Many conversations need to happen before one can travel.
What destination? How long is the vacation? Have you read up on the conditions of the roads? Do you need to rent a car? What kind of car? Which car rentals do you use? And most importantly, what is the budget?
Since going live with my blog (www.ndapanda.co), the most frequently asked question has been “How do you budget?” I’m here to finally share the tips and tricks that work for me in the Namibian context.
Travel can be costly. If it is important to you, the first and most important thing is to put money aside for it. Open a vacation (Travel) account and commit to a debit/stop order amount that makes sense to you. Treat it like any of your other expenses – commit to it; do not draw money from it for anything either than travel, but be mindful of overextending yourself.
Having money set aside specifically for travel makes decision making, from a financial perspective, easier.
There are also banks with amazing group save options for group travellers.
The second thing: loyalty and discount card subscriptions.
Guys! These cards are the secret to my visits to Popa Falls Resort and the elegant Desert Grace Lodge. Many qualify you up to 50% discount on accommodation, a 25% discount on activities and a 25% discount on food.
Both Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) and Gondwana Collection have one of their own. Subscribe, it’s the first step to living your best life.
Additionally, always be on the lookout for specials on social media. NWR currently has an independence special, where they offer all local travellers a whopping 70% off accommodation prices. Gondwana Collection has had many specials and so has the O&L group! Hey, even private lodges are trying to appeal to domestic travellers. It’s raining specials; it’s your time!
Keep your ear on the ground, always!
Some lodges have no issue allowing guests to carry food of their own should they want to. Some lodges have braai areas as a matter of fact, where guests get to prepare their meals. It’s a cheaper alternative to buffets, trust me. Carry a cooler box and some snacks.
Do your itinerary well in advance and allocate funds accordingly.
I find that it’s better to allocate slightly more than less. Be honest about what you can afford. Do not fill your itinerary to the brim; vacations are for relaxation. Set aside time to sit by the pool or just enjoy a cocktail. Enjoy those views you paid for. Enjoy your money.
Lastly, if you are a budget-conscious traveller like me, travel off-season (less demand). Try to avoid travelling during peak seasons at all cost, peak season price hikes might throw your budget off completely.
Do not succumb to pressure and take unnecessary loans to fund holidays. Be patient with yourself; you have time. Deadvlei is not going anywhere, the Canyon has survived many years, and it will wait for you. Practice discipline. It’s all attainable if you plan.
I hope these tips will help you plan your next holiday, and if you need more, find me: