Travel bloggers share holiday saving tips

by - September 13, 2016

The summer holidays are here and many of us are probably looking forward to the holidays. But with the rand being the way it is, it's really hard to think about a holiday. If you haven't started planning yet, don't worry. There's still time for you to have a great holiday without breaking your credit card. I asked our travel bloggers to share some of their holiday saving tips with us. This is what they had to say: 
Lisa and Heather - Bloggers at Klipdrifters Travel
Cook and entertain at home - Invite friends and family over for a braai/potjie or themed party.  Tell them to bring blankets, pillows and even tents for a sleep over to avoid drinking and driving.  Play ball games, board games or cards... be creative and have fun!  You will be surprised how much money you save on eating and drinking out.
Ditch the cable - Why spend money on watching repeats?  Why watch TV at all?  If you really find yourself with nothing better to do, stream legal and free movies online?  YouTube will keep you entertained for hours and is often a great way to learn and discover new things!
Be a tourist - Many people think that you need to drive far away or jump on a plane to go on holiday, yet most people haven't visited places in their own city.  The park down the road, local bird sanctuary, museum or the aquarium?  It makes a fun day out for the family and is more cost effective than spending money on transport, accommodation etc.
Geocaching - A fun and free way to entertain the whole family and discover places you didn't even know existed - think treasure hunting on a global scale!  You can learn more about Geocaching here.
Experiences last longer than gifts - Every year we waste money on gifts that either break, are thrown away or hidden in the back of a cupboard.  Ask your mom or your brother what you gifted them 2 years ago... do you even remember?  How much would you have spent on all those gifts, cards and wrapping paper?  Spending the same amount on an experience the family can remember forever would be more rewarding.  A weekend guided family hike, a train ride adventure or a bungy jump... Think of something unique you can all enjoy together...
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Dawn Jorgensen - Travel Writer | Earth Advocate at The Incidental Tourist Blog.
Make holidays and travel a priority, have a kitchen jar or special account and put money in there that you may have spent on things that you actually don’t need, like that extra meal out or an item of clothing. Experiences last forever, they need to be a priority in our daily budgeting.

Be a little flexible with your travel dates. There are peak periods where everything costs much more, if you can avoid the dates over Christmas and New Year, you’ll see a marked difference in costs. This is particularly true of flights too. Don’t book on a Friday afternoon or Sunday evening to afford premium fees.

When booking accommodation consider Airbnb as an alternate option to a Hotel stay. Also as much as we may want to be in the heart of the tourist hub, sometime taking a bit of distance means a much more affordable selection and the opportunity to ‘live in a place’ rather than just observe it as a tourist. Check out what local tours are on offer and take a walking tour if you can, the time with a local guide will unlock part of the city or destination that you my otherwise not learn about. Also importantly, where possible walk don’t drive.

Take advantage of one of the many perks of being a South African by getting a Wild Card that will give you affordable access to SANParks' 21 National Parks, each rich in natural wonder with game, flora, walking trails and even accommodation to enjoy.

Even if you aren’t a frequent traveler, sign up for reward programs as they offer some incredible deals. My favourite is Miles For Style, which embraces more than one program, and Avios SA

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Tami Magnin - Lifestyle Family Blogger at Rumtumtiggs

Eating out is often a big expense over the holiday season, so we prefer to invite people to our home for bring and share lunches or braais. Friends are usually happy to bring along a salad or a bag of chips and it means that you can have fun, without splitting a bill at the end of the day.

Spending the day at the beach is also a great way to have fun without breaking the bank. Remember to pack enough food and freeze water in bottles in the night before to use in place of ice packs. Once the bottles have melted, you've probably eaten all your food and then you can drink the newly unfrozen water. Obviously pack a big bottle of unfrozen water as well so that you can stay hydrated throughout the day.

Stock up on sunscreen now. The price of sunscreen will increase as you get closer to the December holidays so look out for good deals now and save.

Never leave home without having a good meal and taking water with you. Many a budget has been destroyed by finding yourself starving while you're on the road. While visiting a fantastic restaurant is always a treat, it is never a budget friendly option. The same applies to water. I've kicked myself a million times when I've found myself without something to quench my thirst. If you make sure you always have a water bottle with you, you will never have to resort to pricey bottled water.

Explore the outdoors on foot. When most of South Africa descends on Cape Town, traffic is a nightmare. So, walk everywhere. Or ride your bike. No parking hassles AND you can eat as much festive food as you like.

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Anje Rautenbach  - Blogger at Going Somewhere Slowly

Eat in – minimise the visits to restaurants and stay in self-catering accommodation where possible to prepare most of your meals.
Plan ahead to save petrol costs - plan your activities, shopping trips etc. ahead of time to avoid driving up and down in the same direction.
Do your research – it is important to know what you are getting yourself into, do your research about the costs of activities, whether or not activities are available on the day you want to visit and make use of free activities.
Choose your transport – not only are roads in holiday towns congested during the holiday season, but finding parking is also a nightmare and finding good and secure parking comes with a price tag. Walk or cycle when possible and if you are in a city with an excellent and easy to navigate public transport system (like Cape Town), make use of it.
Shop with caution – with the holiday season come great specials but also extravagant costs, especially when vacationers go overboard with Christmas gifts and holiday entertainment. Whether you are buying something for yourself or as a gift, take a few minutes before you purchase the product to ask yourself, “is this really necessary?”
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Sara Essop - Lifestyle Blogger at In Africa and Beyond.
If you plan to go away, book in advance. Cheaper flights and accommodation usually get booked out first.
Book self-catering accommodation – because buying three meals a day for a family can be quite expensive.
If you can’t afford to go away, don’t stress. Be a tourist in your own city and explore the hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems in your area.

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Have any travel tips of your own? Tell us about them in the comment box below!

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