I was listening to radio show a few days ago as people called in to complain fiercely about exorbitant airfares. People complained that a round-trip to the UK was costing between N300, 000 to N500, 000. “The airlines are a rip off”, “our government is at fault”, and taxes make on one-third of the cost” were some of the reasons cited. Others suggest it’s the forces of demand and supply at play and that summer time are notoriously expensive for vacation traveling.
Sadly, none of the reasons suggested above was a solution to the high cost of vacationing in Nigeria. After complaining, you still get to spend that money or else you are stuck vacationing in Nigeria. What about when you eventually travel out? You still get to spend and that can be very heavy if care is not taken. But isn’t there a way out of this I thought? Certainly there is and here are some useful tips for spending less vacationing abroad.
Plan Ahead – This is perhaps the first thing you should do after deciding to travel on holiday. The problem however is that most people plan vacation within a short period of time giving them very little room to maneuver cost. However, if you want a cheap vacation then you have to plan early. There is no way around it. Planning ahead should involve booking your airfares, hotels etc. on time. This is very important especially if you have a family you are traveling with. The trick is that most airlines and hotels offer cheap tickets/deals during off peak periods and you can lock them in early and use them during summer. Though, some of the deals are not flexible in terms of dates it is all part of planning anyway.
Stay with family or friends
For those who find hotels expensive no matter the price; it is also wise to stay with close family and friends. Though, this can be quite inconveniencing the trick here is not to stay too long and too dependent on your host. Nigerians abroad are often home sick, so the chance of having someone from Nigeria as a guest is one they hate to ignore. You just have to learn to stick to their rules and remind yourself that you are a restricted guest with very few privileges unlike back home in Nigeria. The reward for that off course is that you get to save an enormous amount of money.
Use coupons during shopping
Coupons are particularly popular in Europe and the US. Retail outlets give them to shoppers as a form of discount on their next purchases. Nigerians abroad have loads of coupons stashed in their bedrooms or drawers that they use once in a while. They only remember these coupons when they want to travel abroad. The first thing you want to do is to ask them for these coupons. Some coupons can give as much as 30% discount on purchases. Imagine how much you can save from these
Outlet malls are malls where original manufacturers of branded items sell their goods. Since the manufacturers are themselves selling, their products are often cheaper than you will find in regular malls. An item that cost $150 in a regular mall can be purchased for between fifty percent and seventy percent the price in an outlet mall. It’s massive attraction for frugal shoppers looking for quality products and the best price.
Discount Malls, Shops, Restaurants etc
There are loads of discount product and services abroad that you utilize quite conveniently. Some of them operate strictly online whilst some you have to visit physically. There is this shop in the outskirts of the UK where designer clothes can be bought for even 25% the regular retail price. There are even some shops within town whose trade is to sell discounted products. You can also get good deals with restaurants, cinemas, arcade etc.
Transportation cost takes a huge portion of your vacation cost abroad. Unlike in Nigeria, where taxis are quite cheap, it is no the same abroad. A black cab in the UK for example can cost as much as twenty pounds for a 2 kilometer ride. This is why it is very important to first understand the transportation system of where you travel. In the UK for example, it is cheaper to commute using the rail as they have a well-connected railway system. In the US, it’s probably cheaper and more convenient to hire a car for the duration of your stay particularly if you have a large family. The same can be said for a family trip to Dubai.
Travel with some foodstuffs
There was a story in the news the other day of a Nigeria caught traveling with about 67 snails by the US border patrol. Most countries restrict the quantity of foodstuffs you can take into their country but it doesn’t mean you can’t take at all. Imagine traveling to the US with kids and you don’t have meals that they are used to. Buying alternatives in the can be quite expensive. Therefore, travel with some foodstuff particularly the important ones and make sure they are within the approved limit.
Travel as a group
Traveling as a group also helps share some of the common cost that you would have incurred if you were alone. For example, you can share hotel apartments, nanny expenses, intra city transportation cost etc.