Do you sometimes find yourself scrolling through your social media feed, daydreaming about travelling on your own to foreign lands, visiting amazing selfie destinations and embarking on life-changing adventures? But then you wake up and check your bank balance.dammit.
Travelling on a limited budget is a scary thing for many people, which may deter some would-be wanderers from experiencing the world.
South Africa has plenty to offer the solo traveller, from gorgeous cities filled with museums, beautiful beaches, unique restaurants and small towns with rich histories - and much else to explore.
To help you get the most out of your travelling, here are a few tips to you should consider when travelling on a budget.
Accommodation Book a place to sleep!
Airbnb as a platform makes sense for solo travellers for a number of reasons. Firstly, there is an accommodation type to suit every budget - a tight budget or one where you can splurge a bit more - there's something for everyone. Secondly, there are different types of accommodation options listed on the platform. Perhaps you want an entire apartment to yourself? You can definitely find that on Airbnb. For solo travellers, however, booking a room in a host's home is worth a shot. This way, travellers can get a feel for how locals live and get on-the-ground useful information about the destination.
Eat off the streets!
There are many things South Africans are known to be good at, and near the top of the list is perfecting their affordable delicious street food. Whether it’s a freshly fried Vetkoek or a delicious boerewors roll, the choice is yours. They may be found at local spaza shops or in the little tents along the streets of the busy cities. Alternatively, you could stock up on your vegetables and fruit at any of the local fruit-sellers offering their goods at low prices along busy main roads. It might not be as glamorous as dining at fancy cafes and eateries but, financially, it’s a life-saver.
Let your ears be your guide.
If you consider yourself someone who likes to stop, explore and embrace your beautiful surroundings without being pressured about keeping up with your tour guide or keeping quiet when the guide is sharing some historical information about the place you’re in, you’re in luck!
Touring on your own is way cheaper than joining a tour group, and you may find some useful tools to assist. For instance, Cape Point has an audio tour that provides an all-sensory experience, while you’re exploring the beauty of this iconic site, allowing you to stop and admire your surroundings in your own time. The best part about this audio tour is that it’s free! Just download it via the iPhone store or the Google store.
When it comes to transport, not many people are keen on driving by themselves when travelling on their own - and we understand why. We all want someone else to assist with the navigation. But if you don’t mind doing self-drive for a few days, it can be a handy way to keep the costs of travelling solo under control. Alternatively, If you don’t have a car, Cape Town’s local MyCiTi bus should be your go-to. The service is affordable and safe. The Cape Town City Sightseeing hop-on, hop-off bus is also a great way to get to major attractions (with over 50 spots accessible from more than 30 stops around the city). It costs just R200 per adult (or R180 if you buy in advance online) for a full day exploring Cape Town, and it has stops at most of Cape Town’s favourite spots for tourists.