Local travel tips: break free without breaking the bank
21 May 2024Last Updated:21 May 2024
Turquoise bus

There’s nothing better than a long weekend. For most it offers a glorious escape from the daily grind, filled with the promise of adventure. But for many South Africans staring down yet another slew of price hikes, that sweet escape can come with an acerbic side effect: a dent in carefully crafted budgets. Fear not, fellow wallet warriors. With a little planning and some savvy Shyft features, you’re free to let that travel bug bite without the sting of a hefty price tag. 

Staycation anyone?

Let’s face it. Sometimes the best adventures are the ones right under your nose. Why not explore the beauty of your city with fresh eyes? Hit up that museum or gallery you’ve been meaning to visit, have a painting picnic in the park with friends, or try a glamping movie night in your backyard, themed around your favourite destination. With travelling and accommodation expenses off your back, you can even splurge a little on that pricier vino or special-occasion treat.

Plan now, party later

But maybe your soul craves open roads (or sandy beaches). No worries! You may not have wads of cash at your disposal right now, but what you do have is some time. Planning way ahead of a getaway can literally save you thousands.

Instead of booking that flight and/or accommodation at the last minute, set a realistic timeframe to gather all the necessary funds and information and book when prices are reasonable (at least three months before).

Many of us unfortunately have to deal with the frustration of friends or family who cannot commit to a trip until the 11th hour. Be as (reasonably) strict with them as you are with yourself when planning these adventures. Worst-case scenario, they miss out on the time of their lives and have to deal with the subsequent FOMO induced by your IG stories. At least they’ll know to be more proactive next time. 

Don’t leave frugality at home

Making memories in a new environment can turn many of us into ballers overnight. No shade, we understand. You want to soak up every moment and experience without being bogged down by Captain Responsibility, right? But you don’t have to spend every waking moment on holiday counting your rands and cents. Set a clear spending limit for the entire trip. And don’t forget to factor in sneakier costs like late-night room service, petrol station snacks, and those “just because” purchases. They’re part of the experience, but avoid them if you can. They won’t make it to your scrapbook anyway. 

Bonus tip: Shyft can help you here. Via the app, simply load a set amount of Randelas onto your rand card (virtual or physical, if you’ve ordered one) and use this payment method while you’re away. In doing so, you can better silo your spending.

Best part? With 0% transaction fees on our rand cards (physical and virtual), you’re free to discover our country’s hidden wonders instead of hidden charges.

Couple hiking in the mountains

Live lush locally, but don’t let wanderlust blind you from reality.

Inventive = Inexpensive 

Sometimes the most epic adventures are the ones that require a little elbow grease. Everyone wants to laze around at a five-star resort and be doted on hand and foot. But as costly as it can be, the price tag doesn’t guarantee the best experiences and memories.
Instead of relying on restaurants for every meal (it adds up!), how about a Come Dine with Me-themed dinner where everyone cooks a dish to share? This can be a fun and affordable way to explore local ingredients. If your accommodation isn’t self-catering, consider an Amazing Race-style dash to various local eateries, where everyone purchases a meal to share tapas-style.

Depending on everyone’s sleep schedule, a group hike at sunrise (or sunset) can be the perfect bonding experience. Researching things to do together, involving your group in your itinerary, and chatting with the locals can open up an array of pocket-friendly possibilities. 

Shyft with friends and family

Team up with your travel companions and draft a shared budget. This way, everyone’s on the same financial page, and you can hold each other accountable (no sneaking off for overpriced cocktails!). Also, with free, instant and unlimited Shyft-to-Shyft payments, hounding people for money owed is a thing of the past.

See, with a little planning and Shyft by your side, you can conquer those local getaways without breaking the bank – or your spirit. Get out there, explore our colourful country, and remember, the most valuable souvenirs are the stories and memories you bring back home (and maybe a mini shampoo or two).