Travel has become a topic that i keep thinking and talking about more and more often these days. I have become so in love with the idea of travelling that it disappoints me to sit idle and let time pass thereby achieving none of my goals. However with the new year, a little more mature me, i have devised a plan to travel more and it may not be as extravagant as you think.
For far to long I have had this image in my head that to be a successful traveller, one needed to travel internationally, that is cross the borders of my country. However, recently it has dawned on me that travelling locally can be just as rewarding, as I live in a beautiful country that has so much to see. Imagine having so much in your own backyard, yet travelling to foreign countries to visit the exact same things. Therefore, i have started planning local adventures to nearby towns and for the 2 trips that i have been on already for this year, i have taken away memories and experiences that satisfy me just as much as international travel.
Travelling internationally has its perks, the most important is being able to interact and experience the culture of different people from different countries. However, seldomly do we think about the different cultures that our own country has. South Africa, my country, is considered a rainbow nation and we have a nation that is diverse in culture as our residents come from across the world. Therefore, if travelling internationally is not possible right now and its your dream, then detour and travel locally until a time that you are able to travel internationally.
The other factor that plays its hand when travelling is time, when is it possible for me to travel? Being an accountant, the sole finance person in my company, i personally will struggle to travel internationally any time of the year. However, local travels have been helping with that, as I travel during a weekend and if its to a town nearby then a weekend will suffice. Generally, a weekend will allow you to experience the town while allowing you relaxation time as well. So you kill two birds with one stone.
Another benefit of travelling locally is that you boost your own country’s tourism. You, as a town dweller, going into a small town for example, might be what that villager is hoping for to keep his/her business alive. That small b&b in that small town needs guests to sustain the employees and environment surrounding it. Yes, being an accountant one tends to think of these things but I love to see my fellow countrymen prosper to.
Keeping the above in mind, I also need to be saving money for future travels and therefore prefer picking up a deal for local travel, because if one is available why not make use of it.Travelling locally, depending the distance, accomodation is generally one of the biggest expenses so this is where I use my discretion.
Accommodation for me has to be:
- Affordable (I don’t need a 5 star hotel)
- Clean (Presentable)
- Safe (Not situated in the middle of no where)
- Centrally Located (Easy to access surrounding town/s)
Generally there are sites that advertise/promote brands and places and each country may have its own sites but for information purposes I will give away my site that helps me choose a destination. In SA, we have a site called “Daddy’s Deals’ which stores deals and allows you to purchase vouchers to access those deals. I have used this site for the 2 weekend getaways I have been on in 2018 and I have walked away with 2 amazing experiences with only praises and no complaints. The key for me so far, is that I plan my trips around the deals available at that time. However that is just me, because I am spontaneous and want to visit as many towns in my country as I can.
My other trick is because I am single, I just find a friend or two, depending on size of room booked, and we share the cost of accommodation and travelling therefore making the journey cheaper.
The reason I prefer self catering accommodation is because its generally attached to cheaper fees, and you are more likely provided with equipment to cook your own food making trip cheaper in that sense as well. I have been naughty so far, as I haven’t cooked a meal on my trips away because I have wanted to taste the local food but that is going to have to change if I want to sustain my trips out and save.
One more piece of advice, if you driving out to a small town that is just a few hours drive away the most and just want to go away for just the weekend. Then rather leave home on early Saturday morning so that you can pay for one night accommodation only. But this is solely left to your discretion as we all have different needs. For me if the deal includes two nights then I will go on a Friday night but if it’s just one, then I leave early on Saturday, plan my activities for the area I’m going to, check in at time I’m allowed to, chill at b&b and then go out again to explore but that’s just me. I am just sharing it to help and give you ideas.
Anyway, I hope the above helped, it will help South Africans more because of examples used but the concept should be similar worldwide. As I said, travel has been on my heart alot lately so this definitely won’t be my last post regarding it, so stay tuned for more.