With the mid-year holiday season in our midst, many people will be looking forward to a well-earned getaway. Here are six ways to save on a holiday.
Most of us don’t have unlimited finances and as a result, we’re likely to save where we can so that we can spend a little more on the things that are special to us and those we care about. Rather than cleaning out the mini-bar in your hotel, for example, you might save that money toward going diving with whale-sharks. Here are affordable ways to enjoy your well-deserved break:
- Ask a local: the residents of your holiday destination are likely to know which outlets are geared towards’ tourists spending money. Ask around for places the locals regard as authentic and affordable. That humble Portuguese tavern down a side-road, away from the glitz and price-tag of the waterfront, that only the old salts seem to know about? It might just have the best, most affordable Trinchado you’ve ever eaten;
- Trawl the supermarket: if you’ve ever paid a few dozen rands for a sandwich you know you could make at home for a fraction of the price, you’ll know that shopping and preparing for your own food cuts out the restaurants’ overheads. Markets in your holiday destination might offer discounts on local food that’s in season. If you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen you can buy and prepare your own food, and treat yourself to a fancy sundowner cocktail or an ice-cream cone at the beach;
- Love the buffet: staying somewhere that offers breakfast? Don’t pass up on the opportunity for a good meal to start the day. Food snobs might sneer at the all-you-can-eat, continental-or-full-English offering, but it offers a variety of food that suits most palates, which is useful if you have hungry but picky eaters in the family;
- Eat out for lunch, in for supper: some restaurants charge more at night and are geared for evening trade. A lunch in the early afternoon, followed by a light supper might be more affordable than a two- or three-course supper, plus wine;
- Carry your own: bottled water is expensive and terrible for the environment. The tap-water in South Africa is generally fine for drinking and you can buy a reusable bottle that will last you indefinitely;
- Public transport: hiring a vehicle when on holiday gives you the freedom to move around as you choose, but you might find that you don’t need it every day. Cape Town’s MyCiti bus system has found its way into the hearts of locals and visitors, with its efficient, safe and – thanks to dedicated bus-lanes – quick network. The buses are busy in the mornings and afternoons, when commuters pile aboard, grateful to escape the city’s traffic jams. But the routes link many of the major attractions, including the beaches the Western seaboard as far south as Hout Bay and as far north as Melkbosstrand. You can also carry sports equipment on board as long as it doesn’t obstruct other passengers. A bonus is not having to worry about an extra glass of wine with lunch as you’re not the designated driver. Also, you’re cutting down on your carbon footprint and you won’t feel like weeping at the thought of the fuel-price.
Words: Luane Lavery.