Cape Town, South Africa

How to Budget your Holiday in South Africa

12 Ways to Reduce Holiday Spending

South Africa is a diverse and vibrant country, filled with beautiful scenery, busy cities, culture and adventure. Although a fair distance to travel, it offers a wealth of experiences which makes it an intriguing place to visit.

Going on holiday to South Africa, or any country, can be costly. People often spend huge amounts of money on travel, accommodation, food and experiences. Learning how to plan trips and add budgets can help save your precious cash. If you need even more pointers, check out this South Africa itinerary.


Travel out of season

Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

Many people go away in the summer when the kids are on vacation and there’s more time to plan a trip abroad. However, picking a low season period in which to go away is usually cheaper.

In South Africa, peak season is around December and January. Choosing to visit the country outside of these months can save you money.

Travel deals

Researching good travel deals and cheap plane tickets is another way to save on travel costs. Flights to South Africa are long and expensive, so finding the best deal is crucial.

Use sites like Skyscanner to compare flight costs from different airlines. They have a handy calendar tool that shows you the cheapest months and days to fly.


Car hire and taxi bookings are both expensive (compare prices here). Public transport is much cheaper to use, even if it means less freedom. In South Africa, this might include rail, bus, or minibus-taxi.

Walking is cheapest of all and is generally a more enriching experience. Although not always convenient, it will always save you money.



Airbnb is affordable and is usually pleasant enough. This service offers homeowners the chance to rent out their home or apartment on a holiday basis to travellers, and is a great and usually cheaper alternative to hotels.

South Africa has many Airbnb’s overlooking cities, beaches or scenery. If you do your research right, you can find some great places to stay that will give you a more ‘local’ experience than staying at a resort hotel.


Hostels are relatively cheap to stay in. While they often lack the luxury that hotels may offer, they can greatly reduce that South African vacation budget. (See Cape Town hostels here.)

Especially for backpackers, young travellers or groups, hostels are a great idea for saving money on vacation.

Hotel deals

South africa simon greenwood 405956 unsplash How to Budget your Holiday in South Africa

Hotels can be expensive – but by choosing four or even three star accommodation, you can save a fair bit of cash.

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Thoroughly researching the best South African hotels and hotel deals can show up some wonderful, affordable places. Use websites like to compare hotel room prices across the web. Using this method, you can usually find the same room on offer for several different prices, meaning you can find and choose the cheapest provider.



Choosing not to eat out at all or at least limiting restaurant meals is another way to save. If you stay in an Airbnb or self-catering accommodation, you usually have kitchen access.

Why not buy some South African foods and try making them yourself? You get to try local foods, hopefully have fun, and save yourself some cash.

Avoid formal restaurants

Formal restaurants are brilliant as a treat. If you’re looking to reduce spending however, then avoiding fancy restaurants is best.

Many small or less established restaurants serve delicious food but at lower costs. You still get a taste of South Africa – perhaps even a more authentic one – and you save money in the process.

Restaurant deals

It is always worth looking for cheap food deals and vouchers. If not deals, then simply research cheaper restaurants to add to your itinerary.

Choosing small cafes can be a good way to start but remember, saving money doesn’t have to mean poor quality.



Walking and hiking are fun and free activities that can be enjoyed. Strolling through the beautiful South African scenery, viewing historic architecture and hiking up the South African mountains are all great ways to spend a day.


A day at the beach is a free activity that can be added to your itinerary. South Africa has many beautiful beaches to offer and you can spend a day strolling, paddling, or sun bathing.


Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa has many wonderful and inexpensive activities to offer and research is key to keeping on budget. Finding activity deals and searching for free or cheap sightseeing destinations will help save precious cash.

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