lifestyle

How I Plan My Holidays, Travel Tips

So a  few of you have been asking me, how I manage to travel so much and what tips I have for people looking to travel? I figured I will finally spill the beans on my travel tips (it’s nothing wow really) and hopefully it can help you guys jet set to your dream destinations soon. Anyway I am going to try keep this post short and sweet (having a lazy day and I am sick) but if you have any other questions always feel free to message me on Twitter here: @AverageSA_Blog . Anyway  lovely people, here are my travel tips.

  1. Planning is KEY! If you are like me and can’t afford to just up and travel whenever you want, then you will definitely need to plan your travels way in advance. I generally try plan my international travels at least 6-8 months (sometimes a whole year) in advance and my local travels 3-4 months in advance. What this does is it allows me to be able to budget and save for my trips. This way I can change my weekly/monthly priorities around in order to be able to save for my trips. I would generally cut out things like partying, eating out (you will be surprised how much money is wasted on this, lunch at work etc included) and wasting money on other unnecessary things. This also gives me enough time to find the best deals for my trip. Sometimes it’s also good to give yourself a budget (work on saving for it) then plan a holiday around that budget. I do that mostly for my local trips. 
  2. Find An Affordable Destination For You! The problem with a lot of us is we always try to go for the most expensive destinations because we see all these celebrities and cool kids who can afford it checking-in to them on the gram (putting location pressures on everyone). There are lots of amazing destinations out there that are beautiful, affordable and chances are you will have more fun exploring them. For me when it comes to choosing a destination I generally go for countries that don’t require a visa (visa applications  for some countries are expensive so this helps cut costs), have affordable accommodation and affordable tourist activities. For local destinations I look for the ones with amazing guest houses and affordable activites, I avoid staying at hotels (it’s much cheaper to book a guest house than most hotels locally). Also take things like exchange rates into account as this will make your travels more affordable. 
    South Africans can travel to these Visa Free Countries in 2017:

  3. Find The Best Deals! A lot of people generally assume travelling is super expensive without evening doing any research on amazing and affordable deals. Google is your friend guys so use it! For my international travels I find that STA Travel has some amazing deals and they give you more than enough time to pay for your trip. For my recent Thailand trip (you can check out my trip under my travel/food posts), with STA Travel the trip cost a total of R12500, securing the trip (deposit) cost R1000 and then because we booked in January we had 6 months to pay off the trip which meant saving around R2000 every month (if we had booked sooner we would have had more time to pay for the trip). STA Travel gives you up until 30 Days before your trip to pay it off. This is why planning is key, give yourself enough time to be able to save for your trip.  STA has lots of other cheaper packages based on what time of the year you looking to travel, peak seasons will always be slightly more expensive.
    For my Local Travels I find Afristay (formerly known as Accomodirect) to have some of the best local accommodation deals. For my recent local trips to George and  Port Alfred I found the best guest house deals via Afristay, for 5 nights we managed to find great deals for R1200 per person. When it comes to my flights, I find them through checking sites like Cheap Flights for the best deals.  I also make sure to always be on the look out for flight specials and if the prices are good enough I will book a flight for later in the year just so I can give myself enough time to plan my accommodation and other trip details. For those of you looking to going on holiday soon, Afristay is giving away a R3000 accommodation voucher so make sure to check out their Facebook Page for more details.
  4. Find A Reliable Travel Buddy! One thing that has helped me with actually following through on my travels, is having a reliable friend who loves travelling and always makes sure we plan and book way in advance. If you are looking to travel I would suggest you avoid trying to plan group trips, rather keep it small, travel with your partner or someone you know you will be able to rely on. I find that with group trips people always tend to cancel last minute which can be discouraging and you end up not going on your trip or you end up on a trip with a bunch on negative Nancy’s.  Having a reliable travel partner also helps with cutting costs, you get better packages and deals on certain things. Travelling alone is also an option but not something I’m a fan off. 
  5. Just Do It And Stop Telling Us That You Are Going To Do It! Too many people keep speaking about travel (stop gassing each other up on WhatsApp groups lol) but never actually take the time to do it. If you really want to travel then you need to get serious about it. Plan, budget and start saving. I know life always gets in the way sometimes but the first step is to commit and once you do that you will find that the rest will fall into place. Also start small and work you way from there, do local travels, road trips etc before you go big. There are lots of amazing places locally that we overlook because once again all the cool kids are not talking about them. Forget the cool kids and travel for you. 

A few other tips to help you book a reasonably priced holiday:

  • Visit destinations where you have friends that you can crash at to cut accommodation costs.
  • Book self catering accommodations this will help you save, instead of eating out everyday you can buy some groceries and make your own meals.
  • Sometimes it’s easier to book everything yourself instead of using a travel agency. Just do your research first and find best prices and deals sites.
  • Plan your trip around off-peak times
  • Always try use public transport and avoid using cabs, public transport is much cheaper. (For local trips my friends and I will take the bus in some instances instead of flying to cut our costs.)
  • Stop trying to be FANCY when you are on a budget. Don’t be afraid to look for bargains.
  • Don’t disclose your travel plans until everything is booked and finalised. Disclosing your plans before you have even booked is when all kinds of problems and negative people start to pop up and derail you from travelling.

    Yes travelling can be expensive and not everyone can afford to but there are lots of ways to cut your costs if you are willing to. I find that the problem at times is most people want to travel 5 star on a zero star budget, which is why you end up not travelling at all and being frustrated about the prices. Commit to a trip, put a budget together for it, then start saving with your super reliable travel buddy and then find destinations that will be able to match your guys budget. Happy Travelling Friends!! Lets all go to Venda from 7-10 September 🙂 South Africa is so beautiful guys! 

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