Airfares have skyrocketed in recent months, leading many to question the possibility of a summer vacation. All is not lost, while Sky travel might take some of your budget, there are plenty of other ways to have your best summer holiday yet. Here’s how families can save money when they go on vacation this summer.
Day Hotel and Awards
You don’t have to stay in a hotel to enjoy hotel amenities. Enjoying some time away from home and your commitments during the holiday season might also mean enjoying a meal at a hotel close to home. “When choosing a hotel for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner this holiday season, look for establishments that offer special deals for non-guest bookings,” advises Yusuf Jinoo, head concierge at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront.
Many hotels across the country also offer access to their premises for day visitors. This could also include access to swimming pools and gardens. Call ahead to find out which hotel near you offers this, and after you’ve enjoyed your meal, put on your bathing suit, grab a book, and sunbathe and enjoy the day.
For those who choose to stay overnight, hotel rewards programs can offer some of the best deals for budget travelers. A larger hotel group such as Radisson with hotels around the world are great options to consider. This would mean not having to join multiple rewards programs for local and international travel.
Just recently, the hotel group announced its new loyalty program, Radisson Rewards, which opens doors for guests to enjoy valuable and exclusive benefits faster – sign up and claim them now. Benefits include in-stay perks like members-only rates, complimentary upgrades, food and beverage discounts, free nights, additional experiences, and post-stay perks like the option to make a stay carbon neutral. In the face of inflated fares, award programs help keep costs down.
Into the nature
Get your outdoor shoes and sun hats. South Africa has 19 national parks scattered across the country. Throughout the seasons, each park is filled with beautiful native vegetation, day-long views, and in some parks, native wildlife and a variety of bird species. In these nature reserves, forms of native fauna and flora are preserved and cared for. For those who want to brave the great outdoors and get out into the great outdoors, SANParks offers heavily discounted rates for South African and African citizens, and even bigger discounts for children.
Micro savings for future vacations
What if combining the savings approach with innovation and technology could help you plan future vacations? This could mean that you don’t have to compromise on your future vacation dreams by saving for a future vacation. For example, you could invest at least part of your vacation savings in Bitcoin. “While it’s important to acknowledge that cryptocurrency didn’t have its best year, it was previously the best-performing asset of the decade,” said Ricki Allardice, head of product at micro-saving and investing app Upnup
Buying bitcoin is also becoming easier and easier, which means you don’t need large amounts of money to use it as a savings and investment mechanism. “In fact, with an app like upnup, you can buy bitcoin simply by ’rounding up’ your spending on necessities like groceries and fuel, or by committing a certain amount each month,” Asher continues.
Plan your travel budget in advance and use a Google spreadsheet to account for every detail. Taxis, meals, drinks, excursions, flights and evening souvenirs and holiday wear or gift shopping should all be included in your budget planning. Discipline and budget management are critical to executing a perfectly budgeted vacation.
There are almost 100 museums across the country, of which Gauteng has the majority. Not only are they fascinating places to learn about many different subjects, but they are also affordable; Admission is usually under R50 for adults and under R20 for children. Transportation, art, national history and indigenous culture are just some of the themes represented by our museums. Iziko Museums in Cape Town often run holiday programs for the little ones. Also check out what your local library offers. Many of South Africa’s libraries offer free holiday programs that include art days, film afternoons and more.
Plan cheap flights in advance
Whilst airfares have generally risen, particularly as South Africa enters the peak summer travel season, you can save on airfares if you time your travels well. According to data from travel search engine Cheapflights.co.za, the last week of November gives you the best prices on domestic flights.
“From 21-30 November, travelers can take a domestic return flight for R2,155 – the lowest price from now until the end of November,” Laure Bornet, GM, Kayak, EMEA, tells Cheapflights.co.za managed. Another trick is knowing when to fly. “Booking your flight on a Monday will cost you less than any other day of the week during this period,” says Bornet.