Read up on the latest travel trends, three budget-friendly hotspots and useful apps to try.

Your well-deserved family break need not cost an arm and a leg. Here’s how.

The cost of accommodation or even camping spots varies throughout the year, so check mid- and low-season rates before booking to get the best value for your money. High season (summer) bookings are always more expensive. For example, the prices for self-catering cottages in a popular Overberg resort in the Western Cape drop by about 20% in low season (a saving of roughly R200 per night for a cottage that sleeps six). To attract out-of-season visitors, some places offer midweek specials that give you one or two nights’ accommodation free. Sometimes low season starts as early as 1 February and lasts until November, but it normally excludes Easter, so a well-timed break could be very cost-effective. You could also consider sharing costs with family or friends – this works well when there is a standard per-night rate for accommodation that doesn’t change if you are a group of two or six people.

To ensure a safe car trip and avoid costly breakdowns, have your vehicle (and anything you might be towing) checked before your trip, including lights, wipers, tyres, brakes, wheel balancing and alignment. Plan your route so you don’t waste time or fuel taking a wrong turn, and pack snacks and beverages so that you don’t have to pay for food on the road. As a Jet Club member, you have access to the Greyhound benefit that gives you 15% off a Greyhound bus ticket. The service’s comprehensive intercity network means you can travel safely and comfortably to a host of South African destinations. This is ideal for a couple travelling to visit family or friends across the country. If you’re planning on travelling by plane, download the Skyscanner app, which will scan the virtual skies and provide the most reasonable Flight tickets on offer.

South Africa has hundreds of camping sites in or near nature reserves, tour routes and popular coastal areas. Many of these are municipality-run and offer reasonable rates, especially out of season. Backpackers’ establishments also offer affordable accommodation for families or couples, if you don’t mind sharing ablution facilities and communal areas. Staying at a backpackers is a great way to meet travellers from all over the world. Go to coasttocoast.co.za to find one in your area of interest.


Multigeneration holidays
Extended-family holidays are becoming more popular, with everyone from tots to grandparents going away together. It’s a good way to share the costs of travel and accommodation, and perhaps more importantly, it’s a wonderful way for families to connect.

Local is proving lekker once again, as budget-savvy travellers opt to stay within Southern African borders for annual holidays.

Off-the-beaten track
It might mean a little research, but exploring places less popular with holidaymakers and tourists can save you money and stress. You may just stumble across a hidden gem!

House swapping
Yes, it’s still a thing. You can register and start planning for local or international house swaps at houseswap.co.za.

Bargains are to be had on this site for local travellers, as per-night (rather than per-person) charges for accommodation mean you can share a standard


Awesome South Africa*⋅ is a free location-based app that offers info on specials, events and promotions in various categories includingaccommodation – ideal for travelling on a budget.

This app offers a fare calculator, list of stations and arrival and departure times.

The MyCiti app helps you get around Cape Town, helping to avoid frustrating traffic and costly parking.

SA’s first multilingual language phrase translator means you have a translator in your pocket!

Offline Travel Guides*
For Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. This app works without an Internet connection and includes all you need to know about landmarks, accommodation, eateries and entertainment.

Namibia: Travel Guide*
Free content includes overviews of all-important places. You can book a trip to Namibia right from the app, and find the cheapest hotels, book tour tickets and make restaurant reservations.

*FREE on Android

*FREE on iOS

By Wendy Maritz

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