Given Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s tough budget speech, rising fuel prices and life with load shedding, it wouldn’t be surprising if South Africans who hoped to travel abroad this year are feeling a little deflated.
Careful budgeting and planning, destination research and consulting travel experts to find the best deals and advice, has never been more vital. To help you on your way, Flight Centre shares how much travel essentials – and some not so essential items – will cost in other parts of the world.
1. Go local.
“Following the local lifestyle as closely as possible will – in almost every destination – save you money,” recommends Sue Garrett, General Manager of Product and Marketing at Flight Centre. “Unless you’re visiting a place where the local lifestyle is exceptionally extravagant, eating local food, shopping at the markets and opting for public transport will stretch your rands,” she says.
What makes travel amazing is that it introduces us to cultures, food and a way of life that is different. Garrett recommends: “Make the most of that by not sticking to your usual foods and drinks but opt for the local favourites of choice. In Vietnam, that could be enjoying a local coffee flavoured with condensed milk, instead of your usual flat white. Or opt for a glass of raki, Turkey’s signature alcoholic beverage, over a beer in Istanbul.”
2. Choose your travel package wisely.
In some cases, such as Indian Ocean favourite Mauritius, and cruising, opting for an all-inclusive package that includes all meals and drinks will give you the best value for money, says Garrett. “In other countries, including some parts of Southeast Asia, local meals are affordable and delicious, so opting for accommodation with breakfast only is sufficient.”
3. Book early.
To get the best value for money, the early bird always gets the worm. “For the best choice of accommodation, room types and tours, booking as early as possible gives you not only the best variety to choose from to suit your preferences but also that meets your budget,” Garrett concludes.