Hello! My name is ‘Funmi Oyatogun. I breathe and design travel experiences at @TVPAdventures. Here are the insights I shared yesterday at the first ever #NigeriaTravelChat on Twitter. Check out my 18 tips on how to plan a budget family vacation.
- Before your vacation, you must set out a budget and try to stick with it. Your budget should be the first decision
- Now that you have a working budget, choose dates and look for places that are likely to fit into your budget. Dates are crucial because the cost of flights and hotels change depending on the season and day of the week
- At this point, if you reach out to @TVPAdventures and other tour operators, we will give you options likely to fit your budget. We have relations with several vendors so we get all-inclusive and cheaper options that you might not see online
- Summer is peak period so expect things to cost more than they do in February or October but you can still hack it. Buying tickets earlier than later always saves money. Flight tickets rarely drop as the date approaches
- Where to go? – Nearby countries will cut your costs and remove visas. You can enjoy Ghana, Benin Rep., Gambia, etc. Countries whose national airlines fly directly to Nigeria are often affordable flight wise. There are exceptions
- For example, South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Egypt Air fly to cool countries. Book early and enjoy. RwandAir is affordable! You’ll find that flying to Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda are cheapest on RwandAir
- Rwanda, Ethiopian & Kenya Airways offer cost-friendly tickets from Lagos to Thailand, China, India, Dubai, etc.
- Find a country whose currency is ‘weaker’ with cheaper living costs. 1 Naira = 10 TZSh. Your money goes further. On the other hand, 1000 Naira = 2 British Pounds. Your money does not go as far. Nearby airports might be cheaper than the one you are used to
- Also, try countries where you know people (if you are comfortable staying with them). You’ll save on accommodation. Where to Stay? – But what if you don’t know anyone where you are going or you want to stay on your own?
- Score hotel deals on hotels.ng, JumiaTravel.com, booking.com, etc. Read reviews (all) and pay on arrival (Booking). Always read reviews, journals, articles, etc of places you plan to visit. Sift out the gist from the good and bad
- Look beyond hotels. Apartments are everywhere, are often cheaper and allow you to cook, saving money on meals. I love apartments because everyone can split into bedrooms with a common living room and kitchen like at home. Find an unbelievable range of apartments on booking.com & airbnb. You won’t believe the range of options
- Flying for (almost) free – If you fly a lot, you have potential to secure free trips. Every time you travel, you earn miles. Different airlines have different formulae for allocating miles to flights. So, you secure more miles the farther you travel (Lagos to Houston offers more miles than Lagos to Nairobi)
- Also, the more flight legs, the more points. Lag to Nairobi to Bangkok (2 flights) > than Lag to Nairobi (1 flight). Miles are currency & can be redeemed for hotels, flights, etc. It is a loyalty system that awards frequent fliers
- If you fly on the same airline all the time, you are concentrating your miles and they will add up quickly. If you are flying different random airlines, your miles are scattered and they will not add up quickly
- But what if one airline doesn’t fly everywhere? How do you rack up miles? Guess what! ALLIANCES are here to save. Most major airlines belong to an alliance. There are three major alliances – SKY TEAM, ONE WORLD and STAR ALLIANCE
- When it comes to miles, flying within the same alliance is similar to flying on the same airline. Let me explain. I like to fly KLM. But KLM doesn’t fly from Lagos to Nairobi. And I want my miles to accumulate. KLM is in SKY TEAM. So is Kenya Airways and many others. So, I book my Nairobi trip on Kenya Airways. Same Alliance!
- Last year, I paid ~68,000 Naira (tax) and 30,000 of my racked-up miles for a round trip to Zanzibar. Value = 300k + So never waste miles again, especially if you travel often. Some miles expire & others don’t. Choose wisely
- If you travel a lot for business, use your racked up miles to buy tickets for your family members for holiday. Do not be afraid to explore the countless options available in Nigeria. Travelling at home is just as rewarding and affordable…And that will be all for now. If you have questions, comments and clarifications, please feel free to reach me on @TVPAdventures (IG & Twitter), http://TVPAdventures.com , YouTube Series – TRAVEL HACKS –