The Internet offers many ways for travellers to organise holidays and save money normally spent on hotels.
Last year a UK study, carried out by tour operator Kuoni and healthcare charity Nuffield Health, found that people on holiday slept better, had lower blood pressure and lower stress levels than those who didn’t take a break.
So now that there’s proof to support a holiday, the only question left to answer is how to save for one.
Cost your holiday
You’ll need to draw up a special holiday budget to get a realistic idea of how much it will cost you. Include transport and accommodation costs, spending money and other holiday expenses such as insurance, visas and vaccinations. Make sure your usual monthly expenses at home are covered too.
It might mean breaking some habits so you can save more. Cutting out 2 cappuccinos a week could save you R40 a week, or almost R2 000 in a year. Could switching to a new bank reduce your bank fees and save you more? Use this bank costs calculator to find out. You can switch to Capitec Bank in 3 easy steps. Capitec Bank clients can also open up to 4 extra savings plans, so it’s easy to set up a holiday savings fund.
Consider a holiday loan
If you don’t have time to save up for a holiday, but are desperate for a break or need cash fast to pay for a once-in-a-lifetime travel special, you can always consider a our credit facilty, our credit card or a longer-term credit plan.
Don’t go on holiday during peak times (i.e. school holidays, December). If you have flexible leave arrangements, you’ll save with cheaper, off-peak rates. Even leaving a week before school holidays start can mean lower airfares or cheaper rates on holiday packages.
Global One cardholders don’t need traveller’s cheques or currency cards because the card can be used to draw money overseas, and there’s no extra charge for the currency conversion. You also won’t pay transaction fees for card, online or mobile app purchases.
Keep it local
We live in a beautiful, tourist-friendly country. From backpackers’ lodges to luxurious hotels, there’s something for everyone’s budget. You’ll find hundreds of options on websites such as SafariNow or WhereToStay. If you contact the accommodation provider, it’s always worth asking for a discount – especially in low season. And don’t forget camping – once you’ve invested in the equipment you’ll be able to enjoy budget-friendly breaks at many beautiful campsites around the country.
Websites like Home Exchange and Airbnb let travellers organise non-hotel accommodation with willing people across the world. Also keep your eye on group-buying sites such as Groupon, which often offer good deals for local and international accommodation, and TripAdvisor, which not only provides reviews but also offers regular travel specials.
Free and easy
There are many experiences that won’t cost a lot but will help recharge your batteries and build special memories with your friends and family. Visit an art gallery or museum, have a picnic in one of the country’s many parks or spend an afternoon making sandcastles at the beach. Some South African tourism sites also offer specials – for example, you can get a free trip up Table Mountain on your birthday, and every year South African National Parks gives SA citizens free access to national parks for a week (normally in September).